Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nokia is buying Symbian shares and making Symbian free for all

Recently, Finland mobile giant, Nokia, bought out its fellow shareholders in Symbian, the UK based handset Software Company. Nokia is now also making Symbian loyalty free. Market analysts believe that Nokia is doing it to outsmart its rivals and this is going to seriously hurt Microsoft, Google and other major mobile software producers. Currently, Symbian is used in two-thirds of the total smart phone handsets with computer like capabilities around the world and 6% of the total mobile phones around the world. Other major mobile softwares are: Android from Google; Apple’s iPhone, Windows Mobile from Microsoft; and BlackBerry of RIM. reports:

Nokia was quick yesterday to dismiss the idea that its moves were simply a reaction to its rivals. "This is a market-making move and looking at it as a response to anything would not do justice to what we are doing," said Kai Oistamo, executive vice-president of Nokia.

But analysts were in little doubt. "This move's a shrewd response to growing threats from other providers of mobile phone software," said Geoff Blaber of industry watchers CCS Insight.

Mr Blaber made particular reference to the "open-source" LiMo Foundation as well as Google's Android, which also promises to offer handset makers an operating system at virtually zero cost.

Nokia is also launching Symbian Foundation, a non-profit organization that will unite the Symbian with three user interfaces.

Currently, Windows Mobile from Microsoft is controlling 13% of the smart phone market. Microsoft charges from $8-$15 per phone from the handset makers and Symbian charges $4.10. As Nokia is going to make Symbian free for all, according to Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner analyst, this puts a lot of pressure on Microsoft as they are trying to make their place in the mobile phone market.

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