Symbian Foundation endorsed by Qualcomm, SanDisk, MySpace and more

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Ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress next week Symbian has issued a press release with a roll call of the latest companies who pledged their support to the Symbian Foundation. These include Atelier, Bank of America, Gemalto, HP, Imagination Technologies, Mobica, MySpace, Nanoradio AB, OMRON Software, Qualcomm, SanDisk, SESCA, SiRF Technology Inc, and Virtual Logix. This takes the number of companies endorsing the Symbian Foundation to seventy-eight. Read on for more.

That the Symbian Foundation has received a further set of endorsement will surprise no-one. Given Nokia's history with Qualcomm it is interesting to see it endorsing the Symbian Foundation, although it clearly makes good business sense. It is very possible we will see Symbian OS handsets running on Qualcomm chipsets in the future.

Currently the foundation has more endorsements that any of its competitors. It is a good signal that there is broad industry support for Symbian's move to open source, although perhaps it is not surprising given Symbian OS and Nokia's dominant market position.

Here's a list of the latest companies to provide an endorsement to the Symbian Foundation.

  • Atelier is an integrator and provider of software solutions for mobile phone manufacturers. They've long been part of the Symbian ecosystem, are known for their telephony adaptation layers for Symbian and have been involved in multiple S60 handset projects. It also know for its middleware and DVB-H chipsets. They have also partnered with silicon vendors to create platform reference designs.
    They say: "From a pioneer in the use of Symbian OS we have become a leading independent vendor in telephony integration. We believe that the Symbian Foundation with its open platform will attract more players and will generate many innovative new products. Atelier intends to join the foundation and support our customers and the foundation’s members as its platform evolves."
  • Bank of America is the largest financial services company in the world. They are the second company from the financial sector to endorse the foundation, following in the footsteps of Visa.
    They say: "The Symbian Foundation’s commitment to choice and open industry standards will ensure Bank of America’s ability to offer more value added services to our industry leading 2 million active mobile banking user base."
  • Gemalto is a digital security company and in the mobile arena is associated with SIM cards (700 million subscribers, across 400 operators). Gemalto is also active in the NFC (Near Field Communications), here Gemalto is working in the security area for mobile payment (i.e. the connection between your SIM card and bank). The first NFC capable Symbian OS handsets are likely to ship this year.
    They say: "Gemalto is proud to bring to the table SIM related software components that speed up adoption of new technologies by the whole ecosystem. This new generation of SIM cards and software will be instrumental in the development of applications such as handset customization, the portability of personal settings, local browsing and contactless technology."
  • HP is a technology company that develops and manufactures computing hardware and software. It produces mobile device management products for OEMS and operators. HP does sell enterprise focused mobile devices, such as the HP IPAQ Voice Messenger which runs Windows Mobile. However its interest in the Symbina Foundation is likely to be in its device management products.
    They say: "HP already supports many Symbian OS-based devices with our popular Mobile Device Management products for OEMs and Network Operators and will continue to enhance its products for the Symbian Foundation platform in future."
  • Imagination Technologies is known for its POWERVR graphics and video technologies. It licenses it software and hardware IP to silicon manufacturers creating system-on-chip (SoC) solution (e.g. it s technology is included in both Texas Instrument's OMAP and Freescale's MX chipsets which are used in many current Symbian OS powered devices).
    They say: "Mobile phone manufacturers adopting Symbian OS have been among the most enthusiastic adopters of our POWERVR graphics and video technologies. With our industry-leading experience in graphics, video and composition, which is unrivalled in the mobile market; coupled with our extensive work in open standards such as Khronos’ OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG APIs, we believe Imagination will become a key player in the Symbian Foundation ecosystem."
  • Mobica provides software design and development to mobile phone manufacturers.
    They say: "We believe that this move will significantly increase the number of parties in the community supporting the Symbian Foundation platform, accelerating the creation of innovative and compelling applications and services for consumers. As a leading provider of world-class mobile professional services to key members of the Symbian OS ecosystem today, we look forward to continuing our work with Symbian Foundation members and share the vision of an open platform available to all."
