Rabu, 25 Juni 2008

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Finnish mobile telephone giant Nokia said on Tuesday it will take full control of Symbian, a London-based software group, buying out the other shareholders for 264 million euros.

Nokia holds about 48 percent of Symbian, which specialises in open platform software for mobile phones and employs nearly 1,00 people.

Ericsson, which has a 15.6 percent stake, has said it will accept the Nokia offer of 3.65 euros (5.66 dollars) per share, alongside Sony Ericsson, Panasonic and Siemens, giving Nokia 91 percent of the stock.

Nokia said the deal will be followed by the formation of the Symbian Foundation with AT&T, LG Electronics, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone and others to create a single, royalty-free software platform.

Membership of the non-profit foundation, due to be launched in the first half of next year, is open to any organisation, it added.

Symbian software is found on about two thirds of the worlds smartphones, competing with the likes of Windows Mobile.

Research house Strategy Analytics said the deal was bad news for its rivals, such as Microsoft and the Android system of Google.

"This offers a good alternative to Android," said Carolina Milanesi of electronics industry monitoring group Gartner, and "will put a lot of pressure on Microsfot as it tries to dominate the market.

"Operators and the market need lower prices to boost the development of smartphones and a free access platform is likely to help that," she added.


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