The long anticipated demise of mobile interface developer UIQ took place this week when the company filed for bankruptcy in a Swedish court. Motorola and Sony Ericsson, joint owners of UIQ through a Dutch holding company, decided to withdraw their financial support at the end of December 2008. More than 200 employees will lose their jobs.
The writing was on the wall for UIQ when its platform was integrated, together with Nokia' Series 60 solution, into the Symbian Foundation's new royalty-free, open-source platform. Motorola announced at the time it would no longer use the UIQ platform but would concentrate instead on other solutions such as Android and Windows Mobile. UIQ had enjoyed some success over the last six years, being widely used by Motorola and Sony Ericsson in handsets ranging from entry level consumer devices to smartphones. However, as UIQ's former chief executive Johan Sandberg pointed out, the company's main, if not only, income source was royalty fees on its intellectual property. Once the IP became free the main business of UIQ disappeared. "Effectively, we didn't have anything to do anymore," Sandberg commented.
Motorola and Sony Ericsson pull UIQ plug
UIQ files for bankruptcy