Nokia today announced that it would be entering a software platform collaboration with Orange in order "to facilitate device customisation and strengthen the role of S60 devices.'

The collaboration is aimed at creating an Orange specific software package to go with S60 software on Symbian OS, it will also accelerate the Orange device customization process.

The collaboration is set to be a benefit to Sy60 device manufacturers, as it will aid them in cost efficiency and reduce time to market.

Amongst the joint activities of the collaboration will be the creation of synergies between S60 and Orange roadmaps, testing Orange specific software assets and application development with the Orange Partner organization and Forum Nokia, the Nokia global developer program.

Yves Maitre, Vice President, Devices, Orange, said in a statement: This announcement is part of Orange's ongoing Signature strategy, which is aimed at delivering a consistent customer experience across our range of devices.

She continued, "By working with Nokia and S60 on Symbian OS we plan to bring increased consistency and efficiency to our signature customization process. This benefits both handset manufactures and customers through an enhanced service experience and faster time to market.

Matti Vänskä, Vice President, Mobile Software Sales and Marketing, Nokia, said: The collaboration is an example of the depth of our relationship with Orange... It also demonstrates S60 software's ability to respond to various market requirements and further strengthens S60 software's position in the market. At the same time it reinforces the role of S60 software on Symbian OS for device creation and enables innovation from software developers.

Canalys research released in July 2006 pointed to S60 as being the clear leader in smartphone software, with over 50% market share globally. Nokia has shipped over 70 million S60 enabled devices cumulatively. 44 devices based on S60 and Symbian Os have been launched, of these 15 are based on S60 3rd Edition.