Google Android OS 'no major threat'

Symbian, Nokia, Microsoft and Apple have all hit out against Google's newly-launched Android operating system. The big four say they don't see Android or the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) as a threat, and it won't cause trouble for their handsets.

"We don't see [Android] as a threat," Nokia categorically told Reuters.

Shaking up the phone industry

Microsoft also played down the potential threat to its Windows Mobile OS from Google.

"It really sounds like they are getting a whole bunch of people together to build a phone and that's something we've been doing for five years," said Scott Horn, from Microsoft's Windows Mobile marketing team. "I don't understand the impact that they are going to have."

Symbian, meanwhile, believes that without Google's presence in the Open Handset Alliance nobody would be giving two hoots about the project. "We take it seriously," said John Forsyth, strategy chief at Symbian. "But we are the ones with real phones, real phone platforms and a wealth of volume built up over years."

Apple too said that the OHA announcement wouldn't have much of an impact on its business. "We have a great relationship with Google and this doesn't change anything," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "They are certainly an important partner for the Apple iPhone."

Committed to open platforms

Palm is one of the more notable absentees from the Android party, but said that it's looking forward to working with Google on forthcoming Android products.

"Palm has always been committed to open platforms for developers," a spokesperson told

"Palm customers have benefited from the availability of Google services on Palm's platform, such as Google Maps for mobile on Palm OS. And we look forward to further collaboration with Google to offer great user experiences on Palm products."

The Open Handset Alliance brings together Google with some of the biggest names in the mobile industry, including mobile operator T-Mobile, chipmaker Qualcomm, and manufacturers like Motorola and HTC. The Alliance will develop the Android open software platform for mobile devices.