Symbian Foundation launches Horizon apps scheme

The Symbian Foundation has announced it is to plunge into the world of mobile phone app schemes with the launch of "Symbian Horizon", something that may finally realise its huge installed customer base and take some of the currently popular app focus away from Apple and Android.

Through the Symbian Horizon scheme, developers will get help building applications for Symbian devices - and crucially - getting them into global marketplaces to reach end users such as Nokia's Ovi Store, the Samsung Applications Store and AT&T's "Media Mall".

Symbian Horizon is described as "a break-through application-publishing program" and is on schedule for general availability in October 2009. For approved apps the scheme is free, as is distribution, with profits (presumably a percentage) returned to the developer.

Potentially powerful, Symbian Horizon will become a single point of management and distribution to the largest group of mobile consumers worldwide - around 49% of the world's smartphones run the Symbian OS.

Nokia, who bought and opened up the Symbian Foundation in the face of greater mobile phone OS threats, will benefit from the move with more applications for its also potentially successful Ovi Store.

"Symbian Horizon will further complement Ovi Store in cooperation with our global developer community, Forum Nokia, to discover the best quality apps and make them available for Nokia consumers around the world", said Marco Argenti, VP of media and games at Nokia.

"We are keen to leverage the advances in the Symbian open source community to provide developers with the best tools to build the best apps and experiences for Nokia devices".

There's more information to be had at www.symbian.org/horizon and we will keep you posted on related news.