When a single manufacturer accounts for an overwhelming majority of your license revenue, it stands to reason that said manufacturer might save a little dough in the long haul by acquiring you outright. And so it goes for the long, passionate relationship between UIQ and licensee Sony Ericsson; of the 13 handsets running the Symbian-based platform, nearly half -- six in all -- have been designed and produced by Sony Ericsson, with the remainder split between Motorola and Arima units that haven't seen been met with nearly as much publicity. The Swedish company, currently owned by Symbian itself, will be transferred to Sony Ericsson (pending clearance of the typical bureaucratic stuff, of course) for an undisclosed sum but will continue to operate as an independent entity with the current management team in place. Though UIQ promises that its platform will continue to be available "on equal terms to all its licensees," the move makes official what's been known for years: that UIQ is to Sony Ericsson what S60 is to Nokia, an interpretation of the Symbian smartphone operating system to call its own. Will UIQ ever match S60's popularity, particularly in the Symbian-friendly European market? Probably not, but with a committed partner now laying out the requisite cash, it does seem more likely than ever that UIQ's here to stay -- and as always, we're all about choice.

[Via All About Symbian]