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Sony Ericsson sells half of UIQ to Motorola

16 октября 2007

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson is selling half of its smartphone software unit UIQ to U.S. rival Motorola, Sony Ericsson's president, Miles Flint, told reporters in London on Monday.

Sony Ericsson sells half of UIQ to MotorolaThe Swedish-Japanese handset maker acquired UIQ from British mobile software maker Symbian last year for an undisclosed sum, and would not comment on the price of the latest deal.

Speaking to Reuters after the news conference, Flint said UIQ - which has a long-term goal to take the market top spot from Nokia's S60 - would be operated as an independent entity.

"It's not a merger, it's not a joint venture. We are creating a platform which can be shared by a number of operators," Flint said, adding the next stage would be to bring in a third member, although he would not put a timeframe on the search process.

"The intention is to bring in more over time," he said.

To illustrate investment put into UIQ since it changed owners, Sony Ericsson said it had trebled its headcount to 350.

But Flint said that despite the extra investment the firm had yet to increase its percentage market share from single digits.

"It would be unrealistic to expect a massive change yet," Flint said.

Symbian is 47.9 percent owned by Nokia and Motorola's senior vice-president for platforms, Alain Mutricy, said UIQ was not getting the required investment under its former owners.

"We have been licensees for quite some time. We knew that further investment in the platform was needed to realize its potential," he said in the same interview.

When asked if this was an attempted response to Motorola's torrid 2007 - which has included three profit warnings - he said: "Motorola ... has decided to add more investment in multimedia product segments and the investment in UIQ is one of the actions to support that strategy.

The new owners will now search for an independent chairman, while the board would be split between members from Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

Smartphones are a type of advanced mobile phone which have many of the attributes of a computer.

Источник: Reuters

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