Sony Ericsson has snapped up the UIQ mobile phone user interface, paying Symbian an undisclosed sum for the software and the subsidiary company formed to develop and maintain it.
Sony Ericsson announced it has reached agreement in principle for acquiring the Swedish software company UIQ Technology AB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symbian Ltd. UIQ Technology, which uses Symbian OS, licenses the UIQ user interface and application development platform to mobile phone vendors worldwide.
Sony Ericsson is already a licensee of UIQ Technology, and has been working closely with the company on UIQ version 3.0, which is included in Sony Ericsson’s P990 smartphone, M600 messaging phone and W950 Walkman phone.
“UIQ offers excellent technical flexibility enabling us to provide compelling features such as push email, internet browsing, end user personalization, and enhanced music applications” explains Mats Lindoff, Chief Technology Officer at Sony Ericsson. “By acquiring UIQ Technology we will further invest and exploit the full potential of UIQ on Symbian OS for phone vendors, mobile operators, developers and consumers.”
Following completion of the acquisition, UIQ Technology will operate as a separate business subsidiary of Sony Ericsson under its current management team. UIQ on Symbian OS will continue to be openly available, licensed on equal terms to all its licensees.
“We welcome this decision by Sony Ericsson to purchase UIQ Technology as it will give us the additional investment needed to compete in the rapidly expanding software market for advanced phones,” said Johan Sandberg, Chief Executive Officer, UIQ Technology.
“This announcement is a positive development as it will strengthen the capabilities and services available for phones based on UIQ and Symbian OS whilst allowing us to focus on the core product development of Symbian OS for the mass market. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Sony Ericsson and UIQ on future phone projects,” said Nigel Clifford, Chief Executive Officer, Symbian.
Sony Ericsson expects the transaction to be completed over the next few months, pending regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.