Mobile-phone operating system company Symbian Ltd. offered a positive outlook on its third-quarter results, showing more than 1 million Symbian phones shipping in the quarter and total revenues of about $16 million.
“Symbian has continued to make good progress in Q3 2003,” said David Levin, the company’s chief executive officer. “This is the third consecutive quarter in which Symbian OS licensees have shipped more than 1 million phones based on Symbian OS to network operators worldwide. Almost 4 million Symbian OS-based phones have shipped in the year to date. At the end of Q3 2003, 10 phones from four Symbian OS licensees were shipping worldwide.”
Symbian, however, said its most important quarter this year will be its last, as analysts are expecting 2 to 3 million Symbian handsets will sell in the fourth quarter. Those numbers will likely bring the company’s total handset shipments for 2003 to about 6 to 7 million. Symbian needs to sell between 15 and 20 million Symbian-based handsets per year to reach financial break even. The company earns about $6 per handset shipped.
The company said, signs are looking good for that to happen. In the third quarter of last year, there were 16 Symbian handsets in development. In this quarter, that number almost doubled to 31 products in development.
“There’s a big pipeline going forward,” said Peter Bancroft, the company’s vice president of communications.
Symbian is a joint venture among many of the world’s major handset manufacturers, including Nokia Corp. and Sony Ericsson. The company is viewed as the main competitor to Microsoft Corp., which is working to sell its Smartphone operating system worldwide.