Symbian OS Shipments Way Up

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Symbian Limited, developer and licensor of the Symbian OS, has announced that shipments of smartphones based on its operating system were up almost 36% during the first quarter of this year.

Symbian LogoBut the company’s revenue did not keep pace. Although licensees shipped 15.9 million Symbian-based devices during the quarter, up from 11.7 million in the same quarter of last year, Symbian Limited’s revenues moved from 38.8 million to 41.3 million.

Rather than being a problem, this is actually according to a Symbian Limited plan. It has recently dropped the price it charges licencees to use its operating system, with the hope of increasing the number of devices these companies ship.

This decrease — from an avareage of $5.4 a unit to $4.5 a unit — appears to be having the desired effect.

The recent shipments add to the overall cumulative total of 126 million Symbian smartphone unit shipments.

Also during this quarter, Symbian Limited lunched the latest version of its operating system, Symbian OS 9.5.

Some Background

The Symbian OS provides the underpinnings for smartphones and cellular-wireless handhelds, but it doesn’t include a user interface.

Nokia’s S60 and Sony Ericsson’s UIQ are user interfaces that run on top of the Symbian operating system.

A large percentage of Symbian-based devices run Nokia’s S60, and Nokia owns 47.9% of Symbian Limited, with the rest being owned by other licensees.

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