Symbian Ltd

Symbian Software Ltd.
Industry Business Software & Services
Fate Acquired by Nokia Corporation
Founded 1998
Headquarters Southwark, London
Key people Colly Myers, David Levin, Nigel Clifford
Products Symbian OS
Employees 1178 (2007)
Parent Nokia

Symbian Ltd. was a software development and licensing company, known for the Symbian OS, a smartphone operating system, and other related technologies.[1] Its headquarters were in Southwark, London, England, with additional offices in the United Kingdom, China, India, Japan, Korea, and the United States.

It was established on 24 June 1998 as a partnership between Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, and Psion to exploit the convergence between PDAs and mobile phones. Ten years to the day after it was established, on 24 June 2008, Nokia announced that they intended to acquire the shares that they did not already own, at a cost of €264 million.[2] On the same day the Symbian Foundation was announced, with the aim to "provide royalty-free software and accelerate innovation",[3] and the pledged contribution of the Symbian OS and user interfaces.

The acquisition of Symbian Ltd. by Nokia was completed on 2 December 2008,[4] at which point all Symbian employees became Nokia employees. Transference of relevant Symbian Software Ltd. leases, trademarks and domain names from Nokia to the Symbian Foundation was completed in April 2009.[5]

On 18 July 2009, Nokia's Symbian professional services department, which was not transferred to the Symbian Foundation, was sold to the Accenture consulting company.[6]

Symbian OS

Main article: Symbian OS

Symbian Ltd formerly developed and licensed Symbian OS, an operating system for advanced 2.5G and 3G mobile phones. User interface layers were provided by third parties. These included Series 60, Series 80 and Series 90 by Nokia, UIQ from UIQ Technology and MOAP(S) for NTT DoCoMo.

All three interfaces, as well as the OS, are now owned and maintained by the Symbian Foundation.


Before its outright purchase by Nokia in December 2008, Symbian Ltd. was owned by Nokia (56.3%), Ericsson (15.6%), Sony Ericsson (13.1%), Matsushita (10.5%), and Samsung (4.5%).

The company's founder shareholders were Psion, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. Motorola sold its stake in the company to Psion and Nokia in September 2003.[7] Psion's stake was bought by Nokia, Matsushita, Siemens AG and Sony Ericsson in July 2004.[8]

Much of Symbian's initial intellectual property came from the software arm of Psion PLC.


Licensees of Symbian's operating system were:

Key people

Symbian Ltd's CEO at the time of acquisition was Nigel Clifford.[9] Previous CEOs included David Levin, who left in 2005 to head United Business Media PLC, and the founding CEO, Colly Myers, who left the company in 2002[10] to found IssueBits, the company behind SMS information service Any Question Answered (AQA).[11]

See also


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