UIQ Technology, the company responsible for developing and licensing the UIQ user interface for Symbian smartphones, has filed for bankruptcy. This isn’t part of an attempt to save the struggling company, but part of the process for shutting it down.
Last fall, this company’s only real product, UIQ, was donated to the new Symbian Foundation, which will merge it into the Symbian OS. The result, also merged with S60, will be made open source.
UIQ Technology’s board of directors met last month to discuss taking the company in a new direction, but “There are no opportunities to create a new line of business in the current financial climate,” is what CEO Johan Sandberg told Reuters.
Support Has Dried Up
The company is owned by Sony Ericsson and Motorola, both of which have moved on. Sony Ericsson is setting its sights on Windows Mobile and the upcoming open source version of Symbian, while Motorola has adopted Google Android OS.
Even before the decision to rebuilt Symbian as an open-source operating system, UIQ was always the red-headed stepchild of the Symbian world. It lived in the shadow of Nokia much more popular S60 user interface for Symbian, and even in its heyday there were only a few smartphones based on UIQ. Probably the best known of these are Sony Ericsson’s P series, including the P990i and the P1.
The most easily recognized difference between the two Symbian user interfaces is that UIQ devices had touchscreens, while S60 models do not. However, Nokia has recently been working to add touchscreen support to S60.
For more information about this platform, visit the UIQ website.