Nokia buys Samsung's Symbian share

September 4, 2008 | 08:50

Tags: #android #limo #os #symbian

Companies: #limo-foundation #nokia #symbian-foundation

Nokia has grown ever-closer to outright ownership of the recently open-sourced Symbian mobile platform with the purchase of Samsung's 4.5 percent share.

The deal has come at a cost, however: while the company was originally hoping to spend £215 million acquiring the rights to Symbian this final deal with Samsung has, according to BetaNews, pushed the total spend for purchasing the rights to Symbian to a whopping £230 million. That's a lot of money for something the company is planning to give away.

Nokia's plan is unchanged: along with other members of the Symbian Foundation, it is hoping to make Symbian the royalty-free platform of choice – which has nothing to do with a certain search engine's plans to create something eerily similar.

While genuinely open technology is always a good thing – and I certainly like the way my own Symbian handset works – there is always the risk of fragmenting the marketplace for no good reason. With Google backing the Open Handset Alliance, Nokia bankrolling the Symbian Foundation, and the LiMo Foundation taking care of the Linux side of things it's already looking pretty crowded – and that's just the open-source side of things.

When you're dealing with a proprietary product, it's obvious that you want to keep your competitors in the dark; when your primary product is open-source, however, you have to start wondering how much time and money is being wasted with multiple companies all working in the same direction on disparate products. While it's unlikely that we'll ever see Nokia producing an Android-Linux-Symbian hybrid, it's an interesting vision of the future.

Do you believe that an open-sourced Symbian platform will be successful enough to recoup the money Nokia is spending on its dream, or will we all be using Android 'phones in the future? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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