Feeds

Moto buys into UIQ

At last

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.