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Fast facts

The company: Symbian Limited    

CEO: Nigel Clifford

Offices:  Symbian’s headquarters are based in London, United Kingdom with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia (Bangalore, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo)

Founded: 1998

Number of employees: 1200

Ericsson (15.6%), Nokia (47.9%), Panasonic (10.5%), Samsung (4.5%), Siemens (8.4%) and Sony Ericsson (13.1%)

The product: Symbian OS™

Core business:
Symbian creates and licenses Symbian OS, an operating system based on open standards for advanced mobile phones, also called ‘smartphones’.

User interfaces designed for Symbian OS include Nokia’s Series 60 and Series 80, NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA™ user interface and UIQ, designed by UIQ Technology, a wholly owned Symbian subsidiary

Mobile phone manufacturers that license Symbian OS are Arima, Ben Q, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony Ericsson

Significant Symbian facts & figures

Market leader – as of Q4 2005:

  • Worldwide installed base of Symbian OS phones is almost 58.8m (as at end Q4 2005)
  • 2005 full year shipments of phones based on Symbian OS totalled 33.9m (2004 – 14.4m); year on year growth of 136%, the fourth consecutive year in which Symbian OS phone shipments have grown by more than 100%
  • During 2005, Symbian achieved monthly EBIT break-even and was EBIT profitable during 2005. Revenues grew to £114.8m in 2005 – an increase of 73% on 2004
  • 60 separate Symbian OS phone models shipping worldwide from eight licensees (Q3 2004 – 29 phone models, six licensees)
  • Ten new Symbian OS phones models commenced shipping in Q4 2005 from Fujitsu, Motorola, Nokia, Mitsubishi and Sharp, bringing the total number of new phones shipping in 2005 to 36
  • At the end of 2005, 60 phones from 10 Symbian OS licensees were shipping to more than 250 major network operators around the world.  Of these, 23 shipped to network operators in Japan and across Europe for use on W-CDMA (3G) networks
  • At the end of Q4 2005, 58 phones and variants based on Symbian OS were under development by nine licensees (end of Q4 2004 – 40 phones and variants under development by 12 licensees)
  • Of the 58 phones in development, five phones have been launched but are not yet commercially available including the Nokia Eseries phones E60, E61 and E71, the N91 also from Nokia and the Sony Ericsson P990 - the first phones announced to be based on Symbian OS v9
  • At the end of Q4 2005, 4,588 third party applications for Symbian OS phones were commercially available (end Q4 2004 – 4,001 applications)
  • Symbian made substantial progress in Q4 2005 to ensure that Symbian OS is the ideal choice for handset manufacturers developing advanced mobile phones for a mass market.  On 8th February,
    • Symbian announced a further reference design in collaboration with Freescale and S60 aimed at lowering building costs for mid-tier 3G phones.
    •  Symbian announced extensions to its software license pricing model in order to encourage customers to accelerate development of Symbian OS phones. The revised licensing model

Company highlights

Recent handset launches:

  • Dec 05: NTT DoCoMo FOMA™ SH902i by Sharp is the first phone to have ‘iD’ (a credit card payment service) pre-installed, it has privacy screen for shielding private emails, optical character recognition, a business card reader and 4 megapixel camera
  • Dec 05: NTT DoCoMo Raku-Raku PHONE Simple by Mitsubishi has large buttons and screen, slowed speech for hard of hearing and built-in pedoemetre
  • Dec 05: Vodafone 702NKII (Nokia 6680) & NTT DoCoMo Music Porter II
  • Feb 06: Sony Ericsson M600 - a slim, compact 3G messaging phone featuring a touch screen and handwriting recognition

3G success:

  • A total of 24 W-CDMA (3G) phones from four Symbian OS licensees have shipped to network operators across Europe and Asia
  • Motorola has developed four 3G phones based on Symbian OS – the A920, A925, A1000 and M1000
  • Sony Ericsson has developed two 3G phones based on Symbian OS – the P990 and M600
  • NTT DoCoMo has selected Symbian OS as a common software development platform for 3G FOMA handsets
  • Fujitsu and Mitsubishi Electric are collaborating on FOMA 3G handset development based on Symbian OS for NTT DoCoMo
  • A total of twelve Fujitsu phones based on Symbian OS have launched on NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network: F700i, F901iC, F900iT, F900iC, F900i, FOMA Raku-Raku PHONE, FOMA Raku-Raku PHONE II, F2102V, F2051, F700iS, F901iS, F902i (launched November 2005)
  • Nokia has developed eight 3G phones based on Symbian OS – the Nokia N91, N70, 6630, 6680, Vodafone 702NK, E60, E61, E70

