Clearly looking for a way to one-up Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, Nokia has announced it will make a cash offer to acquire the 52% of Symbian shares that it does not already own, and will establish the Symbian Foundation, an industry group centered around unifying Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) software and making the Symbian platform open and free to develop on.
Nokia's acquisition of the remaining shares will cost the company 264 million Euros, and the purchase offers have accepted by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ), Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. and Siemens International Holding BV. This represents 91 percent of Symbian stock.
According to a Symbian Foundation statement:
"The Symbian Foundation platform will be available to members under a royalty-free license from this non-profit foundation. The Symbian Foundation will provide, manage and unify the platform for its members. Also, it will commit to moving the platform to open source during the next two years, with the intent to use the Eclipse Public License. This will make the platform code available to all for free, bringing additional innovation to the platform and engaging even a broader community in future developments."
Symbian Foundation membership will be available to member organizations for US $1,500, but developers need not be foundation members to develop for the platform.
"The platform will be free and open to develop on from the start whether you are enthusiast, web designer, professional developer or service provider," said the foundation in its statement.
Charter members of the foundation include AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.