Intel, Nokia, Symbian Drive to 3G Future

Hoping to solidify the often-diverse smartphone marketplace, three high
tech companies said they are collaborating on future 3G
developments.

Phone giant Nokia announced Tuesday that it will use
Intel technology in its future Series 60 Platform
smartphones. The companies forged the relationship after Intel joined Nokia’s
Series 60 Product Creation Community.

In another partnership, Intel and Symbian have also agreed to invest in the joint development of the first 3G
reference platform based on Symbian OS and Intel XScale processors.

Smartphones go way beyond the call of duty of traditional cell phones by
providing rich media applications, such as e-mail, advanced gaming and other
newer forms of messaging.

Analyst firms believe smartphones will present a significant revenue
opportunity for manufacturers, carriers and middleware software providers
alike.

According to In-Stat/MDR, global smartphone shipments are expected to
grow 44 percent year over year between 2004 and 2008. Similarly, a report by
research firm iSuppli estimates smartphone shipments will rise to 108.8
million units by 2008, up from 10.9 million in 2003.

The partnerships are also each company’s attempt at securing
their futures in the marketplace.

Symbian is fending off advances from Linux-based systems, as well as
Microsoft and its Smartphone OS.

The Symbian partnership — made up of palm-top computer maker Psion;
mobile phone giants Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson; electronics powerhouse
Matsushita Communications; and Siemens — is leading Microsoft as the
smartphone OS of choice for mass market, mid-tier open phones.

According to Symbian CEO David Levin, Symbian OS licensees were shipping 27 phones to more than 200 network
operators and to retailers around the world. Currently 10 Symbian OS
licensees were developing 40 phones for various types of network technology for
launch around the world during the next 12 to 18 months. But the consortium
also has to face a rise in Linux-based distributions, which are not as
developed as the other two.

Likewise, Nokia is trying to overcome the effects of its recent market share losses to
companies like Ericsson , NTT DoCoMo ,
Motorola, Siemens and Sendo.

Running atop the Symbian operating system, the Nokia Series 60 Platform
supports mobile browsing, multimedia messaging service (MMS) and content
downloading, as well as many personal information management (PIM) and
telephony applications. Well-known Series 60 devices include the Nokia 7650
and 3650 imaging phones and the Nokia N-Gage game deck.

For its part, Intel has designs on unseating mobile phone chipmakers
Motorola and Texas Instruments , of which
the latter powers more than 85 percent of the five million Symbian OS-based
phones shipped in the first half of 2004 based on its OMAP semiconductor
platform.

Intel said it feels confident that its low power and high-speed XScale
chips will be able to eventually overtake its rivals because of its massive
developer base and the compatibility with other Intel architectures.

“Intel’s wireless platforms combine leading-edge hardware with Intel’s
decades of experience in creating application ecosystems for data networks,”
Sam Arditi, general manager of Intel’s Cellular and Handheld Group, said in
a statement. “Working with Nokia and Symbian to help bring Series 60-based
devices to market means that developers and phone manufacturers will have
new compelling tools to deliver on the promise of 3G.”

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