Symbian today unveiled the latest version of its advanced, open operating system for mobile phones. It integrates the latest communications, messaging, networking and application development technologies that will enable mobile phone manufacturers to more easily bring to market 2.5G and 3G phones with the features that the mobile industry wants.
Key new features include:
Mobile Telephony - building on 2.5G GSM / GPRS support in previous versions, it includes support for multimode and 3G mobile phones, enabling manufacturers to bring out Symbian OS phones worldwide, across all networks, with the ability to reuse their application side software.
Mobile Messaging - building on comprehensive integrated messaging environment, it includes EMS and MMS, providing key revenue generating services for network operators.
Mobile Networking - building on existing networking capabilities, it includes both IPv6 and also IPSEC technologies, extending the abilities of mobile phones to communicate securely with each other on a peer to peer basis.
Mobile Application and Services Development - building on a lead in support for open Java development, it incorporates MIDP Java, extending mobile phone capabilities to run the millions of Java applications and services designed specifically for mobile phones, and SyncML, allowing convenient over the air synchronization of data.
"As we enter 2002, we're finally seeing the building blocks in place to help drive the rapid adoption of Symbian OS phones," said Mark Edwards, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Symbian. "The industry is now rapidly aligning on open mobile standards, 2.5G data networks are being rolled out, and developers are writing attractive mobile applications and services. Symbian OS v7.0 is a major release and will accelerate the take up of mobile data by incorporating the technologies our customers want and shortening the time to market for new mobile devices."
Symbian has chosen to incorporate these technologies and other key enhancements as a result of its continuous engagement with the world's leading mobile phone manufacturers. With these additional features it will be easier for mobile phone manufacturers to bring to market a range of mobile phones which support standard next generation services and applications such as multimedia messaging, gaming, entertainment, and imaging capabilities.
"As we have entered the world of multimedia messaging and mobile color imaging, it is increasingly important with an open platform which enables products to interact and connect freely", said Anil Raj, corporate executive vice president of Sony Ericsson. "The new OS will be instrumental for Sony Ericsson when launching our competitive mobile multimedia products", said Mr Raj.
Symbian's focus on providing a standard set of service enablers will also benefit network operators. With Symbian OS phones being developed for 2.5G as well as 3G networks worldwide, a wide range of simple, attractive, revenue-generating applications and services can be deployed through all networks.
The enhanced multimedia capabilities, MIDP Java, security features and networking capabilities will also further extend opportunities for third party developers to develop compelling applications and services optimized for next generation mobile phones. The OS now has four main programming and content development options: C++, MIDP Java and JavaPhone, WAP, and web.
Other features for mobile phones includes support for flexible user interfaces, such as Nokia's Series 60; support for several audio/image formats and a number of low level APIs for games developers; full-strength encryption and certificate management, secure communications protocols (including HTTPS, WTLS and SSL), certificate-based application installation; and Over-the-air (OTA) SyncML synchronization support.
David Levin, CEO of Psion PLC., said: "Psion is delighted to welcome the launch of version 7.0 of the Symbian operating system. The Symbian OS provides device manufacturers and application developers like Psion with an industry standard OS for next generation mobile phones and data devices."
The shipment of the finalized release will enable mobile phone manufacturers to develop mobile phones that will be ready to launch later this year. However the timing and announcement of actual devices is up to individual licensees.