  • MySpace is a social networking website.
    They say: "Mobile is a central element of the MySpace business strategy and we believe an open platform will allow developers, OEMs, and wireless carriers to create compelling and innovative services that can leverage the rich social functionality and content of MySpace."
  • Nanoradio AB has developed a WLAN chipset for use in mobile devices. The chipset is noted for its small size and low power consumption. The company licenses its technology to interested silicon manufacturers.
    They say: "We are convinced that open software is the way forward for feature-rich mobile phones and that embedded WiFi will play a vital role in such devices, built on the Symbian Foundation platform. We are committed to working with the Symbian Foundation and its members to continue providing state of the art, low power WiFi/Connectivity solutions for the benefit of consumers".
  • OMRON Software is a Symbian Competence Centre and provides a range of mobile software and service solutions.
    They say: "We fully expect that the Symbian Foundation initiative will provide the community with the latest technology and consistent performance, and that Omron’s customers, in turn will benefit from the increased innovation, usability, design features. We look forward to contributing to the progress of the Symbian Foundation."
  • Qualcomm is a semi-conductor manufacturer and is the company behind the BREW application platform.
    They say: "As the world’s largest provider of wireless chipset technology, Qualcomm intends to seek membership in the foundation and work with its members to continue to deliver innovative wireless solutions."
  • SanDisk is a manufacturer of embedded and removable flash memory storage.
    They say: "SanDisk endorses the Symbian Foundation plans and looks forward to cooperating with its members in the future. Standardization of the Symbian Foundation platform can help drive innovation and enable a faster adoption of new applications"
  • SESCA is a software and services development company. They have been involved with the Symbian ecosystem for 10 years.
  • They say: "As a world-class specialist in customized software development and solution services, Sesca has been involved with S60 on Symbian OS mobile device development for ten years. We expect to quickly leverage our expertise in development, integration and verification, built from working with the leading companies in the industry, for the benefit of the foundation’s members and their customers."
  • SiRF Technology Inc is a GPS chipset manufacturer and has developed technology that allows GPS signals to be decoded at very low signal levels. The company has recently been purchased by CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio).
    They say: "SiRF enthusiastically endorses the vision of open source mobile platform operating systems that will encourage innovation in the dynamic and constantly changing mobile marketplace."
  • Virtual Logix provides virtualization technology for mobile systems inlcuding Symbian OS.
    They say: "We expect our VLX virtualization software to bring enhanced performance, power consumption, security and manageability to the Symbian Foundation ecosystem including semiconductor vendors, mobile device manufacturers, operators and users. VLX combined with the Symbian Foundation platform will accelerate the development of devices based on the foundation platform."

Here's an extract from the press release:

Ahead of the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the Symbian Foundation’s development continues apace. The organisation’s leadership team is in place and is engaging with its rapidly growing ecosystem of developers, hardware manufacturers and other partners. The foundation has also ramped up its recruitment drive.

Joined by many of our existing partners, the Symbian Foundation will be on stand 8A77 in the Fira Hall 8 from February 16-19. We will participate at various MWC activities throughout the show, including the Mobile Application Developer Garage and WIP Jam: Day for Developers, and Lee Williams will deliver his view of open source in mobile (details below). We invite you to come and join us.

“We’re in a unique position to continue the rapid growth of the most competitive open software platform. Every single member of our community has a chance to influence the way we evolve and develop our offering,” said Lee Williams, Executive Director, Symbian Foundation. “The foundation will provide, manage and unify the platform but it’s the community which will make it great.”

“We already have fantastic support from across the industry and Mobile World Congress will provide an excellent forum to meet and share ideas, perspectives and insight with both new and existing supporters, with the ultimate aim of benefiting our community members.”