key user of Symbian as OS platforms for its mobile phones, the fact that Nokia in the end purchased Symbian might not come as a shock to many of you, but the fact that Nokia turned Symbian into a non-profit foundation is something quite unexpected.
The idea behind it is to make Symbian the number one smart phone platform on the planet by offering a royalty-free open platform. Nokia is also hoping that this will boost the development of the platform.
To add to what is already a somewhat peculiar story, Nokia has also teamed up with Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO to create a total development solution not only for Symbian OS, but also to add S60, UIQ and MOAP to the mix. This means that the Symbian foundation will be able to offer all the various Symbian-based platforms which might lead to some interesting product developments.
Other members of the Symbian foundation include AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. However, it's important to note that the platform will only be royalty-free for members of the foundation, unlike some other more "open" solutions.
There are still some things that needs to be finalized before the foundation launches, such as Nokia's purchase of Symbian for €264 million, although this is just for the outstanding shares that Nokia doesn't already own.
You can find the press release with more details here