Nokia On Track to Buy Symbian
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) this week at a meeting in London said its acquisition of Symbian, the company with the eponymous mobile operating system, is on track.
That means that Nokia, the world's largest supplier of cell phones, will soon be stepping up its assault on the world's handset markets, as it turns the operating system into open source software designed to appeal to global mobile phone markets.
"The Symbian deal is on track," Mary McDowell, Nokia's chief development officer, told the Reuters news service. She added that she hopes Nokia's drive into Internet services will contribute to its sales. Nokia accounts for 40% of the world's handset sales, but just 6% in the United States.
The inviting opening in the U.S. market coupled with the attraction of the soon-to-be open source operating system should help Nokia capture a larger share of the U.S. market.
Last month, Nokia said it would port its Qt cross-application framework to Symbian in a move to attract developers of other platforms to create applications for their platforms -- including Windows, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Mac, Linux, and embedded Linux. The first production release of Qt for Nokia's S60 is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2009.
Nokia has been working to seamlessly fit Qt into its S60 on Symbian OS ever since it acquired Qt developer Trolltech earlier this year. Developers using Qt can create applications and user interfaces once and then deploy them across multiple operating systems without needing to rewrite source code.
For more insight into how Nokia plans to make the mobile OS open source and push more apps onto smartphones, InformationWeek has published an analysis of this merger. Download the report here (registration required).
— W. David Gardner, InformationWeek