In a deal that speaks volumes about the shaky state of the mobile phone
industry, market leader Nokia
on Thursday said it would
collaborate with rival Siemens to create and drive the implementation of
mobile terminal software based on open standards.
More importantly, Finland-based Nokia said Siemens would buy software for
its smart phones that send e-mails, images, the first time Nokia is
licensing it’s technology on a commercial scale to a third-party rival.
Financial terms of the transaction were not released.
With competitors like Motorola and Samsung gaining ground for market share
in the mobile space, Nokia said the first step in its collaboration with
Siemens would include licensing and developing the Series 60 software
platform within a partnership structure.
“Nokia and Siemens have agreed to combine their efforts in mobile terminal
software applications by providing common tools and by creating new
market-making opportunities for developers. Within this framework the
companies will start to explore new opportunities to achieve maximum
interoperability between mobile devices and applications, thus adding value
for operators, developers, corporations and consumers,” Nokia said in a
“Both parties are committed to developing and implementing common software
functions and features for mobile devices. Furthermore, the companies intend
to increase and serve the developer community for mobile terminal software
applications,” it added.
Siemens, which has headquarters in Germany, said it would implement the
Series 60 software platform in Symbian OS-based smart phones and partner
with Nokia on future development of the Series 60. “Thus, programming
interfaces, that are necessary to develop applications and related tools,
will be available to software developers worldwide on both companies’
websites. As the programming interfaces will be the same, developers will
enjoy significant benefits through easy access to both the Nokia and Siemens
product platforms,” the company said.
To push the interoperability button, Nokia and Siemens have also agreed to
support and actively contribute to the work on key open standards and
technologies in respective standardization and industry forums. No details
on these plans were provided.
News of the partnership comes as Boston-based research firm Strategy
Analystics released statistics that show Motorola
and Siemens all gaining ground on Nokia during the first quarter this year.
Strategy Analystics said Nokia’s market share barely climbed to 35.4 percent
in the quarter, up from 35.2 percent in the same year-ago period while
Motorola enjoyed a full 2 percent jump from 13.2 percent to 15.6 a year
earlier. The statistics show that Samsung owned about 10.4 percent of the
market, up from 6.5 in the first quarter of 2001.