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Symbian OS v9.5 Will Stronger Drive Smartphones

Symbian launched an updated version of its mobile OS today, called Symbian OS v9.5, which continues to build on the company's "prosumer" platform. Symbian OS v9.5, which is backward compatible with the v9 versions of the OS, boasts richer mobile entertainment support and features advanced services for the enterprise, reductions in memory requirements as well as processor and battery requirements.

Symbian OS v9.5 also brings as well as significant savings to phone build costs and time-to-market, delivering a truly scalable mobile operating system for the global market.

Symbian OS v9.5 is the result of continued deep collaboration with Symbian OS licensees, the world’s leading handset vendors, and its user interface platform partners MOAP, S60 and UIQ. With over 110 million Symbian smartphones shipped, high smartphone growth in developing markets and increasing mass market requirements, Symbian’s addressable market is broadening across segments and regions.

For consumer, Symbian OS v9.5 builds out the cameraphone's functionality to a point where it rivals standalone digital cameras. The new version of the OS enables 35 camera features, including tilt sensor, preset image enhancements, digital/optical zoom, auto focus spots, panorama stitch and image distortion correction like red-eye reduction. v9.5 also supports both DVB-H and ISDB-T for mobile TV as well as standardized LBS.

While for enterprise, Symbian OS v9.5 also enables WiFi-3G roaming, HSPA compatibility and more languages. The OS also ensures real-time networking so that VoIP calls are not interrupted when web browsing or push email makes a connection. Also, the introduction of Brahmic script to the OS extends its language support to cover 99 percent of the world's countries.

“Symbian is driving the market by anticipating consumers’ mobile lifestyle changes – this means enabling even richer experiences and seamless multi-tasking to make the most of tomorrow’s technology”, said Jørgen Behrens, executive vice president, marketing, Symbian. “Further, by lowering phone development cost and shortening time to market, Symbian OS v9.5 delivers on the promise of bringing the smartphone lifestyle to the mass market.”

“By reducing hardware requirements which enables cost reductions of devices, many Symbian smartphones will become even more affordable and Symbian's addressable global market will expand,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst, Gartner.

At the same time, as Todd Kort, principal analyst, Gartner said that Symbian will also help handset vendors deliver much richer multimedia capabilities driving growth in the higher-end of the mobile market.

With more than 70 % market share, the launch of Symbian OS v9.5 and the burgeoning smartphone market, Symbian is well positioned to continue to drive the smartphone into the mass market." Gartner forecasts that worldwide smartphone shipments will reach 159 million units in 2008, up from 73.6 million in 2006.

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