November 7, 2006

Sony Ericsson to buy UIQ from Symbian Ltd.

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson said Tuesday it is acquiring UIQ Technology AB, the maker of software featured on many of Sony Ericsson's high-end handsets, from Symbian Ltd.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

UIQ's software provides a user interface for the Symbian platform, which is the most widely used operating system for advanced cell phones in most markets outside the United States. The user interface guides the way a person operates a device, with the screen showing which buttons should be pressed to perform various functions.

UIQ will operate as a separate subsidiary under Sony Ericsson, and its products will be "openly available, licensed on equal terms to all its licensees," the company said.

Sony Ericsson expects the deal to help UIQ develop advanced features "such as push e-mail, Internet browsing, end user personalization, and enhanced music applications" for phone makers globally, said Mats Lindoff, the company's chief technology officer.

Sony Ericsson is a joint venture of Japan's Sony Corp. and Sweden's LM Ericsson.