Reuters is reporting that UIQ, the touchscreen branch of Symbian, currently owned by Sony-Ericsson and Motorola has finally fallen over and yesterday morning applied to the Swedish courts to begin bankruptcy proceedings.
The writing was on the wall once the company started shedding staff, however its interesting to see just how far and how quickly the company has failed, hurt no doubt by some truly awful devices from Sony-Ericsson.
When launched in 2002 the UIQ based P800 looked like a template for smartphones to come, yet the software was clunky, not very usable and hugely unstable. The device even came with its own white screen of death, introducing phone users to system crash related service outages years before Microsoft got into the game.
Subsequent updates of the hardware brought us the P900, P910, P990, M600 and P1. None ever eradicated all of UIQ’s problems and despite building up a loyal (if small) following the writing was on the wall when Sony-Ericsson switched to Windows Mobile for the X1 last year.
The loss of Nokia’s backing and the rise of too many clearly superior operating systems did for UIQ and its not surprising to see the company become the first casualty of the mobile OS wars. Executives at some other companies would do well to heed the warning and get their houses in order lest they become the next victim as competition for customer’s cash gets tougher and tougher.