Sony Ericsson has made a bid for UIQ Technology, a part of Symbian that creates the user interface for the company’s smartphones.

The company is the biggest licensee of the UIQ’s OS, have installed it on the P990, M600, and W950 handsets. The history of UIQ and Sony Ericsson is rather convoluted, as the original UIQ company was set up by Ericsson before it joined with Sony. It was then sold to Symbian in 1999, and now it looks as though it’s coming home to roost.

When the acquisition goes through, Nokia and Sony Ericsson will own their own software systems. Nokia uses Series 60 based on the Symbian operating system.

Analysts relate the UIQ acquisition to the recent announcement by Vodafone that it is only going stock smartphones using three software systems: Series 60, Windows Mobile, and Linux. Motorola and Samsung are working together to develop a standardised version of Linux for mobiles.