Symbian OS 8.0 Debuts

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Symbian Limited has announced Symbian OS version 8.0 at the 3GSM World Congress in France. The new version of this operating system is expected to drive down the cost of building Symbian OS phones while providing enhanced Java and multimedia capabilities.

Features include support for “single core” processors with integrated telephony and application processing. The current version requires one chip for running applications and another for handling phone-related tasks. Removing this requirement will allow Symbian licensees to use less expensive hardware.

It also adds a device management framework that allows remote management and configuration and an upgraded multimedia framework.

Symbian OS 8.0’s enhanced Java allows users to run advanced Java-based applications and services on their smart phones.

Support for SDIO is also included, allowing Symbian OS licensees to incorporate SD memory expansion and I/O ports. The current version offers support for only MMC cards.

The new version 8.0 is already being delivered to licensees, and phones based on the new operating system are expected to be announced later this year.

For more information and complete technical details, visit the Symbian web site.

New Licensees

Symbian Limited also announced that LG Electronics, the world’s fifth largest mobile phone manufacturer, has signed an agreement to license the Symbian OS as its platform for development of smart phones for 2.5G and 3G networks worldwide. The world leader in CDMA mobile phones, LG Electronics is also a significant supplier of GSM mobile phones to major European network service providers including Vodafone, Orange, and T-Mobile as well as the USA’s largest GSM operator, Cingular.

In addition, the Arima Group has signed an agreement to license the Symbian OS. Arima plans to develop a series of smart phones to sell to mobile phone companies and wireless service providers under an Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) business model. Arima is a leading ODM supplier of GSM/GPRS terminals to many top-tier brands worldwide.

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