Feeds

Nokia cash for Symbian

As Android openness spat continues

Website security in corporate America

Nokia has borrowed €500 million from the European Investment Bank to fund development of Symbian handsets and technology, as the competition heats up to see whom is most open.

The money is a five-year loan, and intended to fund research and development at Nokia. The company reckons that's going to trickle down to the Symbian Foundation, while pointing out that the Foundation is inherently superior to Android's (Open Handset) Alliance 'cos Symbian is a community effort rather than being pushed by one company.

Last week the Symbian Foundation boss Lee Williams told Silicon.com that Android was no more than a marketing label: "just another Linux effort with a popular consumer brand attached".

But Google insists that Symbian isn't open at all.

Rich Miner, Vice President of Mobile for Google told Mobile World Congress last week: "the source code isn't completely available for that platform ... it's misleading to call that platform open".

Without a trace of irony Miner also stated: "We think that when somebody controls an entire platform like that it's bad for the industry", which is pretty strong coming from a company that (we understand) forced the Agora to be pulled 10 days before launch on the grounds that the screen had a different resolution from the G1.

LiMo has also been attempting to join the anti-Android throng, pointing out that it probably has the only phone-OS that is genuinely a community effort, an argument that's hampered by so many LiMo members also being signed up to Android, and even LiMo supporters are talking it into the feature-phone market these days.

The Symbian Foundation can't open up quite yet: the OS still has huge chunks of licensed code in it, each chunk has to be identified and a license negotiated with the owner (or a replacement written) which is going to take a while, so when it comes to openness Android probably has the edge, for the moment at least.

Nokia's new money won't go to the Foundation, but it will be spent creating new technologies and handsets that will, inevitably, increase the breadth of hardware that Symbian supports.

That could be in the direction of set-top boxes and tablets, markets previously ignored by Symbian entirely - more importantly it might create some cool Symbian handsets.

For while the industry argues the benefits of different OSs punters don't give a toss - they are still buying phones on the basis of good-looking hardware, something Apple knows and Google needs to learn.

®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.