Siemens licenses Nokia’s mobile phone software

Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group, part of Siemens AG, will license Nokia Corp.’s Series 60 software platform, the companies announced Thursday.

The companies will implement Nokia’s Series 60 software in Symbian OS-based smart phones, and will work together on the future development of Series 60, they said in a statement. Series 60 is a source code platform that sits on top of Symbian’s operating system, according to Nokia. Manufacturers can license the platform for use in smart-phone designs. It contains components including wireless applications, a configurable user interface, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) browser, e-mail client and support for IR (infra red) and Bluetooth connections.

It is possible that Siemens’ contribution to future versions of Series 60 could lead to its gaining some license rights and income from the software, Pertti Korhonen, senior vice president of Nokia Mobile Software said at a press conference Thursday. However, financial details are not being disclosed, he said.

From Siemens’ point of view, it is better to build on the Series 60 software to get what it wants than to start from scratch, Maurice van Riek, senior vice president of 3G and convergence for Siemens Mobile phones said.

Both companies’ Web sites will give software developers access to the programming interfaces needed to develop applications. The fact that the interfaces are the same for both companies will make development easier, they said.

Discussions are underway with other manufacturers and Nokia hopes to announce names soon, Korhonen said.

A common software platform across manufacturers will lower the cost for developers wanting to create applications for several handset companies, and increase their addressable market, van Riek said.

Although many manufacturers are already using Symbian’s operating system, he said, developers still spend a lot of time adapting their applications for different handsets and interfaces. A common standard and common tools will let them spend more time developing and less time adapting, he said.