It appears that Google’s Android will have a new, and quite formidable, open source competitor in the near future. Today Nokia announced that it was purchasing the remainder of Symbian Limited, the company that makes the Symbian OS, and that it would be turning over the OS and its own S60 user interface to a new non-profit group called the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation will make the OS available royalty free and plans on turning it all into open source over the course of the next two years. Sony Ericsson and Motorola threw all of their UIQ assets into the mix, and NTT DoCoMo added its MOAP(S) platform as well.
So at least part of the edge in cost that Android would have had over the other smartphone operating systems on the market will disappear. Luckily for Android, though, while popular, the Symbian OS is often thought to be relatively difficult to develop for, which provides Android with a bit of an opportunity.
You can read more about today’s purchase of Symbian by Nokia at our parent site, MobileBurn.com.