LAS VEGAS—Symbian may be the leading smartphone operating system in the world but there’s no reason it couldn’t find its way on small computers such as Mobile Internet Devices, Symbian CEO Nigel Clifford said in an interview at CTIA Wireless 2008.
There was some discussion at the Smartphone Summit prelude to CTIA Monday that smartphones and laptops are on converging or competing paths. Analysts at the summit said there could be a day when smartphones would supplant laptops.
Intel and some other companies have Mobile Internet Devices as part of their futures, with MIDs eventually becoming something akin to smartphones with the support of voice over IP.
Clifford said Symbian’s OS already has demonstrated it can be used on traditional computing devices. That was part of the message last fall when Symbian said it would support ARM’s Symmetric Multi-Processor (SMP) architecture, while allows future versions of the OS to use multiple core processors that would handle different functions in a device.
Symbian and ARM are working together to integrate the OS’s capabilities with ARM’s coming Cortex-A9 multicore processor. Some analysts think the Cortex-A9 will compete with Intel’s Silverthorne MID processor.
Clifford also said Symbian is focused on improving its power management capabilities, on massive data handling, network throughput, and a rich media experience using the OS. Symbian Monday announced support for SQL, which enables massive data handling on a phone, as well as its enhancements for location-based services.
Symbian’s latest software, version 9.5, is expected to be in phones late this year. The upgrade will support data rates up to 25 Mbps, as well as enhanced graphics, Bluetooth v2.1, WLAN security improvements and SMP.