Nokia Buys Mobile Web Browser Company Novarra

Nokia has acquired Novarra, an Illinois-based company that develops mobile web browser technologies. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition makes sense, considering that Nokia builds its own browser. Nokia says Novarra’s technology will be integrated to provide a more powerful browsing experience on Nokia phones. Novarra which was founded in 1999, raised $50 million in funding in 2007. The company creates web-based technologies for low-end mobile feature devices, including functionality for internet access, portals, videos, widgets and advertising. Novarra supplied its technologies to Palm and U.S. Cellular previously. While Nokia develops and operates its own browser on its devices, the Nokia’s Ovi store offers third-party browsers for some phones, including Opera Mini and Skyfire.

Nokia is still the world’s top mobile phone maker, and posted impressive 2009 fourth quarter results in January. The company shipped 126.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, representing an increase of 12% year on year. Unfortunately, yearly results weren’t as strong. Nokia was down 20% on net sales compared to 2008.

Nokia’s last acquisition was of travel social network Dopplr, which we heard the mobile device company was looking to sell. Nokia was on a bit of an acquisition tear last year, also buying up Plum, Cellity and Bit-Side.