Mobile leaders to unify the Symbian software platform and set the future of mobile free
Foundation to be established to provide royalty-free open platform and accelerate innovation
London, UK - Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO announced today their intent to unite Symbian OS(TM), S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) to create one open mobile software platform. Together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone they plan to establish the Symbian Foundation to extend the appeal of this unified software platform. Membership of this non-profit Foundation will be open to all organizations. This initiative is supported by current shareholders and management of Symbian Limited, who have been actively involved in its development. Plans for the Foundation have already received wide support from other industry leaders.
To enable the Foundation, Nokia today announced plans to acquire the remaining shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own and then contribute the Symbian and S60 software to the Foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola today announced their intention to contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO has also indicated its willingness to contribute its MOAP(S) assets. From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation's first day of operations.
Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0.
The Foundation's platform will build on the leading open mobile software platform, with more than 200 million phones, across 235 models, already shipped by multiple vendors and tens of thousands of third-party applications already available for Symbian OS-based devices.
"Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry", said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. "Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today's announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation which is at the heart of everything we do."
"Establishing the Foundation is one of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. "Nokia is a strong supporter of open platforms and technologies as they give the freedom to build, maintain and evolve applications and services across device segments and offer by far the largest ecosystem, enabling rapid innovation. Today's announcement is a major milestone in our devices software strategy."
"The complete, consistent platform that the Foundation plans to provide will allow manufacturers to focus on their unique differentiation at a device level" said Dick Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson. "Sony Ericsson believes that the unified Symbian Foundation platform will greatly simplify the world for handset manufacturers, operators and developers, enabling greater innovation in services and applications to the benefit of consumers everywhere."
"Motorola has long been a leader and advocate of open software for mobile platforms. We're excited to be joining Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DOCOMO and others in leading this open source effort to form the new Symbian Foundation and unite the Symbian ecosystem," said Alain Mutricy, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Technology Office, Motorola Mobile Devices. "Also, Motorola, together with Sony Ericsson, will be contributing UIQ technology to the Foundation and will work with UIQ as they are refocusing as an important supplier in the new Symbian ecosystem. This will be a great addition, as the Foundation will be able to leverage UIQ's unique experience, which includes expertise in touch technology."
"DOCOMO welcomes this development and we look forward to moving our Symbian based devices and service onto the Foundation platform. We are also willing to contribute our MOAP(S) assets to the Foundation. This is a very positive step in further increasing the adoption of the Symbian software and creating an even more open, consistent and complete platform. The Foundation software will enable us to enjoy the benefits of a global platform in bringing new, leading-edge services to the Japanese market. It will increase efficiency and help us provide our wide customer base with the most advanced mobile experiences." said Toshio Miki, Associate Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Communication Device Development Department of NTT DOCOMO.
"Mobile phones have turned into sophisticated multimedia computers and smart phones continue to grow in popularity," said Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Planning at AT&T. "The Symbian Foundation will reduce fragmentation in the industry and holds the promise of incorporating leading technology and the most mature software into a unified platform for the entire industry. This will create an environment that will encourage and enable developers to build compelling applications that will positively affect our customers' lives and support AT&T in offering its differentiated services to consumers."
"Joining the Symbian Foundation is an ideal opportunity for LG to broaden our commitment to providing our customers with the best possible mobile experience" said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "We believe that open mobile platforms will contribute to advance the mobile industry. At LG we will play a leading role in creating a better mobile environment, working with the Symbian Foundation to provide our customers with smart new features based on this open platform."
"Samsung Electronics is committed to Symbian as one of the future platforms for our mobile devices and believes that establishing the Foundation is a visionary move in positioning the platform as a proven open platform for future development. We are delighted to be playing a significant role in that future by joining the Foundation board. We have already used Symbian and S60 software successfully to deliver appealing devices and see these steps making the platform even more attractive for bringing the latest technologies and services to the market" said Dr. Do Hun Kwon, VP & Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Research Institute.
"ST sees strong consumer demand, across all segments, for a richer multimedia experience," said Monica de Virgiliis, General Manager of the Wireless Multimedia Division, STMicroelectronics. "This new foundation synchronizes and harmonizes the mainstream software approach to address this need and makes the software widely available. We anticipate this will fuel the growth of multimedia-capable devices and we are excited about being able to leverage our long-standing leadership in consumer digital multimedia to satisfy more and more consumers."
