Symbian OS and its associated user interfaces S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) were contributed by their owners Nokia, NTT Do Co Mo, Sony Ericsson and Symbian Ltd., to the foundation with the objective of creating the Symbian platform as a royalty-free, open source software, under the OSI- and FSF-approved Eclipse Public License (EPL).
The platform was designated as the successor to Symbian OS, following the official launch of the Symbian Foundation in April 2009.
In June 1998, Psion Software became Symbian Ltd., a major joint venture between Psion and phone manufacturers Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia.
Afterwards, different software platforms were created for Symbian, backed by different groups of mobile phone manufacturers.
Symbian^2 (based on MOAP) was used by carrier NTT Do Co Mo, one of the members of the Foundation, for the Japanese market.
Its objective was to publish the source code for the entire Symbian platform under the OSI- and FSF-approved Eclipse Public License (EPL).
The code was published under EPL on 4 February 2010; Symbian Foundation reported this event to be the largest codebase moved to Open Source in history.
However, some important components within Symbian OS were licensed from third parties, which prevented the foundation from publishing the full source under EPL immediately; instead much of the source was published under a more restrictive Symbian Foundation License (SFL) and access to the full source code was limited to member companies only, although membership was open to any organisation.
Also, the open-source Qt framework was introduced to Symbian in 2010, as the primary upgrade path to Mee Go, which was to be the next mobile operating system to replace and supplant Symbian on high-end devices; Qt was by its nature free and very convenient to develop with.
Since then Nokia maintained its own code repository for the platform development, regularly releasing its development to the public repository.