Samsung Electronics Co. this week became the latest shareholder in the cell phone operating consortium Symbian Ltd.
Under the terms of the agreement, Samsung will acquire a five percent stake in the London-based consortium for $27 million.
Symbian, established as a private independent company in June 1998, is owned by Ericsson AB, Nokia Corp., Matsushita Co.(Panasonic), Motorola Inc., Psion plc., Siemens Enterprise Networks LLC, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Inc. and now Samsung.
Belonging to the consortium hardly means exclusive endorsement of the Symbian operating system. Nokia is the only company that has been a champion of the OS; its Series 60 platform for smartphones is based on Symbian.
But Motorola Inc., which owns a 20 percent share in Symbian, announced last week that it intends to support Linux as its primary choice for cell phone operating system.
Even so, Motorolas Semiconductor Products Sector announced this week that it is working with Symbian to develop handset reference designs to reduce the time it takes to manufacture phones based on the Symbian operating system.