July 18, 2009

Nokia sells Symbian unit to Accenture

Nokia has agreed to sell the professional services unit of its Symbian mobile phone operating system to the U.S. consulting firm Accenture, officials say.

The move, announced by Accenture Friday, is seen by industry analysts as a further step by the Finnish handset maker to distance itself from Symbian and establish it as a stand-alone software firm, Information Week reported.

After purchasing Symbian for $410 million, Nokia moved to spin it off into an independent foundation where it says it can further develop its open source, royalty-free mobile phone operating system, which faces competition from Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Research In Motion's BlackBerry, Information Week said.

The acquisition of the Symbian professional services unit will enhance Accenture's existing embedded software, product-development and testing skills to help players in the mobile solutions ecosystem address ever-more-demanding time-to-market and quality requirements, said Jean Laurent Poitou, managing director of Accenture's electronics and high-tech industry group, said in a statement.