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  1.    #1  
    Symbian Grabs Bigger Market Share

    Nokia-Led Group Widens
    Lead Over Rival Microsoft
    In Software for Handsets
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    August 3, 2004; Page B2

    LONDON -- Symbian Ltd., the consortium backed by large cellphone maker Nokia Corp., has widened its lead against Microsoft Corp. in the race to dominate the global market for software used in high-end handsets, research figures show.

    Software supplied by Symbian controlled 41% of the personal organizers and smart phones shipped world-wide in the second quarter, compared with 37% in the same quarter a year ago, according to research firm Ltd., of Reading, England. A smart phone is a cellphone that can run computer-style programs, such as three-dimensional videogames or spreadsheets.

    The research figures show that Microsoft's share remained steady at 23%, while the share of PalmSource Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., fell to 23% from 31%.

    Microsoft, PalmSource, and Symbian, based in London and 48%-owned by Nokia of Espoo, Finland, are vying to be the leading supplier of software to control hand-held gizmos. Although the market for such software is valued at about $250 million a year and still is in its infancy, analysts say establishing early momentum is important. Developers are likely to write programs for whichever software system has the biggest market share, reinforcing that system's popularity.

    Chris Jones, an analyst with canalys, said Symbian still is a small player in North America. "Symbian's strength is still very much in Europe and still very much with Nokia," he said. Nokia uses Symbian software to control its smart phones.

    A spokesman for Symbian declined to comment on canalys's figures, but he said the software is gaining traction in Japan. The consortium, whose shareholders also include Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson of Sweden, and Germany's Siemens AG, plans to increase its staff to 1,200 from 900 to help adapt its software for less-expensive phones.

    Nokia, the world's leading cellphone maker, shipped almost two million smart phones in the second quarter, compared with 1.2 million a year earlier, according to canalys. A spokesman for Nokia confirmed the company had seen a sharp increase in smart-phone shipments during the studied period.

    The total global market for smart phones and personal organizers increased 45% to 5.9 million units in the second quarter, according to canalys. PalmSource and Microsoft dominate the market for personal-organizer software but have yet to make a big impression on the smart-phone market.

    A spokeswoman for Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., declined to comment on canalys's figures but said the company is expecting a clutch of new smart phones running Microsoft's software to become available in the next few months.

    A spokesman for PalmSource said his company's share of the personal-organizer market has been stable and that it is the leading supplier of smart phones in the U.S. PalmSource is taking steps to push harder into the European smart-phone market, he said.

    Research in Motion Ltd., of Waterloo, Ontario, was the fastest-growing device maker in the second quarter, according to canalys. The research firm said shipments of RIM's BlackBerry devices, which mainly are used by companies to give employees access to e-mail, quadrupled to 488,000. A spokesman for RIM declined to comment on that figure but confirmed that his company's sales have grown rapidly. RIM uses its own software in the BlackBerry.

    Write to David Pringle at
    Off to iPhone land...
  2. #2  
    LONDON—Symbian Ltd. said its operating results for the first half of 2004 show global shipments of Symbian OS-based phones nearly doubled to 5 million, as compared to the first half of 2003 when 2.7 million units were shipped.
    Aug. 04, 2004 1:25 PM EST
  3. #3  
    The interesting thing: the lead to this story is buried in the last paragraph. Context is king! Moral of story: Palm OS can play catch-up!
    Headline: "Global mobile market explodes"
    Published: Aug. 8, 2004

    "...Looking at the market by operating system, Microsoft led narrowly from PalmSource in the data-centric segment. Symbian dominated the market for voice-centric devices, but PalmSource was ahead of Microsoft in this segment for the first time in over a year. Combining shipments of all mobile devices, Symbian was ahead with 41% share, with less than half a percentage point separating Microsoft and PalmSource in second and third respectively."
  4. #4  
    Take it all with a grain of salt. The Nokia Symbian phone they quote as a 'smartphone' is a 7610 which Nokia describe as 'your essential fashion accessory'. Now they may sell a truckload of them but user interface and functionality-wise they aren't in the same league as the Treo 600, SE P900 or even the MS Smartphones.

    That said palmOne is very US-centric and doesn't have the same presence in Europe & Asia. Would be nice to see them put as much effort into the rest of the world as they do in the US. The Treo doesn't register as a blip in sales in Australia


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