* Nokia says deal will help Symbian realise full potential
* No price disclosed for sale of unit with 165 staff
* Acquisition expected to close within 90 days
(Adds details on unit, background, shares)
LONDON, July 17 Technology consulting firm
Accenture (ACN.N) has agreed to buy a unit of Nokia NOK1V.HE
responsible for servicing the Symbian smartphone operating
system that Nokia has given to an open-source foundation.
The parties did not disclose the price on Friday that
Accenture would pay for the business, which has about 165 staff
who provide customer support and engineering for Symbian, the
world's most popular smartphone system.
Nokia decided last year to make Symbian technology freely
available in the hope it would encourage Internet developers to
build innovative applications on the platform, helping it win
back market share.
Peter Rupke, Nokia's head of devices, said in a statement on
Friday: "This agreement allows the Symbian professional services
team to realise its full potential in the supply of independent
services to the open-source ecosystem."
Accenture said the acquisition would expand its ability to
help customers in the fast-growing market for converged mobile
services, as phones become more and more like computers and
computing becomes more mobile.
The transaction is expected to complete within 60-90 days.
Nokia shares, which had been down about 2 percent after the
company gave a disappointing outlook on Thursday, recovered
slightly to trade down 1.8 percent at 9.30 euros by 1236 GMT.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Additional reporting by Eva
Lamppu in Helsinki; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)