Symbian opens source

As promised, the Symbian Foundation has gone open source, so from now on anyone can use and tweak the platform's underlying source code as they see fit.

The foundation said the software now powers the most smartphones in the world having shipped in more than 330 million mobile phones since its introduction ten years ago. But it denied being prompted to open the sauce by Google or anyone else come to that matter.

Lee Williams, chief executive of the Symbian Foundation told the BBC: "The ideas we are executing ideas came 12-18 months before Android and before the launch of the original iPhone."

In a related statement, Williams said: "When the Symbian Foundation was created, we set the target of completing the open-source release of the platform by mid-2010, and it's because of the extraordinary commitment and dedication from our staff and our member companies that we've reached it well ahead of schedule."

The Symbian foundation was set up in 2008 when Nokia, the biggest maker of Symbian-powered phones, bought out the organisation that made the software. Other paid-up Foundation members include: Nokia, AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.

Willams reckons the move is, "the largest open source migration effort ever." He said it will attract new developers and improve the pace of development.

The open source code will soon be available to download the foundation's web site.