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HELSINKI (Reuters) - British chip designer ARM, card network Visa, Chinese technology group Huawei and nine others said on Tuesday they planned to join the Symbian Foundation to get free access to its software.
Since June 2008, 52 companies have said they plan to join the foundation, including all major mobile phone makers, AT&T said in a statement, giving it an edge over Google's Android in a battle over who will dominate the mobile phone software market in coming years.
Nokia, the world's No.1 mobile phone maker, said in June it would buy out other shareholders of UK-based smartphone software maker Symbian for $410 million and make its software royalty-free to other phone makers in response to new rivals.
Nokia would contribute Symbian's assets to the not-for-profit organization, the Symbian Foundation, uniting with leading handset makers, network operators and communications chipmakers to create an open-source platform.
Nokia has said it sees the Symbian Foundation as a faster way to bring new products to the markets. Foundation members also avoid having to pay fees to outside software developers.
Nokia expects to release the first unified Symbian Foundation software next year and introduce a completely new platform by June 2010.
Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter