Analysts acclaim Nokia’s Symbian acquisition

Open Symbian platform heralded as 'a refreshing sign of agility, and a changed mobile landscape'

Telecoms analysts are acclaiming Nokia’s purchase of the remaining shares in the Symbian mobile operating system, in order to redeploy it as an open mobile platform.

The Finnish mobile technology giant intended to make Symbian mobile OS free to develop and use. The result is to primarily boost sales of Symbian-based devices but also aims to make it harder for Microsoft to establish its Windows Mobile OS in the mobile market.

Nokia has already found support for its venture from Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Japan 's NTT DoCoMo who are to merge their respective S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) operating software with Symbian to create one open mobile software platform.

Commenting on the move, ABI Research  described the announcement as a refreshing sign of agility, and a changed mobile landscape. Said ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw, "There has been financial pressure on Nokia to move in this direction at some point. The sheer economics of the number of devices it ships with the OS versus the value it gets out of its historic shareholding clearly indicated that such a `rescue' was inevitable at some point."

Carlaw described as ‘real spice’, the fact that Nokia will offer the OS in a more 'open' way. He added. “Perhaps this is an admission that the pressure from the Linux industry is really forcing Nokia and Symbian to change their game. Questions remain as to whether the solution will be truly open and what the cost of a Symbian Foundation membership will be."

ABI also raised the issue of the roadmap for the new OS. ABI speculated that Nokia may eventually position the Symbian platform for mid-tier devices with another platform powering high-end devices, a strategy already used by Sony Ericsson.

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