Symbian OS is designed for the mobile phone environment. It addresses constraints
of mobile phones by providing a framework to handle low memory situations, a power
management model, and a rich software layer implementing industry standards for
communications, telephony and data rendering. Even with these abundant features,
Symbian OS puts no constraints on the integration of other peripheral hardware.
This flexibility allows handset manufacturers to pursue innovative and original
designs. Symbian OS is proven on several platforms. It started life as the operating
system for the Psion series of consumer PDA products (including Series 5mx, Revo
and netBook), and various adaptations by Diamond, Oregon Scientific and Ericsson.
The first dedicated mobile phone incorporating Symbian OS was the Ericsson R380
Smartphone, which incorporated a flip-open keypad to reveal a touch screen display
and several connected applications.
recently available is the Nokia 9210Communicator, a mobile phone that has a QWERTY
keyboard and color display, and is fully open to third-party applications written
in Java or C++. The five key points - small mobile devices, mass-market, intermittent
wireless connectivity, diversity of products and an open platform for independent
software developers - are the premises on which Symbian OS was designed and developed.
This makes it distinct from any desktop, workstation or server operating system.
This also makes Symbian OS different from embedded operating systems, or any of
its competitors, which weren't designed with all these key points in mind. Symbian
is committed to open standards. Symbian OS has a POSIX-compliant interface and
a Sun-approved JVM, and the company is actively working with emerging standards,
such as J2ME, Bluetooth, MMS, SyncML, IPv6 and WCDMA.
well as its own developer support organization, books, papers and courses, Symbian
delivers a global network of third-party competency and training centers - the
Symbian Competence Centers and Symbian Training Centers. These are specifically
directed at enabling other organizations and developers to take part in this new
economy. Symbian has announced and implemented a strategy that will see Symbian
OS running on many advanced open mobile phones. Small devices come in many shapes
and sizes, each addressing distinct target markets that have different requirements.
The market segment we are interested in is that of the mobile phone. The primary
requirement of this market segment is that all products are great phones. This
segment spans voice-centric phones with information capability to information-centric
devices with voice capability. These advanced mobile phones integrate fully-featured
personal digital assistant (PDA) capabilities with those of a traditional mobile
phone in a single unit.
are several critical factors for the need of operating systems in this market.
It is important to look at the mobile phone market in isolation. It has specific
needs that make it unlike markets for PCs or fixed domestic appliances. Scaling
down a PC operating system, or bolting communication capabilities onto a small
and basic operating system, results in too many fundamental compromises. Symbian
believes that the mobile phone market has five key characteristics that make it
unique, and result in the need for a specifically designed operating system:
mobile phones are both small and mobile.
2) mobile phones are ubiquitous -
they target a mass-market of consumer, enterprise and professional users.
mobile phones are occasionally connected - they can be used when connected to
the wireless phone network, locally to other devices, or on their own.
need to differentiate their products in order to innovate and compete in a fast-evolving
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