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Nokia taps Apple for open-source smarts

New browser for Nokia's Series 60 software will incorporate some of the same open-source technology found in Safari.

Nokia has tapped Apple Computer's open-source knowledge for its next-generation smart-phone browsing.

The new browser for Nokia's Series 60 smart-phone software package is expected to debut in June. It will incorporate some of the same open-source technology--WebCore and JavaScriptCore--found in Apple's Safari Web browser, which is based on KHTML and KJS from the open-source K Desktop Environment's (KDE) Konquerer browser.

Nokia's new browser will be easier for developers to customize and will provide users with new features, the company said. Data traffic is already becoming a key part of Nokia's growth strategy. The phone maker is hoping to see data grow to 23 percent of mobile operators' revenue by 2009.

Nokia also said it will be working with Apple on open source in the future and will be actively involved in the open-source community.

"Open-source software and Linux is an interesting phenomenon--it is not new for Nokia," said Tero Ojanpera, Nokia's chief strategy officer. "We are more and more using open source in our developments."

One example of Nokia's open-source interests is specifically in the browser department. Two years ago, Nokia invested in the Mozilla Foundation's Minimo project to create a phone browser based on Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine. The Minimo group this summer plans to release a Version 0.1 browser for use with Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.

Apple recently expanded its open-source browser operations, quelling an outcry by some KHTML developers that the computer maker wasn't contributing as much as it was taking from the open-source group.

Jo Best of reported from London, and CNET's Paul Festa contributed from San Francisco.