Samsung backs out of Symbian, Nokia buys its stake
Samsung has agreed to sell its stake in Symbian to Nokia for a reported $410 million this week, pushing Nokia ever closer to total ownership.
In early 2003, Symbian announced that Samsung had joined the likes of Ericsson, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Psion, and Siemens as a 5% shareholder in the company and its eponymous mobile operating system. At the time of Samsung's entry as a shareholder and on Symbian's supervisory board, Nokia held a 19% stake in the company, equal to Ericsson and Motorola.
Nokia's interest in growing its stake in Symbian coincides with the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, a group of nearly 30 companies including AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, and Vodafone that seeks to turn Symbian into a royalty-free mobile software platform focused on converged communications. Symbian, S60, UIQ, and MOAP(s) will be unified into a single, free open software platform.
Nokia has been making moves to own Symbian and compete directly with the LiMo Foundation and The Open Handset Alliance. With the impending release of the first Android handset on T-Mobile, some have speculated that Nokia may have the first "Google Phone Killer" on the horizon.