Motorola grabs half of UIQ from Sony Ericsson

Motorola has bought half of mobile software company UIQ from rival handset maker Sony Ericsson for an undisclosed sum.

Motorola has bought half of mobile software company UIQ from rival handset maker Sony Ericsson.

The pair will now collaborate on promoting the UIQ user interface, typically associated with touchscreen devices, and investing in the UIQ developer program.

Both Motorola and Sony Ericsson have already showcased UIQ on their devices -- the user interface features on Sony Ericsson's P1 business orientated smartphone, and Motorola's Z8, among others.

According to Motorola, involvement with UIQ will enable the company to better customise devices to suit individual operators and adapt devices to "regional preferences".

The UI company has already changed hands once in recent times -- UIQ was previously owned by smarphone OS maker Symbian, which sold the unit last year -- and its ownership may yet change again.

In a statement released by Motorola and Sony Ericsson, the pair said Motorola's involvement "should be seen as an invitation to other mobile device vendors to participate in the UIQ community, either as shareholders or licensees".

Sony Ericsson CEO Miles Flint also told Reuters that a third shareholder might be added in time.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.