Android and Symbian battle to attract developers

Symbian has launched a partner programme for software developers working with its mobile OS, as it seeks to attract more developers, according to IDG News Service.

Membership will cost $1,500 (£758) per year, replacing the $5,000 per year for the Platinum Partner Program. Membership includes access to live events, opportunities to pitch applications to carriers and handset makers, and some marketing assistance.

Last month, Nokia announced it would buy out the remainder of Symbian and form the Symbian Foundation, which would eventually make the OS available as open source.

All the code has to be reviewed for potential intellectual property and security issues, and because of arrangements with third parties, some of the code may not be opened for some time. There are about 30 million lines of code in the OS to be dealt with - and Nokia's buyout still needs regulatory approval.

Symbian is the dominant smartphone platform in Europe and shipped on 18.5 million phones in the first quarter of this year. Analysts say its backers are moving toward open source to keep the platform competitive and to gain market share in North America.

Meanwhile, IDG also reports that developers have created an easy way to load Android, Google's forthcoming mobile-phone operating system, onto Nokia's N810 open-source handsets.

The development is of interest to people who are trying to build applications for Android, rather than for general users.

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