Symbian Announces Key Initiatives and Products to Create New Growth Engine For Wireless Information Device Industry

Unveiled at CeBIT: New Device Families, New Licensee Devices and New Industry Alliances

HANNOVER, Germany - March 19th, 1999 - Symbian announced at CeBIT today details of its range of specifications for Device Families designed to promote innovation and differentiation in the Wireless Information Device industry. New EPOC based devices were also shown for the first time at the show, demonstrating the range of form-factors that the four Device Families enable.

The announced Device Families - which enable licensees to produce devices ranging from high end Communicators to low end Smartphones - are reference designs on which mobile computing and cellular phone manufacturers can base their device designs. Each Device Family is being designed for optimal flexibility, giving Consumer Electronics manufacturers broad scope for differentiation and innovation in user interfaces, hardware designs and connectivity.

An important part of establishing Symbian's Device Families as the de-facto industry standard in the Wireless Information Device market, is to guarantee full compatibility between products within a Device Family to device manufacturers, network operators, end-users, independent software vendors and content providers.

"By extending this guarantee to all industry stakeholders, we effectively reduce the uncertainty normally associated with developing solutions for Wireless Information Devices," said Colly Myers, CEO, Symbian. "Symbian's Device Families create focus and thus offer a strong business case for anyone who wants to take part of the rapidly growing Wireless Information Device industry."

Each of Symbian's Device Families is being evolved through a co-operative effort between the market leaders within the wireless industry.

"Symbian's focus on a set of specific Device Families is an important enabler for ISVs, content providers and wireless network operators," said Frank Lloyd, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Motorola's Personal Communications Sector in EMEA. "By developing for Symbian's Device Families these companies are able to get to market quicker, with a better solution."

One of the two high volume markets Symbian is addressing is the Smartphone market. Smartphones are small form-factor, voice centric devices with information capability. Symbian's Device Family reference designs for Smartphones are first and foremost focused on providing users with a better, easy-to-use yet powerful mobile phone. In addition, Smartphones have rich information browsing capabilities and offer significant opportunities for both enterprise and consumer computing applications.

Realising the potential of this segment, Symbian partners such as Ericsson have decided to build their Smartphone designs on Symbian's EPOC. Here at CeBIT, Ericsson announced the first Symbian Smartphone, the R380 [ ].

"Ericsson has worked closely with Symbian on defining the groundbreaking software going into the new Ericsson R380 Smartphone," said Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "As new easy to use devices like the R380 are launched we will see the market for the Wireless Information Device industry gain speed."

The second of the mass markets Symbian is focused on is the Communicator market. Communicators are portable, information centric devices with voice capabilities. Through its Device Family reference designs for Communicators, Symbian is focused on helping device manufacturers provide well positioned products designed to meet the requirements of the mainstream user.

Realising the mobile professional's needs for a powerful yet user friendly device, Psion has previewed a range of new groundbreaking Symbian Communicators featuring built-in Java technology.

"With our upcoming Java enabled devices we are instantly adding close to one million Java developers to the growing list of EPOC software vendors" said David Levin, Chief Executive, Psion. "Java will help further establish EPOC within both enterprise and consumer computing."

Symbian has in recent months extended its support for Bluetooth and WAP. In related news Symbian CEO Colly Myers and Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy announced this week a joint initiative to service the wireless industry with end-to-end Java and EPOC solutions [ ].

"Widely accepted industry standards have always been important to the growth of the wireless industry," said Matti Alahuhta, President, Nokia Mobile Phones. "Symbian is ideally positioned to a key enabler in the Wireless Information Device industry for bringing together Java, WAP, Bluetooth and future wireless industry standards."

As an example of the broad industry co-operation which is emerging within the growing market for Wireless Information Devices, both Sun and Symbian announced relationships [ ] with Japanese network operator NTT DoCoMo over the last few days. Such relationships in the coming months and years will serve as a focal point for the industry to deliver real solutions addressing real user requirements.

With such a pivotal role within the Wireless Information Device industry, Symbian is positioning itself as an engine of growth for a wide range of industry players. As the focal point for bringing together key industry stakeholders, Symbian will deliver a mass market which offers unprecedented benefits for consumers and enterprise customers alike. With the announcements made over that past few days, Symbian has taken important steps to prove to its partners that it's delivering on it's mission.


Notes to Editors

Symbian’s two Smartphone Device Families:

  1. Small form factor devices with approx. 200 x 200 pixel display.
  2. Small form factor device with a switchable landscape and portrait display (320 x 120 pixels)

Symbian’s two Communicator Device Families:

  1. Small handheld device with a portrait display (approx. 320 x 240 pixels)
  2. Handheld device with a landscape display (640 x 200 pixels and up)

For more information please see the EPOC Hardware [ ] section of the website.

Actual specifications of Symbian’s Device Families are available to partner companies under non-disclosure.

About Symbian

Symbian owns, licenses, develops and supports the EPOC platform - providing leading software, user interfaces, application frameworks and development tools for Wireless Information Devices such as Communicators and Smartphones. Symbian aims to promote standards for the interoperation of Wireless Information Devices with wireless networks, content services, messaging and enterprise wide solutions.

With headquarters in London, and offices in Kanazawa, Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area, Symbian is owned by Psion, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia.