Operators, manufacturers sign up to Symbian

Nine more firms, including telecom operators 3, TIM and América Móvil, have lined up to support the new open mobile software alliance Symbian Foundation, according to Nokia.

Semiconductor manufacturer Marvell, services and software providers Aplix, EB, EMCC Software, Sasken and TietoEnator have also joined the Foundation. More members are said to be imminent: about 150 organisations have registered their interest in joining, according a statement from Nokia.

The first release should be ready next year, and by 2010 it is slated to be available as open source.

A Reuters report also said Nokia earlier disclosed it would buy out other shareholders of UK-based smartphone software maker Symbian for €259 million (US$410 million) and make its software royalty-free to other phone makers, in response to new rivals such as Google.

Nokia will contribute Symbian's assets to the not-for-profit organization, Symbian Foundation, in which it would unite with leading handset makers, network operators and communications chipmakers to create an open-source platform.

Nokia said the foundation has now 30 members after also mobile operators 3, according to the Reuters report.