Symbian Foundation Almost Ready to Launch

Plans for the Symbian Foundation and the evolution of Symbian OS(TM) as the leading, open platform for mobile innovation moved closer to reality today, as Nokia announced that it had completed its offer to acquire Symbian Limited. “This is welcome news for all of us who are committed to the success of the Symbian Foundation and its platform,” said Pierre Garnier, vice president and general manager, Baseband Business Unit, Texas Instruments, on behalf of the initial board members. “Today is an important milestone in enabling the Symbian Foundation to deliver on its promise — to open up the industry’s most complete and proven operating system in order to stimulate innovation in the mobile industry.”

Since plans for the Symbian Foundation were announced, almost 60 organizations have endorsed the initiative and more than three hundred more have registered their interest in joining the foundation via the website.

“The broad support we have received has confirmed that our vision, announced back in June, is shared by many organizations both within and beyond the mobile industry,” said Lee Williams, nominated Executive Director for the Symbian Foundation. “When the foundation begins operations, expected during the first half of 2009, it will have a uniquely strong ecosystem of developers, manufacturers and network operators, all committed to building an open platform to set the future of mobile free.”

“The future looks exciting for those of us who have been developing and delivering Symbian OS,” said Nigel Clifford, CEO, Symbian Ltd. “Establishing the Symbian Foundation is an audacious step, which will create the foremost platform for innovation in mobile. It will join software, proven over ten years of market leadership, with the open source community to create a great new dynamic.”

As previously announced, the plans for the establishment of the Symbian Foundation and royalty-free licensing of foundation software are:

  • The acquisition of Symbian Limited by Nokia, completed as planned in fourth quarter, 2008
  • Software assets are contributed to the foundation, including Symbian OS and S60 by Nokia, UIQ technology by Motorola and Sony Ericsson and MOAP(S) by NTT DOCOMO and Fujitsu
  • This contributed software will be available under a royalty-free license to foundation members from the first day of Symbian Foundation operations, expected during the first half of 2009
  • The foundation will work to unify the platform, with the first unified foundation release expected in 2009
  • The foundation will work to make the platform available in open source by June 2010 (two years from the Symbian Foundation announcement)

Symbian and all Symbian based trademarks and logos are trademarks of Symbian Software Limited. Until the Symbian Foundation has become fully operational, Symbian Software Limited retains exclusive responsibility for all licensing and marketing activities related to Symbian OS.

About the Symbian Foundation
On June 24, 2008, mobile industry leaders announced their intent to create the Symbian Foundation, with membership open to all organizations. At the same time, Nokia announced its offer to acquire Symbian Limited. Following the close of that acquisition, Nokia will contribute Symbian OS and S60 software to the foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola will contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO and Fujitsu have indicated their willingness to contribute MOAP(S) assets. The contributed software will be available for all foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the foundation’s first day of operations, expected to be during the first half of 2009. From these contributions, the foundation will then provide a unified platform with a single UI framework. The foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch and then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. The foundation’s platform will build on Symbian OS, today’s leading open mobile software operating system with more than 225 million mobile phones already shipped by multiple vendors across more than 250 major network operators and with tens of thousands of third-party applications already available for these devices. The foundation software licensing model and governance has been selected to secure transparency, encourage contribution and maintain platform consistency. The foundation will promote collaboration, contributions and active participation and will operate as a meritocracy. Device manufacturers will be eligible for seats based on number of Symbian Foundation platform- based devices shipped, with the other board members selected by election and contribution. Only one seat will be available per organization on the board of directors and each of the councils.