Boom in Symbian handset shipments

The mobile operating system maker is reaping the benefits of increased sales of smartphones

Sales of Symbian smartphones have gone through the roof in recent months, giving the firm a major financial boost.

The mobile operating system maker announced on Thursday that 2.68 million Symbian-based handsets based on its software were shipped in the first six months of 2003. This is more than ten times as many as were sold in the same period a year ago.

This pushed up the amount of money that Symbian received from royalties on the sales of phones using its software to £10.2m, up from £1.5m for the first half of 2002, and is a further indication that the smartphone market is booming. Symbian's overall revenues for the period totalled £21.1m.

Nine separate mobile phone makers either sell Symbian-based phones or are developing them -- including Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

In a statement, Symbian said that its performance for the rest of this year would be heavily dependent on the success of several forthcoming handsets that will use its software.

Research earlier this month showed that smartphones are eating into the market for handheld PCs, leading to a second straight year of decline in organiser shipments.