Symbian Reports Business Trends in Japan

Jul 18, 2007
Naoki Asakawa, Nikkei Electronics

Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian Ltd. of the United Kingdom, visited Japan and explained business trends in Japan concerning the company's "Symbian" OS for mobile phones.

Clifford reported that the number of mobile phone models that support Symbian OS in Japan reached 60 with NTT DoCoMo's "SO704i" released July 13, 2007. And, cumulative Symbian handset shipments surpassed 20 million units in the Japanese market.

"It took us three years to sell first 10 million units, but we achieved sales of the next 10 million units in a year," Clifford said.

Shipments are still growing and rose 30% to 3.9 million units in the January to March 2007 quarter, from 3 million units shipped in the preceding October to December 2006 quarter, according to the company.

Symbian's sales in the Japanese market account for 25% of its worldwide sales. Taking into account factors such as lowering licence fees, the company's worldwide revenue in 2007Q1 is lower than that in 2006Q4. Amid such circumstances, Japan is a rare growing market for the company.

"Our favorable performance in the Japanese market will continue in the second half of 2007," said Clifford, showing his confidence.

His confidence lies in the latest version of Symbian, Symbian OS 9.5, which was announced at CTIA Wireless 2007 in March 2007. One of Symbian OS 9.5's key features is the adoption of the "Demand Paging" technology, which reduces memory consumption by loading nothing to memory but codes needed to run the application software.

This technology allows mobile phone manufacturers to cut volume of the embedded memory and adopt Symbian OS to lower price handsets as well, Clifford said.


Correction Notice: In the original article, we incorrectly stated that Symbian's "worldwide sales are gradually declining." The company's worldwide revenue in 2007Q1 is lower than that in 2006Q4, but its shipment is growing. We apologize for the mistake and regret any misunderstanding it may have caused.