More companies back Symbian Foundation

The Symbian Foundation is growing, with another nine companies joining the organization, including mobile operators 3, América Móvil and TIM.

Also joining are semiconductor manufacturer Marvell as well as services and software providers Aplix, EB, EMCC Software, Sasken and TietoEnator. More members seem to be on the way. About 150 organizations have registered their interest in joining, according a statement from Nokia.

The foundation will develop a new operating system for mobile devices. The first release should be ready next year, and by 2010 it is slated to be available as open source.

The Symbian Foundation was announced on June 24, when Nokia said it would acquire the Symbian OS and turn over the mobile operating system to the foundation for development.

On the same day, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu announced they would also turn over code, in the form of user interface UIQ and software platform MOAP(S).

The Symbian Foundation operating system will be based on the Symbian OS and S60, but use parts from UIQ and MOAP(S) as well.

Contributed software will be available for free to foundation members, which also include AT&T, LG Electronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone, as soon as the Symbian Foundation gets going. That is expected to happen during the first half of next year, according to Nokia.

During the first quarter of 2008 Symbian had a smartphone market share of 57.1 per cent, followed by Research in Motion and Microsoft, at 13.4 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Linux was the fourth largest platform with a market share of 9.1 per cent, according to Gartner. Linux should become a much stronger competitor when the first phones based on the Google-backed Android platform start to arrive.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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