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Symbian doubles sales

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Symbian licensees shipped 2.4m phones in the first three months of this year, double what it managed in the first quarter of 2003.

There are now 18 licensed Symbian handsets available. The company signed three new licensees with Arima, a leading Taiwan manufacturer, LG Electronics and Lenovo, formerly known as Legend Group, the largest IT corporation in China.

David Levin, chief executive at Symbian, said the company was particularly pleased with progress in Japan which he described as leading the world in the deployment of 3G networks.

"The number of Symbian OS phones and phone variants under development continues to expand. At the end of Q1 2004, 30 phones and variants based on Symbian OS were being readied for market by 9 licensees (Q1 2003, 20 phones and variants and 9 licensees)," he added.

Symbian turned over £12.9m in the first quarter of 2004, up from £9.2m for the same period last year but down slightly from the last quarter of 2003 when it turned over £15m. Royalty payments make up the bulk of this although consulting services added £3.8m and partnering and other services contributed £0.4m. Symbian receives an average royalty payment of $6.6 per unit - this is up from $6 per unit in the first quarter of 2003.

Seven new products were announced in the quarter for various networks and markets. Motorola is making a handset for W-CDMA, Panasonic and Samsung are developing handsets for GSM and GPRS markets and Nokia announced a version of the 9500 Communicator for enterprise clients. Siemens is making a version of its SX1 smart phone for Chinese punters.

Psion's proposed sale of its stake in Symbian to Nokia, bitterly opposed by some shareholders, has been approved by Austrian and Finnish authorities. The sale will become unconditional if it is approved by German regulators. ®

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