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Nokia Hopes Free Symbian Will Boost Smartphones

October 23, 2008

Nokia hopes to regain market share by giving away the Symbian technology that is used in its high-end mobile phones in an attempt to encourage Internet developers to build innovative applications on the platform. 

In June, Nokia bought out its partners in Symbian in order to make the platform available, without charge, to developers. The price tag was $410. 

Nokia has sold more than 180 million Smartphones with Symbian technology with the platform’s most successful interface, S60. 

Nokia has lost market share due increased competition in Smartphone technology from Google, Apple and RIM. Nokia responded with its buy-out plan which still needs to be approved by Chinese and European regulators. Approval is expected by the end of the year. 

Lee Williams will be the executive director for the nonprofit Symbian Foundation. He is the head of Nokia’s S60 organization. 52 companies, including all major mobile phone makers, plan to join the foundation  giving it advantage over Google’s Android which has 34 members. 

Symbian will lose $300 million in royalties from the elimination of licensing fees. 

The first Symbian Foundation software will be released next year, and Nokia hopes to produce a completely new platform by June 2010.  

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