Suggestions that other vendors would move to prevent outright Nokia control of Symbian were proved correct when SonyEricsson, Panasonic and Siemens all increased their stake in the company, following the sale of Psion’s 31% stake in the company.
Symbian is also seeking to raise GBP50 million in additional funding through a rights issue, to support a rise in headcount from 900 to 1200 people as the company seeks to beef up Symbian development.
An early proposal was made that Nokia would purchase Psion’s complete stake in Symbian, giving the Finnish company an overall 63.3% stake in the company.
But amidst concerns about Nokia taking outright control of the venture, SonyEricsson has invested GBP57.4 million to bump up its shareholding from 1.5% to 13.1%.
SonyEricsson’s P800 and P900 range of phones are based on the Symbian OS and UIQ user interface.
“We are pleased to see the broad participation of Symbian’s shareholders in the pre-emption of Psion’s shares and the Symbian rights issue. With Symbian as an independent company, unity and interoperability among phone vendors can be strengthened,” said Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson.
Symbian’s ceo David Levin said that the rights issue funding would support a move into mass market phones. Symbian has until now been reserved for the smartphone market.Â