Sharp Developing its First Symbian OS Smartphones

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A senior executive at Sharp has revealed that his company plans to release its first smartphones running the Symbian operating system.

According to TechJapan, this announcement was made by Masafumi Matsumoto, President of Sharp Communication Systems.

However, this doesn’t mean that Sharp will exclusively release Symbian OS phones. “While we do not intend to have all of our products utilize the Symbian OS, we would like to gradually increase the percentage of our high-functionality products featuring the Symbian OS,” Matsumoto said.

This plan comes as something of a surprise, as Sharp isn’t presently listed as a licensee of the Symbian OS.

This company currently makes phones running a proprietary operating system, ITRON. The majority of these are sold in Japan by NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone. Sharp hopes the Symbian OS will help it gain marketshare outside its home country.

The company’s first Symbian-powered smartphones are expected next year.

A Half Step Ahead

Mr. Matsumoto also talked about Sharp’s commitment to staying a half step ahead of its competitors. This means getting devices with new features to market ahead of their competitors.

However, it doesn’t want its products to get so far ahead that the wireless infrastructure isn’t ready for the new technologies. The example Mr. Matsumoto used was cameraphones. There wasn’t much point in offering mobile phones with built-in cameras before wireless networks became fast enough to make them practical.

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