Further details on Symbian's new license fees and Freescale reference design

Published by at

Symbian have now provided confirmation of yesterday's news of the Freescale reference design and reduced license fees. The new license fee introduces a new model of either a fraction of the trade price of devices shipping (i.e. a proportion or revenue) or scalable pricing that reduces the cost as more devices are shipped over a one year period (i.e. a more complex version of the current model). The new prices apply to Symbian OS 9 shipments from July.

The press release below gives further details of the Freescale reference design which is being developed in conjunction with Symbian and Nokia, and is being implemented by Elektrobit. The reference design is expected to reduce device development time by up to 50%, and the first devices using the reference design should be announced in early 2007.

Press Release

Freescale, Nokia and Symbian collaborate to develop first-ever 3G single core reference design

Vodafone encouraged by the efforts to create designs based on S60 software on Symbian OS

AUSTIN, Texas, ESPOO, Finland and LONDON – Feb. 8, 2006 – Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL, FSL.B), Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK)  and Symbian Limited are joining together to create the first 3G mobile phone reference design using Freescale’s single core modem, targeted to run S60 software on Symbian OS™. This reference design is expected to provide handset manufacturers and operators the first real solution to address the mid-tier 3G market segment, and to reduce device development time by up to 50 percent.

The foundation of this new reference design will be Freescale’s MXC300-30 platform, part of the award-winning Mobile eXtreme Convergence architecture. The reference design is expected to offer a pre-integrated development and verification environment, providing shorter time-to-market for phone manufacturers, operators and system integrators. Freescale is showcasing the MXC300-30 platform at next week’s 3GSM World Congress held in Barcelona. 

Mobile Systems Group
“This S60 on Symbian OS-based single core reference design is a great step forward for OEMs to align feature sets and dramatically reduce development time for next-generation mid-tier 3G mobile phones,” said Franz Fink, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Wireless and Mobile Systems Group . “Additionally, operators can increase their coverage by adding more people to the network and recouping 3G infrastructure investments.”

”This collaboration with Freescale and Symbian is an excellent milestone for S60 and 3G evolution. Together we expect to create a solution that further supports the solid volume growth of S60 and serves the mid-tier 3G market segments,” said Matti Vänskä, Vice President, Mobile Software Sales and Marketing, Nokia . “The reference design provides our customers an efficient way to introduce S60 devices with advanced capabilities for imaging, multimedia and business services expected in today’s 3G handsets.”

“Symbian is focused on reducing development costs and improving performance for our customers’ mid-tier low-cost phones,” said Jørgen Behrens, vice-president, Product Management and Strategy, Symbian . “The results of this collaboration with Freescale, Nokia and Symbian will encourage handset manufacturers to develop more 3G phones and significantly shorten their time to market."

Elektrobit Group Plc, (HEX: EBGV1), a company specialized in wireless technology design and testing, is implementing this reference design utilizing Elektrobit’s expertise in 3G technology and S60. This work further supports Elektrobit’s initiative to develop a 3G S60 on Symbian OS reference phone also announced today.

Operator benefits
Not only is this reference design expected to help handset manufacturers address key market segments, it is designed to simultaneously provide operators the opportunity to add more users to the network and recoup 3G investments.

Vodafone Group
"We are encouraged by the initiative taken by Freescale, Nokia and Symbian to develop a reference design based upon the MXC300-30 platform, which we hope will enable lower cost 3G S60 devices based on Symbian OS in 2007,” said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone Group Director of Terminals.

Freescale MXC solutions

The revolutionary MXC300-30 platform is part of the Mobile eXtreme Convergence family of platforms from Freescale. The single core modem processor at the heart of the MXC platforms combines, yet de-correlates, the DSP call processing functions and the MCU applications processing into a single processor for a separate, clean development and optimization of each function. The MXC family includes the MXC275-30 platform for 2.75G EDGE solutions, as well as the MXC300-30 platform for UMTS/WCDMA 3G solutions.

Freescale MXC solutions 


Press Release

Symbian announces new pricing models to accelerate mass market adoption of Symbian OS

Reduces unit license fees, offers new scaleable pricing options

London, UK – 8 February 2006 - Symbian Limited today announced new alternative software license pricing models designed to enable customers – the world’s leading handset manufacturers - to target lower cost device market segments and drive higher volumes of Symbian OS™ phones.

With strong growth in unit shipments at over 100 per cent annually for four consecutive years, Symbian is now introducing new scaleable pricing options to its current pricing model. Its objective is to reduce the cost of using Symbian OS and further accelerate the uptake of Symbian OS in high volume segments.  The current pricing model is $7.25 per unit for the first two million handsets sold with each major release of Symbian OS and $5 for every handset thereafter.  Under the new pricing alternatives, Symbian OS royalties as low as $2.50 per unit are possible. Upon adoption of the new pricing, licensees are not required to pay higher royalties for the first 2 million units of a Symbian OS release, therefore these new pricing alternatives remove the barriers for licensees to migrate to the latest version of Symbian OS.

With the introduction of the new models, Symbian OS customers will have the option to adopt, on an annual basis, one of two additional pricing alternatives that are based on either i) a fraction of the trade price of devices shipping or ii) scaleable pricing that reduces as the licensee’s total volume of shipments increase within a one year period. The new pricing options are available to Symbian OS v9 shipments from July 2006 onwards. As with the existing pricing, these new pricing alternatives are made available to all Symbian OS customers equally. 

Nigel Clifford, CEO, Symbian said “Symbian is focused on driving down the costs to our customers of developing and building Symbian OS phones while constantly enhancing the phones’ performance.  I am confident that our new pricing models will prove to be appealing to handset manufacturers and my initial discussions with our customers and partners is very positive. By supporting our customers with flexible pricing options, we can target a much wider and deeper market and drive Symbian OS into the high volume phone segments.”

Thomas Chambers, CFO, Symbian said: “Symbian and its shareholders have agreed new pricing models to ensure the long-term success of Symbian OS as the industry’s leading technology software from which to deliver mass market smartphones for 2.5 and 3G networks. Scaleable pricing alternatives that support and encourage mid tier phones reflects a natural evolution of Symbian’s product lifecycle aiming to penetrate the wider market by getting into more phones. “

The smartphone is fast becoming the world’s most advanced volume consumer electronic device and, like all consumer electronic devices, the cost of manufacturing a smartphone has consistently decreased while its functionality has continued to grow. To drive costs down further, Symbian today also announced in collaboration with Freescale and Nokia the first Symbian OS 3G mobile phone reference design for S60 using a single core 3G chip.  This reference design will enable handset manufacturers and network operators to roll-out increased volumes of Symbian OS phones to the mid tier 3G market segment more cost effectively and reduce product development time up to 50 per cent. 

Nigel Clifford will be presenting more information on Symbian’s pricing models, Symbian’s Q4 and full 2005 financial results, and a series of Symbian initiatives focused on Symbian’s mass market strategy at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona on February 14th at 14.00 CET in the Media Zone, in Hall 2 Level 0, Fira de Barcelona.  For press enquiries please email press@symbian.com or visit Symbian at 3GSM World Congress, Stand No: B20 and Hospitality suite AV91 / AV92.