Feeds

Moto buys into UIQ

At last

The essential guide to IT transformation

Motorola has taken a 50 per cent stake in UIQ, the phone user interface company spun out of Symbian last year.

Moto takes a 50 per stake with Sony Ericsson, which took UIQ off Symbian's hands last year, the other half.

"The intention is not to run it as a 50-50 joint venture," said outbound Sony Ericsson boss Miles Flint today. A bullish UIQ said today it will also seek further partners. The company has grown from 142 staff in February to over 350 today, with new offices in Budapest and London.

UIQ is a bit more than just a pen UI these days - it's evolved into a "one handed" penless UI that offers a strong competitor to Nokia.

Motorola's Alain Mutricy, senior VP of platform technology, said: "We will not be replacing our other platforms... We will add UIQ into our portfolio into specific strategic segments - particularly multimedia - and geographical areas."

Today's news also consummates an on-off relationship that's lasted most of the noughties.

Motorola and Sony Ericsson came close to announcing a joint venture in 2002, we revealed exclusively at the time, but the plan was abandoned as Motorola went gung-ho for Linux. That proved to be a fruitless and frustrating wrong turn for the American company, so here it is.

We asked why the not-joint venture was considered a good idea today, but not quite in 2002. They didn't really answer the question.

UIQ sprung from the Mobile Communications Applications research lab at the old Ericsson, and the lab became part of Symbian in 1998, a few months after Symbian itself came together. Motorola was one of the first to develop a phone based on UIQ, in the now notorious "Odin" project, a joint venture with Psion.

See UI wars ‘tore Symbian apart’ – Nokia - our retrospective from 2004.

Motorola subsequently developed some of the first 3G handsets using UIQ for Hutchison, in 2003, but abandoned its Symbian stake the following year.

The company returned to the platform with its Z8 phone this year. We can safely assume many more will follow.

"Nothing here is confrontational or attacking," said Flint. Right. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?