Mobile operators 3, TIM and America Movil have given their support to the Symbian Foundation, a move Forbes believes is a blow to competing mobile phone software providers such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. The three operators, as well as other newcomer vendors Aplix, Elektrobit, EMCC Software, Marvell, Sasken and TietoEnator, join the likes of Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, AT&T and Vodafone in the Foundation’s attempt to unite several different existing operating systems – Symbian OS, S60, UIQ and MOAP – to create one open mobile software platform.
Last month, Nokia announced plans to buy-out its partners in mobile phone software firm Symbian for €264 million, ahead of opening the software for royalty-free use. The Symbian Foundation is expected to start operating in the first half of 2009, with the platform available as open-source by June 2010. Symbian’s software is used in two-thirds of smartphones and 6 percent of all mobile phones. Symbian’s closest rival is Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system.