Europe Backs Symbian With $630M Loan


Nokia (s NOK) said today it has received a €500 million loan  ($630 million) from the European Investment Bank to help it further develop Symbian and keep it competitive with other mobile operating systems. The loan may change the math we’ve done on the likelihood of Symbian beating out Android (s GOOG), LiMo, Apple (s AAPL), Windows Mobile (s MSFT) and other mobile OSes, and it brings a whiff of nationalism to the battle for control of the mobile phone. According to the EIB web site (emphasis mine):

The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.

Apparently the EU, after dealing with the aftermath of a few U.S.-born monopolies, is seeking to make sure the next generation of computing that will take place on the go happens on an OS that a European company develops. Last year, the EIB issued a report about a European R&D gap, which Nokia may have exploited. Regardless, the EIB’s significant investment over the next five years could help keep Nokia and Symbian a symbol of European pride.



The EU has backed the telecoms and mobile industry dating back to the mid-1980s, on the grounds that DARPA funding fueled growth in the US PC sector.

Alper Çugun

The EU and its member states dole out tons of these subsidies and still they keep wondering why it doesn’t work. We need less taxes and regulations not money handed out arbitrarily.


This will be as good as an investment as the search engine they are putting together.

I guess they can use a chunk of it for some hefty payola to the handset providers to choose the OS.

Unless some magical engineering feat occurs for Symbian over the next 12 months it will really be relegated to a Nokia only OS, which still will have significant market share but will be seen as a continued annoyance in the developer community.

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