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Symbian minorities to block Nokia sale

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Nokia's bid to own 63 per cent of Symbian could be in doubt. Earlier this month Psion announced its intention to sell its 31.7 per cent stake in Symbian to Nokia for up to £135.5m handing the Finnish company control of the company.

But unnamed sources have told Reuters that other shareholders, including Ericsson, could use their own rights to buy Symbian shares to block the move. If successful, Nokia could be left with just 46 per cent of Symbian, Reuters says.

The Symbian operating system shipped in 2.76 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2003. This was up from 0.98 million for the fourth quarter of 2002. In December the smart phone OS designer exceeded the million phones a month mark for the first time.

Some 6.67 million Symbian phones in total shipped during 2003 - More than ten million phones now use the software. Eighteen Symbian OS phones from five licensees were available in the period. At the end of the fourth quarter nine licensees were preparing 26 phones for market. Two licensees shipped four 3G handsets to NTT DoCoMo in Japan and three in Europe.

Symbian receives $7.25 per unit for the first two million units, and $5 thereafter. ®

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