Symbian OS 9.3

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Symbian OS 9.3 has been announced, whose highlights include shorter start up times, better performance, native support for Wi-Fi, PushToTalk and USB 2.0 (previously these were added in by licensees) and FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) upgrades. Symbian OS 9.3 is likely to be used in S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. The first OS 9.3 phones will be announced shortly. The full press release follows.

Rafe's Notes: 

The most notable features in the new release are as follows:

  • For developers there is better integration with the new Eclipse series of developer tools and backwards compatibility.

  • Performance improvements have been made to start up time and key applications.

  • Support for the new Freesacle Reference design, which is likely to be used by OEM and other manufacturers producing S60 phones for Vodafone.

  • Support HSDPA connectivity, which is the next cellular connectivity standard. HSPDA is usually referred to as as 3.5G and brings increased data speeds and lower latencies. This means both faster downloads and quicker connections. The first HSDPA networks are being rolled out by major operators now.

  • Native support for WiFi and Push to Talk (PoC) should bring performance and stability improvements.

  • Support for USB 2.0 will bring faster desktop connectivity.

  • Support for Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) allows the phone's software to be upgraded over the cellular network.

  • Improved support for 3GPP R5 (R5 introduces support for IMS and HSDPA).

  • JSR 248 supports adds a variety of required JSR components (extensions for JME) and 'glues' them together in the Mobile Service Architecture for CLDC.

  • IPSec support allows secure IP communications (it encrupts / decrypts incoming and out going packets). This allow for secure UMA calls to be made.

Press Release:

Symbian enhances OS performance and flexibility while reducing cost of ownership and time to market

TOKYO, Japan and London, UK – 12 July 2006 – Symbian Limited today announces the availability of Symbian OS™ v9.3, the latest evolution of the world’s leading smartphone operating system.

Symbian OS v9.3 builds on the success of the v9 family as a robust, secure, open and standards-based OS for smartphones. It includes incremental enhancements in line with market requirements related to phone performance and reducing time-to-market for handset vendors and network operators’ cost-effective deployment of revenue-generating services, content and applications.

With an aim to extend Symbian smartphones into the mass-market, Symbian’s focus is to ensure Symbian OS is adopted as the operating system of choice by its customers, the world’s leading handset manufacturers, for the development of higher volume and lower cost, advanced, data-enabled phones also known as smartphones for 2.5G, 3G and HSDPA networks around the world.

Jorgen Behrens, Vice-President, Product Management and Strategy
, said: “As the smartphone category broadens into different market segments and quickly expands across global regions, Symbian continues to focus on delivering a flexible and robust open mobile operating system. Symbian OS v9.3 will allow handset manufacturers and network operators to get the best and most differentiated phones to market faster, with lower costs and more easily. Approximately 35 million Symbian smartphones shipped in 2005. By providing enhanced market leading provisioning with Symbian OS v9.3 and a consumer market trend leaning towards convergence, we expect smartphone shipment numbers to increase rapidly.”

Symbian OS v9.3 is fully backwards compatible with previous versions in the v9 family. Symbian OS licensees currently have phones based on Symbian OS v9.3 in development, with product launches anticipated in 2007.

Symbian OS v9.3 includes:

Improved phone performance

  • Shorter start-up times for phones and key applications
  • Improved memory management resulting in more responsive applications and phone features ensuring smartphones work as quickly with better quality features as mid-range phones

Reduced development and ownership cost, and time to market

  • New development tools
    • Symbian OS awareness for the Eclipse/CDT IDE framework and Nokia's Carbide.c++ Development Tools for Symbian OS v9.3 phones
    • Configuration tools to easily create and customise Symbian OS variants
    • The Symbian Verification Suite to support compatibility and phone integration for creating Symbian OS variants, reducing time taken to customize phones for operators targeting different market segments
    • A fully searchable on-line edition of the Symbian OS Library including a significant amount of new content
  • Backwards compatibility from v9.1, easy migration for phone vendors, technology and third party software providers
  • Reference design for Symbian OS v9.3 with Freescale and Nokia S60
  • Hindi and Vietnamese language support for improved market coverage

Support for new hardware

  • Native support for WiFi
  • USB 2.0 on-the-go, allowing faster device connectivity

Support for key operator services and requirements

  • Firmware over the air (FOTA) provisioning, FOTA allows network operators to provide OTA software upgrades or fixes lowering cost of ownership
  • HSDPA support
  • Introduction of IPSec for UMA service (Voice over IP)
  • Improved 3GPP R5 support
  • Native support for Push To Talk
  • Java JSR 248 support

Yankee Group,
John Jackson, Director, Wireless/Mobile Technologies, Yankee Group
, said: “By 2010, well over 200 million smartphones will be selling worldwide each year, representing 18% of annual global volumes. As smartphones functionality becomes pervasive, the handset market will be able to meet segment-specific demands rapidly, and at low cost. The burgeoning service environment around 3G networks in many major markets places increasing demands on handset requirements. A robust, scalable OS and associated enabling software is crucial to vendors' product roadmaps, and operators' ability to deploy differentiated services. Symbian OS enables significant market requirements in phone performance and hardware capabilities that allow handset manufacturers to bring more attractive differentiated phones to market more quickly.”