Smart phone venture Symbian launched the first software developer's kit for EPOC release 5 (R5) today at its first developer conference since the company formed.
Symbian, a tie up between Psion, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Matsushita, said EPOC R5 includes the largest increments in performance and architecture to date.
Speaking at the conference in London today, David Wood, Symbian executive vice president of technical consulting said that licensees had been working with the developer's kit for six months, but he was unable to say whether any products based on EPOC R5 were due for release soon.
"Licensee product announcements are not for us to make," he said.
Wood said that so far Symbian had developed reference designs for four device families: Emerald, a pen based smartphone; Sapphire, a keypad based smartphone; Quartz, a keypad based communicator; and Crystal a keyboard based communicator.
Wood said the next major EPOC release is due in October this year and that in the mean time, the Symbian technical team are working on a whole series of reference designs for future wireless information devices based on the operating system.
"Each of these will be tied to a range of designs within a device families. All the design references will include the same software engine, communication software and core operating system etc. Only the user interface will differ," said Wood.
Wood added that so far, Symbian does not know whether its wireless information devices will be used more by consumers or business executives or which applications would be the ones that will drive market growth.
"It will much the same as it was with PCs. Some of the applications that will drive the growth do not even exist yet they will be developed by numerous third parties."
He said that he was unable to say exactly how many licensees Symbian currently had, "The ones that have announced their support publicly are the ones that are happy to do so. However, I'd like to make it clear that we are quite choosy. For the time being you should not expect dozens of business announcing their support tomorrow, we are concentrating on quality products."
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