Nokia, the world's biggest handset maker, is buying out its fellow shareholders in Symbian, the UK-based handset software company. At the same time, the Finnish giant is throwing Symbian's mobile phone operating system open for royalty-free use.
Symbian's operating system software, originally developed by UK company Psion, is today used to operate two-thirds of smartphones - handsets with computer-like capabilities - and 6pc of all mobile phones.
Nokia is launching the non-profit Symbian Foundation, which will unite the Symbian's operating system with three user interfaces - Nokia's S60, Motorola/Sony Ericsson's UIQ, and NTT DoCoMo's MOAP - to create one open mobile-software platform.
Nokia said the whole system will be open source - which means that developers can access its software code free of charge.