Ericsson denies existence of second Symbian phone

But we know better

Ericsson is finalising its second Symbian based smartphone, the R580, while insisting to the press that the product doesn't exist.

Unfortunately the product has already been trailed by Ericsson, and Swedish web site, mobil.se has run successive stories on the R580. And Ericsson briefings have already boasted about the secure transaction capabilities of the device.

The phone is a colour upgrade to the R380, which was launched last October, and supports GPRS, sources have told The Register.

The R380 is already becoming scarce in the UK channel. Carphone Warehouse stores sell the device, but The Link told us that it had been discontinued and the device is not featured on The Link's website. Since the R580 is a direct successor to the R380, and shares the same form factor, the disappearance of the earlier model lends support to the suggestion that the upgrade is imminent.

"Nothing as far as we know exists or will be existing," a spokesperson for Ericsson UK told us.

Symbian marketing communications chief Paul Cockerton also declined to comment, saying that Symbian's policy was to let licensees and shareholders announce their products first.

A possibility remains that the R580 may never see the light of day. The R380 received a mixed reception amongst the raves were adverse comments about audio quality and handwriting recognition. But we rate it unlikely that Ericsson will abandon the flip form factor. And from Ericsson we hear - unofficially at least - that it's all systems go for the device. ®