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Sony Ericsson Is Planning No New Symbian Products

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd., the mobile-phone venture of Sony Corp. and Ericsson AB, is the latest vendor to abandon the Symbian operating system.

“We have no plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian Foundation standard or operating system,” Aldo Liguori, a spokesman for the London-based company, said by telephone today. Liguori confirmed remarks made by Chief Technology Officer Jan Uddenfeldt to Swedish technology newspaper Ny Teknik.

Symbian is clinging to its perch as the world’s biggest-selling smartphone operating system mainly because of Nokia Oyj, which uses it as its main software on high-end phones. Its market share declined to 41.2 percent in the second quarter from 51 percent a year earlier, according to Gartner Inc. figures. Sony Ericsson uses Symbian on its Vivaz line and also employs Google Inc.’s Android and proprietary systems.

“We have made a significant shift to support Android,” Chief Creation Officer Rikko Sakaguchi said in July, adding that the Vivaz line with Symbian was doing well and contributing to margin improvement.

Sony Ericsson doesn’t pre-announce products currently in the pipeline, Liguori said.

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, set up the Symbian Foundation in 2008 to share code with other handset makers, including Sony Ericsson and Samsung Electronics Co., and with developers and chipmakers. Samsung has embraced Android in addition to developing its own system called Bada. Motorola Inc. shifted to Android from Symbian several years ago.

Sony Ericsson remains a member of the Symbian Foundation, Liguori said. The use of Android is “not exclusive, but it will certainly continue to be an important platform for us,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana ben-Aaron in Helsinki at dbenaaron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root in Paris at vroot@bloomberg.net

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