"TI has long supported open platforms, and we are excited about the formation of the Symbian Foundation. We believe the new structure will remove barriers to innovation in the mobile industry by providing a common platform on which exciting next-generation applications and services can be built," said Greg Delagi, senior vice president of TI's Wireless Business Unit. "Manufacturers can get a head-start on development with TI's proven OMAP-based Symbian S60 software development platform. Combined with the Foundation's open collaboration model, this will allow more developers to harness the performance and multimedia capabilities of the OMAP family to accelerate improvements in the mobile user experience."
"Vodafone believes this is a significant step in driving mobile innovation for the Internet as well as creating a richer mobile experience for our customers" said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone's Global Director of Terminals. "We have been challenging the industry to reduce complexity and focus on fewer operating systems. This step will help to drive even faster innovation, as well as enable operators to accelerate time-to-market for compelling and varied new services."
Foundation members share the vision that the Foundation will unify the software platform, supercharge innovation and accelerate the availability of new services and compelling experiences for consumers and business users around the world. The combined platform is already one of the most advanced and widely used mobile platforms, making it highly attractive for all ecosystem partners, including developers, mobile operators, content and service providers and device manufacturers.
The Foundation is expected to start operating during the first half of 2009, subject to the closing of the acquisition of Symbian Ltd by Nokia.
Note to Editors:
A press conference will be webcast live from London today at 11:00 UK time and will be available for replay later. Please visit www.symbianfoundation.org to see the webcast.
Further information about Symbian Foundation is available at www.symbianfoundation.org.
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AT&T Inc (NYSE:T( is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding TV offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications, employing more than 82,000 people working in 114 operations including 82 subsidiaries around the world. With 2007 global sales of USD 44 billion, LG is comprised of four business units - Mobile Communications, Digital Appliance, Digital Display and Digital Media. LG is the world's leading producer of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theater systems.
LG Electronics Mobile Communication Company (LG) is a leading producer of mobile handsets. LG creates handsets that provide optimized mobile experience to customers around the world with its cutting-edge technology and innovative handset design capabilities. With advanced wireless solutions, LG is rapidly expanding its presence and market share globally. For more information, please visit www.lge.com.
Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications. The company develops technologies, products and services that make mobile experiences possible. Our portfolio includes communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility solutions, digital set-tops, cable modems, mobile devices and Bluetooth accessories. Motorola is committed to delivering next generation communication solutions to people, businesses and governments. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $36.6 billion in 2007. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.Motorola.com.
Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. We make a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Developing and growing our offering of consumer Internet services, as well as our enterprise solutions and software, is a key area of focus. We also provide equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.
About NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMO is the world's leading mobile communications company. DOCOMO serves over 53 million customers, including 44 million people subscribing to FOMATM, launched as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA in 2001. DOCOMO also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode(TM), the world's most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by 48 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DOCOMO mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DOCOMO is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.com.
i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DOCOMO, INC. in Japan and other countries. NTT DOCOMO's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$103.4 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of four main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, and Telecommunication Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
About Sony Ericsson
Having sold over 100 million phones in 2007, Sony Ericsson is currently one of the five largest mobile phone manufacturers in the world. An important industry player operating in over 80 countries, our phones, accessories and PC cards are synonymous with innovation and style. With R&D sites in Europe, Japan, China, India and North America, diversity is one of the core strengths of the company. Sony Ericsson was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London. For more information about Sony Ericsson please visit www.sonyericsson.com.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company's net revenues were $10 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
Symbian is a software licensing company that develops and licenses Symbian OS, the market-leading open operating system for mobile phones. Symbian licenses Symbian OS to the world's leading handset manufacturers and has built close co-operative business relationships with leading companies across the mobile industry. During Q1 2008, 18.5 million Symbian mobile phones were sold worldwide to over 250 major network operators, bringing the total number of units shipped up to 31 March 2008 to 206 million. Symbian has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom, with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Asia (India, P.R. China, and Korea) and Japan. For more information, please visit www.symbian.com.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries. For more information, go to www.ti.com.
Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with over 260 million proportionate customers as of 31st March 2008. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 25 countries across five continents and a further 42 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com
Symbian and all Symbian based trademarks and logos are trademarks of Symbian Software Limited. The operation of the proposed Symbian Foundation remains subject to regulatory approvals. Until such approvals are obtained, and the Symbian Foundation has become fully operational, Symbian Software Limited retains exclusive responsibility for all licensing and marketing activities related to Symbian OS.
