Latest version of Symbian OS targets smartphones for mass market

London, UK – 2 February 2005 – Symbian Limited today announces the launch of Symbian OS™ version 9, the latest evolution of the world’s leading smartphone operating system.

Symbian’s key strategic focus is to ensure Symbian OS is adopted as a platform for the development of higher volume and lower cost, advanced phones for 2.5G and 3G networks around the world.  Symbian OS v9 helps lower Symbian OS licensee development costs and accelerate time to market for smaller, less expensive and even more capable Symbian OS smartphones.  As a robust, secure, open and standards-based platform, Symbian OS v9 will support network operators’ cost-effective deployment of revenue-generating services, content and applications.

Symbian OS licensees have phones based on Symbian OS v9 in development, with product launches anticipated during the second half of 2005.

Key enhancements in Symbian OS v9 include:

Enabling multimedia phones – Symbian OS v9’s multimedia capabilities support Symbian OS licensees’ development of phones for specific markets.  For example, Symbian OS v9 supports Bluetooth stereo headsets, USB mass storage, advanced audio mixing and playback, as well as the latest MPEG and OMA DRM standards that make Symbian OS the foremost smartphone platform for delivering music and other digital content.  Symbian OS v9 also supports the coming generation of multi-mega-pixel cameraphones.  Enhanced support for 3D graphics, multimedia and graphics acceleration as well as support for different screen sizes and orientations, and simultaneous multiple displays make Symbian OS v9 a flexible and powerful platform for gaming-oriented handsets.

Managing Symbian OS phones – the enhanced Device Management framework implemented in Symbian OS v9 gives network operators and enterprises new capabilities to manage phones in the field. Using OMA-compliant Device Management solutions, network operators and enterprise IS managers will be able to access a user’s phone over the air to deploy new network services, capabilities or applications, or to diagnose a problem, as well as to audit applications installed on a phone.  These capabilities will help network operators provide cost-effective support to customers accessing next generation services and content on Symbian OS phones.

Supporting the Enterprise – Symbian OS v9 provides new enterprise functions such as enhanced filtering and sorting of IMAP email, as well as new group scheduling capabilities, including accepting meeting invitations from standard PIM applications such as Lotus Notes or Microsoft Outlook.  Symbian OS v9’s Java implementation gives developers the opportunity to access the functionality and performance of Symbian OS to create advanced Java-based applications and services.  Fully compliant with network operator Java specifications and Java Community Process standards, Symbian OS v9 continues to support the latest Java innovations including JTWI (JSR 185) and Personal Information Management (JSR 075).

Enabling advanced network operator services – Symbian OS security capabilities have been evolved in Symbian OS v9 to a finer-grained security model that will help network operators deploy more advanced m-commerce services and DRM-protected content to Symbian OS phones.  Symbian OS v9’s security model also helps protect networks, phones and users’ personal information from malware by ensuring applications can only access sensitive phone capabilities (e.g. sending SMS, making calls, access to personal information on the phone etc) when they have been given specific permission to do so.  Symbian’s application certification and signing program, Symbian Signed, has been extended to further support the Symbian OS security model.

Even better phone performance – Symbian OS v9 supports the latest generation of ARM-based processors that will enable faster and more powerful Symbian OS phones with improved battery life.

Accelerating time to market and reducing development costs – reference designs from leading semiconductor vendors such as Intel are targeting Symbian OS v9.  Reference designs pre-integrate Symbian OS with target hardware, enabling handset manufacturers to reduce Symbian OS phone development time and costs, and to focus development on new competitive and innovative features.

Reducing Symbian OS phone build cost –new software development tools for Symbian OS v9 include ARM’s RealView compiler that substantially improves performance of gaming and multimedia applications.  The hard real-time kernel introduced in Symbian OS v8.0 allows manufacturers to build Symbian OS phones based on a single core processor that integrates the two processors (baseband and application processors) commonly used today, thereby helping handset manufacturers reduce phone build costs

“Symbian’s strategic focus is to ensure that Symbian OS is the ideal choice for Symbian OS licensees’ development of smaller, less expensive and more powerful smartphones,” said Marit DÝving, Executive Vice President, Marketing at Symbian. “Symbian OS v9 integrates the capabilities that network operators need to enable them to deploy cost-effective, advanced revenue-generating services, content and applications, particularly as 3G networks are rolled out more and more widely around the world.”

