Nokia Taps Apple for Mobile Browser

Nokia announced Monday it has developed a new Web browser for its Series 60 Platform mobile phones that is based on the same technology behind Apple's Safari browser for Mac OS X. Nokia intends to contribute its work back to the open source community where Safari finds its roots.

The new Nokia browser is designed to enable the viewing of full Web pages on a smartphone screen and will be available in the first half of 2006. The company says it also plans to offer customized versions of the software for its Series 60 licensees.

Nokia says it based its browser on the open source WebCore and JavaScriptCore components that Apple has made available due to Safari's "industry-leading features and performance." The technology was originally based on KHTML and KJS from KDE's "Konqueror" open source project.

"Open source development also enables close cooperation with the industry's best innovators, such as Apple. Both Apple and Nokia share a commitment to Internet standards and the use of a common code. The unified and compatible browser base will offer a very compelling choice for Web content developers," said Nokia CTO Pertti Korhonen.

Nokia's new Web browser is only one of a number of new initiatives aimed at the open source community. The company recently yielded its patent portfolio for use in the Linux kernel, and announced the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, which is built entirely on Linux.

But some in the open source community, including Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman, have openly questioned Nokia's intentions. Stallman criticized the company's patent pledge, calling it "next to nothing."

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