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Symbian passes 100 million milestone

UK-based mobile operating system developer Symbian said Thursday that 100 million Symbian smartphones have now been shipped to over 250 network operators worldwide.

Handset vendors shifted 13 million Symbian smartphone units in the third quarter, up 52 per cent from 8.5 million a year ago. Symbian-based devices are now available on over 100 different handset models from 10 vendors and industry analyst IDC predicts that cumulative sales of smartphones will reach over 1 billion units by 2011.

“We see two trends driving smartphones onward. The first is that while smartphones have their highest penetration rates in the most saturated and developed markets, the highest future growth rates are likely to be in rapidly developing markets such as China, India and Brazil,” said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian.

“The developing world will likely account for 50 per cent of smartphone sales within five years as smartphones are a huge opportunity to fast-forward into the information era. The second is the rising youth market, a generation who are demanding the most innovative, fashionable devices and are attracted by the services they can offer,” Clifford added.

IDC analyst Andy Brown believes that the smartphone market is entering a new era of lower cost, higher volume devices. “The smartphone segment of the handset market is seeing strong annual growth and is expected to rise from 57 million units in 2005 to around 250 million units by the end of 2010. The advent of single chip designs will inevitably attract a growing number of licensees and drive greater penetration into the mid-market,” he said.

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