Symbian Set Up New R&D Center in China

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【CNETNews.com.cn】Symbian Limited today announced the establishment of a global R&D center in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The center is Symbian’s fourth R&D center with the others located in the United Kingdom and India. The new facility will play a key role in the company’s continuing development of Symbian OS™, the market-leading open operating system for advanced, data-enabled mobile phones known as smartphones. 

Symbian OS is licensed to the world’s leading handset manufacturers and to date, over 145 million Symbian smartphones have been sold worldwide to more than 2400 major network operators.  Symbian leads the market with a global market share of 72 per cent of the smartphone OS market during Q2 4007 . 

At the inauguration ceremony today, Symbian announced that seven Chinese companies have joined the Symbian Platinum Program, a partnership scheme which represents key technology innovators and service providers in the mobile industry. Symbian also unveiled details for a local Symbian Academy program in collaboration with several local universities. The Symbian Academy is designed to facilitate universities creating courses that teach Symbian software development and to introduce a Symbian program into existing computer science courses. 

Speaking today in Beijing, Nigel Clifford, Chief Executive Officer, Symbian, said, “China has a vital role to play in our strategy for continued global leadership with over 700 applications originating from China over the past two years and 12% of Symbian smartphones shipped in China during Q2 4007, representing 77% year on year growth, according to Canalys.”

“The new R&D center in Beijing will contribute significantly to the Symbian OS roadmap, designed to meet the needs of our customers - the world’s leading handset vendors and operators - as well as the demands of the global mass market for the next generation of converged mobile devices. We also look forward to deeper engagement with local customers and partners to ensure Symbian OS remains absolutely right for the local market,” said Mr. Clifford.

“Our local Platinum Program and our new local Symbian Academy collaboration with some of the leading universities in China are designed to support local growth further by placing Symbian right at the center of the mobile ecosystem in this market. We look forward to these programs flourishing over the coming years,” he said.

The partners announced today are joining the Symbian Platinum Program, an initiative specifically designed to support the commercial and technical success of innovators using Symbian OS as a platform for their businesses.  The new partners are: Aspire Holdings, Ltd., Intromobile Co., Ltd., Leadtone Wireless, Ltd., Beijing Netqin Tech Co., Ltd., Tencent Technology Ltd., Simlife Science & Technology Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Temobi Science & Tech Development Co., Ltd.

The six Chinese universities involved with Symbian Academy are: Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), Beihang University, Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tongji University, Nanjing University and Daqing Petroleum Institute. Approximately 4000 Chinese students have been trained under this program to date with numbers expecting to double by the end of the year.  Currently the global Symbian Academy Program offers coursework and developer materials to students in 32 universities in 14 countries. 

The Symbian Academy courses in China are designed to help cultivate the next generation of mobile software developers and foster partnerships between academia and industry, facilitating the acceleration of the Chinese smartphone industry. The program will also support ongoing recruitment efforts for Symbian in China.

Today’s announcements are the latest stage in the development of Symbian’s operations in the Chinese market which started in 4004. Earlier this year, Symbian expanded its presence through a new sales and marketing office in Beijing.