Japanese success:

  • A total of 22 Symbian OS-based mobile phones have launched in Japan
  • Japanese handset vendors Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Sharp Corporation are all Symbian OS licensees
  • Fujitsu: 12 Fujitsu phones based on Symbian OS have launched on NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network
  • Mitsubishi: six Mitsubishi phones based on Symbian OS were launched this year on NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network the FOMA D902i; D701i, D901iS, D901i, Music Porter II and Raku-Raku PHONE Simple
  • Motorola: The M1000 has launched on NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network
  • Nokia: The Vodafone 702NK (Nokia 6630) and Vodafone 702NKII (Nokia 6680) have been launched
  • The M1000 and Vodafone 702NK are the first Symbian OS phones for the Japanese market from non-Japanese vendors and are the first phones to operate seamlessly across Japanese and European networks
  • Sharp Corporation and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Japan, Inc. have respectively announced that they are developing phones based on Symbian OS for the NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network

Analyst statistics

The following information is based on analyst house research and statistics from Gartner, IDC and Canalys.The statistics and forecasts are not endorsed by Symbian or based on Symbian findings.


Symbian is the market leading provider of open OS software with an 85 per cent share of smartphone market to date

  • Gartner predicts that a billion cell phones will ship in 2009 (July 19, 2005)
  • Gartner forecasts that by the end of 2006 smartphone sales will reach 87m with Symbian OS owning 83% of the market share at 72 million
  • Sales of smartphones will represent about one-fifth (or 200 million) of all mobile handset sales by 2008

Overall, the findings bolster the cell phone's status as the world's most popular electronic device. Mobile handsets have already eclipsed cameras, personal computers and even traditional landline phones in sales. Gartner's predictions come with an important caveat: wholesale prices for handsets have to decrease from an average of about $174 each in 2004 to about $161 by 2009.


2005: Symbian OS is the smartphone OS market leader at 70.4 per cent

  • Canalys is predicting that for the first half of 2006, 13 per cent of all mobile devices will be smartphones
  • In 2005 Symbian shipments in Japan grew 425%, helped by Mitsubishi, Fujitsu and Sharp

Worldwide total smart mobile device market - Market shares 2004, 2005

OS vendor2004% share2005% shareGrowth 04/05
Total 23,488,410  47,078,380  100.4%

Note: Linux shipments include smartphone shipments from Q1 05
Source: Canalys estimates © 2005 ltd."Worldwide Mobile Devices services”


Symbian will continue to dominate the global market for smartphones, reaching 60% by 2009 from 55.9 per cent last year

  • By 2008 more than 130 million smartphones will be selling worldwide each year, representing 15% of the overall mobile phone market.
  • IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports worldwide mobile phone shipments rose 19.1 percent year over year and increased sequentially 8.8 percent in the third quarter of 2005 to reach 208.3 million units.

Growth of converged devices such as S60 on Symbian OS smartphones is contrasting sharply with plummeting sales of traditional handheld mobile devices, for example PDAs

“Symbian’s positioning as an OS and flexibility to enable low-cost implementation in multimedia or enterprise-centric devices means Microsoft faces a significant challenge to rival the dominance that Symbian has established to date.” said Andrew Brown, program manager, European Mobile Devices and Computing.


Yankee Group:

Q3 2005 - Symbian is the market leading provider of open OS software for the global wireless device industry with a 68% share of shipments to date

Yankee Group predicts that there will be more than 300 million smartphones in circulation by 2009.

"If more service providers continue to adopt open OS platforms as we expect, our forecast is likely to be proven conservative" remarked Yankee Senior Analyst John Jackson.  Currently Yankee notes that Symbian is the market leading provider of open OS software for the global wireless device industry with a 68% share of shipments to date in 2005.  (Oct 2005)

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