Only 18 months after setting up a non-profit foundation to oversee its development, Nokia is taking back control of the Symbian operating system.
From April 2011, Nokian will have control of the OS again in a bid to fight off Google's Android. The Symbian Foundation, which is a consortium of firms that oversees the software, will become a licensing body. Tim Holbrow, executive director of the Symbian Foundation said that the move to Android has been a seismic change in the mobile market. This means that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform does not work.
Nokia paid 264m euros £227m to buy out the other shareholders in Symbian it then then teamed up with AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone to set up the Symbian Foundation. The big idea was to open-source the code underlying the software. However Symbian's portion of that market has consistently shrunk and it did not appear to benefit from open sourcing at all.
Recently, the Symbian foundation lost its executive director and firms such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson withdrew their support.