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Smart phone demand on the up

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Symbian's smart phone OS licensees shipped just under 5m handsets during the first half of the year, 85 per cent more than they shipped during H2 2003, the company revealed today.

Licensing and consultancy fees, plus royalties yielded £26.6m in revenues for the period, up 26 per cent on the £21.1m recorded for the year-ago half. The average royalty per handset fell from £3.81 to £3.27 between the two periods.

For Q2 alone, Symbian realised revenues of £13.7m, up just 15 per cent on Q2 2003's £11.9m.

Privately-held Symbian's figures are unaudited.

Come the end of H1, six Symbian licensees were shipping 23 handsets incorporating the OS. Always coy about names, Symbian said ten licensees are currently developing a further 34 phones and variants. Some of those are likely to be from new licensees Arima, Lenovo and LG, along with older hands BenQ, Fujitsu, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Sendo - though its X handset is now shipping - Siemens, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

There are now more than 15m Symbian-based handsets out in the world, the company claimed.

Symbian's latest figures come a month after the company was able to persuade key shareholders - Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Ericsson and Siemens - coughed up £50m for an extra rights issue to balance Nokia's partial acquisition of Psion's shareholding. Panasonic, Siemens and Sony Ericsson also took some of the shares Psion formerly owned. ®

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