This is huge news. As you may already know Nokia currently holds the controlling interest in Symbian, however not satisfied with that they are going to acquire a full 100%. The net cash outlay from Nokia to purchase the approximately 52% of Symbian Limited shares it does not already own will be approximately EUR 264 million.
But they don’t really want it for themselves but to create an open platform. In this direction, the Symbian Foundation, was announced today by Nokia, along with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. The foundation will unify Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) software to create an open software platform for converged mobile devices, enabling the whole mobile ecosystem to accelerate innovation. This will make the platform code available to all for free, bringing additional innovation to the platform and engaging even a broader community in future developments.
All in all this is wonderful news for all Symbian fans but my guess is that it will have Google worried sick. After all S60 devices have been ruling the market for a long time now and the first Android device is yet to make an appearance. Everyone seemed to believe that the future is in open source, so Android will play a crucial role but with this announcement, Nokia has completely changed the ball game. Nokia press releases here and here.