updated 11:30 am EST, Mon January 5, 2009
UIQ today said it would file for bankruptcy, effectively ending the mobile operating system's role in the cellphone market. The move follows six months of job cutbacks and is directly credited to the effective abandonment of the platform by supporters Motorola and Sony Ericsson, both of whom have joined the Symbian Foundation and are more likely to use this than the related but separate UIQ software for future cellphones.
Both Motorola and Sony Ericsson are also known to be making a shift towards Android for some of their devices. It's unknown whether either of the phone makers will stop using UIQ for any future phones or will ramp down support gradually.
The move practically consolidates the traditional, feature-limited phone and smartphone markets. Sony Ericsson has enjoyed moderate success with low- or mid-range phones such as the recent W760 but has struggled for similar success with its P-series smartphones against competition from Apple, Nokia and RIM; Motorola has also had little effect on the high-end media phone market with the Z10 and similar handsets.