updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu October 23, 2008
S Ericsson says UIQ Dead
The UIQ variant of Symbian is on its way out, according to comments made by company executive Patrick Olson at the Symbian Smartphone show earlier this week and transcribed by AAS. The official says the mobile operating system "didn't make it" and characterizes it as an offshoot with a definite end, effectively pointing to the end of the platform as a whole.
Olson doesn't formalize the plans or say how soon UIQ would be phased out but made the comment while discussing the future of the Symbian Foundation, a recently established group designed to unify and ultimately open-source most or all of Symbian.
If reflective of Sony Ericsson's official stance, the executive's comments signal a major shift for his company's phones, many of which use some variant of UIQ as their platform. The company has already shipped its first Windows Mobile device in the form of the XPERIA X1 but hasn't committed to any wider changes.
Dropping UIQ also creates problems for Motorola, which is the other major backer of UIQ and has used it on the Moto Z10 and similar devices. Without Sony Ericsson, the company has significantly reduced support for UIQ should it decide to continue on and is more likely to be pushed towards its Android partnership for some devices or else the use of a more standardized Symbian variant.
It would also remove a significant player from the mobile operating system stage, which has seen uphevals through the introduction of both Android and OS X iPhone; either is targeted at a wider audience than UIQ and have sparked high demand in the short term while both Motorola and Sony Ericsson continue to lose share.