The Symbian Foundation, owned by Nokia, is readying the release of an open source version of its mobile OS, as well as an application store framework for its customers.

The new service, apparently dubbed Symbian ^2, is due in the coming weeks as a beta release, and will be used in an attempt to slow the acceleration of Google's Android.

The SF has been quietly working on the open source platform and when it launches, it will come with a framework that will allow users to formulate their own application stores called Horizon.

One for all

The reason behind the framework is the Foundation doesn't want to have a unilateral app store, rather an easy way for others to create their own (in the same way Nokia has done with the Ovi Store).

This means that the portals may look different, but someone would be able to easily develop an application that would work on a number of different Symbian ^2-based phones.

Horizon will be the app publishing program with multiple language and marketing support and will allow developers access to payment processing and payment aggregation from a number of sources.

With Symbian plugged onto nearly half the smartphones in the world, making them all interoperable is a clear goal for organisations like the SF, so Horizon could be the key to making someone like Nokia into a big player in the mobile application world.

Via Rethink Wireless