LG Electronics, a major consumer electronics company based in Korea, has announced at the CTIA Wireless 2004 tradeshow that it has licensed the Symbian OS. It has also licensed the Series 60 platform from Nokia, a user interface which overlays the Symbian OS.
LG, the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of mobile phones, is currently the world leader in CDMA phones. The company also supplies GSM phones to the U.S. and European markets through Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, and Cingular.
David Levin, the CEO of Symbian, said, “We are delighted to welcome LG Electronics, one of the world’s largest handset manufacturers and a leader in CDMA technology markets, as a Symbian OS licensee. LG Electronics has a well-earned reputation for the excellence of its technology.”
LG’s agreement with Nokia includes the Series 60 source code, which allows LG to develop and differentiate the Series 60 software while maintaining the full underlying compatibility necessary to allow the new LG Electronics phones to run software designed for other Series 60 mobile devices.
Other licensees of the Series 60 platform, which includes software, the user interface, and additional applications, include Panasonic, Samsung, Siemens, and Sendo.
Mobile phones based on the Symbian OS now account for 85 percent of all mobile phone sales. In 2003, approximately 6.67 million Symbian OS-based mobile phones were shipped worldwide.
Lenovo Licenses the Symbian OS, Too
Additionally, Lenovo Digital Mobile Business has signed a licensing agreement with Symbian, which will allow the company to use the Symbian OS software platform in phones developed for both Chinese and worldwide markets.
Lenovo has already licensed the Series 60 user interface platform, and it is expected that the company will be the first Chinese manufacturer to introduce Symbian OS-based phones to the Chinese market.
Lenovo Digital Mobile Business is a subsidiary of Lenovo. Lenovo is the new name for the Legend Group, the largest IT corporation in China.