"At Orange, we always welcome the launch of innovative solutions that support the delivery of new operator services. It benefits the industry and, more importantly, our customers,” said Richard Hanscott, VP Business Development & Partnerships for Orange. “Symbian OS v9 will help us in our continued deployment of compelling content services and we're looking forward to the rollout of handsets running the new OS."

“By 2008 more than 130 million smartphones will be selling worldwide each year, representing 15% of  the overall mobile phone market,” said Andrew Brown, Program Manager for European Mobile Devices at IDC. “Handset vendors need smaller and cheaper phones with high-end capabilities to allow network operators to deliver value-added content and services to their customer base. In Symbian OS v9, Symbian has enabled critical market requirements for device management and security, as well as providing a platform for online gaming, music and enterprise services.  Symbian OS v9 is also providing handset manufacturers the opportunity to reduce both phone development and build cost, ultimately reducing the time to market of phones based on Symbian OS.”

Notes to Editors

Symbian Signed

Symbian Signed is an industry-wide program that enables Symbian OS applications to be signed with a tamper-proof digital certificate that validates the identity of the application's developer, thus discouraging the installation of unsigned applications that could harbour malware.  The program has received the formal support and endorsement from handset vendors and network operators around the world including Orange, T-Mobile and NTT DoCoMo.

A number of examples of malware targeting Symbian OS phones have been discovered, of which most have been ‘proof of concept’ or ‘zoo’ malware that have been sent to security firms.

None of the examples of malware so far discovered exploits any technological weakness in Symbian OS.  Instead, malware has relied upon misleading phone users to install the malware and for it to be subsequently disseminated.

Symbian & Security

The security of handset, of phone users’ personal information and of mobile networks is a concern that Symbian shares with the whole of the mobile industry.  Symbian takes its responsibilities with respect to security seriously and works closely on security issues with network operators and handset manufacturers, as well as leading software security and anti-virus vendors.

Symbian’s development efforts ensure Symbian OS meets the industry’s security needs, as demonstrated by Symbian’s implementation of a platform security model in Symbian OS v9.  In addition, Symbian has led the development of Symbian Signed.

About Symbian Ltd

Symbian is a software licensing company that develops and licenses Symbian OS, the global open industry standard operating system for advanced, data-enabled mobile phones.

Symbian licenses Symbian OS to the world’s leading handset manufacturers. The following Symbian OS licensees have Symbian OS-based mobile phones in production and development: Arima, BenQ, Fujitsu, LG, Lenovo, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Sendo, Sharp, Siemens, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. In 2003, over 6.67 million Symbian OS-based mobile phones were sold worldwide and almost 20 million have been sold to date.

Symbian has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia (Bangalore, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo).

Support for Symbian OS v9 – Quotes from the mobile industry

Sun Microsystems
"We are very excited that Symbian has chosen Sun's implementation of Java to deliver optimized performance and innovation in Symbian OS," said Eric Chu, senior director, Mobile and Embedded Systems, Sun Microsystems. "This provides an excellent opportunity for the millions of Java developers to create advanced Java technology-based applications for the Symbian OS phone market."

Contact: Rebecca Lui

“The launch of Symbian OS v9 will see more variety and choice of Symbian OS based handsets in the market. As a result, more users will benefit from the advanced capabilities of Symbian OS and be able to browse the internet on the go with Opera’s browser,” said Timo Bruns, vice president, Business Development, Opera. “The enhancements made in Symbian OS v9 indicate that Symbian OS is leading the way in advanced software for smartphones, and Opera is delighted to be working with Symbian to bring the best internet experience to smartphone users.”

Contact: Timo Bruns. Vice President, Business Development