Today Nokia announced that it is investing $410 million to acquire full control of Symbian. It further announced that it will give the software away royalty free. In short, open source it.
Given that there are 5 players in the mobile operating system world (RIM, Apple, Palm, Microsoft and Symbian) and one emerging player (Google with Android), it seems that Nokia’s current move is aimed more at Google than anyone else. And for good reason.
With this move not only is Nokia attempting to move the elements of competition from software to handset design, it is also a means of attracting third party application developers in a way other players like Apple and Google have managed to do do.
The coming years will mean one thing — it is no longer a competing world where just the hand set manufacturers are competing with one another. It would mean a network based eco-system oriented competition. It would also be interesting to see if there would be a true open mobile platform and also see how the licensing issues change if proprietary hardware and software can be put into an Android or a Symbian phone.
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