Further statements of support for the Symbian Foundation
"This new initiative brings together the rare combination of a proven software operating system and an open source model, creating a unique platform to drive innovation in the mobile handset," said Scott Bibaud, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Mobile Platforms Group, Broadcom. "Broadcom's participation in the Symbian Foundation is consistent with our goals of enabling differentiated software solutions while providing a time-to-market advantage with our advanced mobile platform products."
"Digia is excited about this initative, as we have been part of the ecosystem for many years investing in skills and expertise in these technologies", said Mr. Juha Varelius, President and CEO of Digia. "We believe that the Foundation will mean increased business opportunities for us, as more OEMs are attracted to develop products for the platform and can benefit from our world class services in the creation of smartphones."
"This unified platform will streamline our game development process and allow us to focus more on content creation than on deployment," said Barry Cottle, EA Mobile senior vice president and general manager. "This announcement encourages the proliferation of smartphones, which in turn will allow us to concentrate on what we do best, creating richer, more engaging and dynamic gaming experiences for more customers worldwide."
"Ericsson Mobile Platforms is committed to open standards and strongly believe the creation of the Symbian Foundation is a major leap forward for the handset industry, fueling creativity and driving end user experience to new levels", said Robert Puskaric, Head of Ericsson Mobile Platforms. "All of our open OS platforms will support future software releases from the establishment of the Symbian Foundation."
"Through the Freescale MXC architecture, we have consistently invested in S60 on Symbian designs and have become a trusted platform provider within the S60 Product Creation Community," said Tom Deitrich, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cellular Products Group at Freescale. "We see the establishment of the Symbian Foundation as an ideal approach to accelerate industry innovation and expand our customer relationships. Freescale is proud to support this exciting new opportunity and looks forward to working with the Foundation members to bring new services to the marketplace."
"Fujitsu is pleased to be one of the first supporters of plans for the Symbian Foundation, " said Hideyuki Saso, president of the Mobile Phones Unit at Fujitsu Limited (www.fujitsu.com). "Fujitsu has long been an innovator in the development of handsets based on the Symbian OS, launching our development efforts in 2001 and commercializing the world's first Symbian OS-based 3G smartphone in 2003. Over the past seven years, we've brought a broad range of innovative, high-performance Symbian smartphones to market while collaborating with NTT DOCOMO on the development of MOAP(S). As a handset vendor, Fujitsu looks forward to supporting the development of the unified Foundation platform, and to developing future products based on the platform."
"This is a positive development for the open source community" said Olaf Swantee, Head of Orange's Global Mobile Operations, "further supporting Orange's strategy to deliver exciting multimedia content to our customers through our Signature device programme. Orange has always been a supporter of defragmentation and the Symbian Foundation will bring us one step closer."
"Establishing an open Foundation is essential to driving innovation in the mobile space," said Krishna Vedati, CEO of Plusmo, a mobile widget service provider for Symbian devices. "We're proud to be a part of this watershed moment in our industry, pushing the boundaries in development and delivering outstanding, multimedia user experiences on this proven platform."
"Consumers worldwide are eager for an unleashing of innovation on mobile communications devices," said Cole Brodman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, T-Mobile. "By joining with others in this initiative, T-Mobile continues its longstanding support of open mobile development platforms as a way to foster breakthrough innovation in service to our customers."
"Being a global leader of providing software services for the mobile industry, Teleca applauds the establishment of the Symbian Foundation" said René Svendsen-Tune, CEO at Teleca. "Today, we have over 500 system architects and software engineers working on Symbian, S60 or UIQ platforms around the world. We bring value to the OEM eco-system by performing development work, systems integration, device customization or test. As the Foundation moves to establish a unified global platform, we have the skills, expertise, global reach and scale to support existing and new OEMs in developing innovative new products, wherever they are. We expect the Foundation will enable us to operate even more efficiently with our customers by taking advantage of the scale and innovation a unified and open platform will bring."
"As an early member and a leading global provider of services to companies in Symbian and S60 ecosystems, Wipro believes the plans for the Symbian Foundation and the evolution of the platform has the potential to transform the mobile industry. Global availability of this platform will enable Wipro in collaborating with device vendors, technology providers, communication service providers and enterprises in realizing innovative communication solutions", said Sudip Nandy, President, Technology, Media and Telecom Group, Wipro Technologies.