Symbian joint venture expands with Matsushita as new Shareholder

Symbian’s shareholders represent a global alliance to drive open standards for the Wireless Information Device industry

TOKYO, Japan - May 25th, 1999 - Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd., better known by its global brand name Panasonic, has today joined Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Psion as a shareholder in the Symbian joint venture. Symbian, launched last year, has taken a leading role in providing the standard technology for the rapidly expanding Wireless Information Device (WID) industry.

"Our investment in Symbian demonstrates our commitment to EPOC technology for next generation Wireless Information Devices," said Takashi Kawada, President of Matsushita Communication. "Our strategic relationships with other market leaders and our expertise in manufacturing wireless devices will ensure the rapid acceptance and delivery of tried and tested Smartphones and Communicators, based on Symbian’s EPOC technology."

During the 11 months since it was launched, Symbian has announced a number of strategic relationships. Earlier this year Symbian announced in Japan that it has been working closely with the world’s largest network operator, NTT DoCoMo, to develop designs for wireless devices and solutions based on the next generation telecommunications standard, W-CDMA. The introduction of Matsushita Communication, the fourth largest handset manufacturer in the world, further strengthens Symbian’s position within Japan and the Asia Pacific region.

"The shareholders’ contributions of experience, technology and personnel to Symbian has already enabled us to deliver a range of devices based on Symbian’s EPOC technology", says Johan Siberg, President of Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. "This will continue with the addition of Matsushita Communication to the venture, ensuring that Symbian’s EPOC technology becomes the optimal choice for manufacturers of Wireless Information Devices."

"With Matsushita Communication, Symbian’s growing alliances extend choice and flexibility to consumers while ensuring a common standard to enable the Wireless Information Device industry." Commented Fred Kuznik, Executive Vice President and President of the Personal Communications Sector, Motorola. "With the rapid development of hardware and software technology pushing the industry forward, Symbian’s EPOC technology continues to offer a compact, efficient and fit-for-purpose solution for mobile users of Wireless Information Devices."

Matti Alahuhta, President of Nokia Mobile Phones, comments "Nokia has always supported open standards and common platforms that stimulate growth and enable wide market adoption. This is why we chose EPOC technology as the optimal solution for future Wireless Information Devices. Since its launch Symbian has successfully developed relationships throughout the wireless value chain to ensure that content, services and Wireless Information Devices come together to offer unprecedented consumer benefits. With Matsushita Communication as a shareholder, and their experience in third generation technology, another important link has been created extending Symbian’s reach throughout the global wireless industry."

Commenting on the Symbian joint venture, Psion’s CEO David Levin said, "Symbian has the heritage and technology experience that has provided users with all the functionality they require in a mobile device. Symbian continues to deliver on its promise of a major engine of growth for the Wireless Information Device industry. Matsushita Communication has taken a share in a venture that is supported by millions of developers, content and service providers."

Colly Myers, CEO of Symbian comments "Our strategic relationships have demonstrated to the industry that Symbian is the focal point for delivering a new networked economy, fuelled by ubiquitous Wireless Information Devices. The addition of Matsushita Communication as a shareholder, with their contribution to Symbian’s EPOC technology, demonstrates that this wireless economy will be global. We will continue to strengthen our partnerships by licensing EPOC to all wireless device manufacturers."

To support its activities in Japan and the Asia Pacific region, Symbian has recently opened an office in Tokyo to supplement its development operations in Kanazawa, Japan. Working closely with technology companies and handset manufacturers in Japan, Symbian will ensure the interoperability and optimisation of Wireless Information Devices with content and services provided through wireless networks. As the deployment of W-CDMA will initially occur in Japan, Symbian is poised to take advantage of its close relations with Matsushita Communication to incorporate next generation wireless technology.


Notes for Editors


Providing key commercial and technological advantages for licensees of Wireless Information Devices, Symbian’s EPOC technology includes customisable user interfaces, color support, fit-for-purpose application suites, advanced Internet connectivity, and officially accredited and award-winning PC connectivity software.


Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) – a 3rd-generation mobile services platform – is based on modern, layered network-protocol structure, similar to the protocol structure used in GSM networks. This will greatly facilitate the development of new wireless wideband multimedia applications, allowing operators to respond in a competitive market and in turn providing advanced services for users.

Further Notes:

Matsushita will take a 9% shareholding in Symbian.

About Symbian

Symbian owns, licenses, develops and supports EPOC technology - 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, Symbian has offices in Tokyo and Kanazawa, Japan; Ronneby, Sweden; Cambridge, UK and San Francisco Bay Area, USA. Symbian is owned by Ericsson, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia and Psion. Symbian’s website can be found at

About Ericsson

Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with the freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over. Please visit Ericsson's Press Room at:

About Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.

Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd. (MCI) is an affiliate of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., and specializes in telecommunications, measuring, audio-visual systems, and automotive electronics. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. founded in Osaka 81 years ago, has grown into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of quality electronic and electric equipment, serving consumer, industrial and business markets with annual consolidated sales of US$63.7 billion and the number of employee of 282,000. Matsushita’s products are sold under such brand names as National, Panasonic, Technics and Quasar in over 180 countries. For more information on Matsushita Communication, visit

About Motorola

Motorola is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 1998 were $29.4 billion. Motorola’s website is at

About Nokia

Nokia is the world's leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile and fixed telecom networks including related customer services. Nokia also supplies solutions and products for fixed and wireless datacom, as well as multimedia terminals and computer monitors. In 1998, net sales totaled EUR 13.3 billion (USD 15.7 billion, FIM 79.2 billion). Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is listed on five European Stock Exchanges and on the New York Stock Exchange (NOK), has sales in over 130 countries and employs more than 44,000 people worldwide. Visit Nokia at

About Psion PLC

Psion PLC is a Financial Times Top 500 company and winner of both the Queen’s Awards for Technological Achievement and the Queen’s Award for Export. To date, Psion has shipped over 2.5 million mobile computers and rugged handhelds world-wide and it continues to lead the field in the development of handheld business solutions. Psion has over 40 international distributors throughout the world. Psion’s website may be found at

Symbian and the EPOC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symbian Ltd. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owner