Nokia acquires mobile browser company Novarra

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nokia announced Friday that it has acquires Novarra, a mobile software company that has previously provided products to Palm, Motorola, Samsung, and other manufacturers that are now competitors.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the final sign-off is not expected until later this year, but it is already making waves in the mobile phone industry, which is currently hyper sensitive.

With 4G rollout on the forefront of many companies and manufacturers still working on their own competitors to the iPhone, Nokia's acquisition of such an all-encompassing organization is notable.

Novarra's predominant product is its Vision Mobile Browser, which runs on Java or BREW and is branded to specific carriers for use in standard mobile phones. For example, Sprint uses it to power its proprietary Sprint Web browser on entry-level devices.

The company also has a portfolio of mobile content transformation server products, widgets, advertising, and analytics.

Chicago-based Novarra, which has about 100 full-time employees, has provided services to Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular, as well as some other overseas carriers. Hardware companies that set up licensing deals with Novarra include LG, Samsung Mobile, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Palm, Research in Motion, and of course Nokia.

"Novarra's Internet services technology delivered on the world's most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia's Series 40, will help us achieve this," wrote Nokia executive VP Niklas Savander in a press release.

The deal is still awaiting regulatory approval and should be complete in the second half of 2010. Once finalized, Novarra will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia.