Sony Ericsson Buying the Rights to the UIQ Interface

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Sony Ericsson is going to acquire UIQ Technology AB, the Swedish software company responsible for developing and licensing the UIQ user interface.

A great many smartphones use the Symbian OS, but this operating system only provides the back-end functionality for these devices. Device makers have to come up with a user interface to allow customers to actually use the handset. Most of the time, manufacturers choose to license an already existing user interface. Among their options are UIQ and Nokia’s S60 (formerly known as Series 60).

The smartphone maker that uses UIQ the most is Sony Ericsson, and it appears this company has decided it would be better to own the rights to this user interface than to keep paying licensing fees for its devices, like the P990i.

Still Available to All

UIQ Technology AB is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symbian Ltd., the company that owns the rights to the Symbian OS.

Following the completion of this acquisition, though, UIQ Technology will operate as a separate business subsidiary of Sony Ericsson under its current management team. 

UIQ on Symbian OS will continue to be openly available, licensed on equal terms to all its licensees.

"We welcome this decision by Sony Ericsson to purchase UIQ Technology as it will give us the additional investment needed to compete in the rapidly expanding software market for advanced phones," said Johan Sandberg, Chief Executive Officer, UIQ Technology.

Sony Ericsson expects the transaction to be completed over the next few months, pending regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

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