Nokia back in driving seat as takes over at Symbian

NOKIA has taken back full control of the Symbian operating system, retaking management of a key asset which it had given to the open source community to run only a few years ago.

Nokia said yesterday it would take care of Symbian platform development from April 2011 onwards, while the cross-industry Symbian Foundation will in the future take care of only licensing of the software.

Nokia bought out other shareholders in Symbian in 2008 and opened the software for any manufacturers to use for free on an open-source basis. But it failed to win wide adoption and this year Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson abandoned it in favor of Google’s Android.

“As other licensees have abandoned Symbian, Nokia had little option but to take full control,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.

The Finnish handset maker has remained the key contributor to the development of the software and has created some 95 per cent of sales volumes of Symbian phones. Symbian leads the mobile market with a 37 per cent share in the third quarter.