More Q3 Handset Sales Figures, Deciphering Symbian
By Carlo Longino, Thu Nov 20 19:15:00 GMT 2003

Strategy Analytics released their third-quarter handset sales figures, showing a 23% increase in shipments over last year. Symbian also reported their quarterly earnings, but it looks like a case of good news/bad news.

The global handset figures are in line with figures released earlier this month from IDC; both show a huge jump in total sales, small market share losses for Nokia and Sony Ericsson and gains for Motorola, Samsung, Siemens and LG.

Strategy Analytics' analysts say that Nokia and Motorola are seeing strong competition in China, but that Moto's latest additions to its portfolio should benefit it both there and in Europe.

Symbian, even though they're a private company and not required to do so, released their figures for the last quarter, and like these usually are, it's all in the interpretation. El Reg leads with the fact that revenues were down both from the previous quarter and the previous year -- something to which the Symbian release doesn't draw a lot of attention. The figures also show a dip in the company's average royalty, from $6.30 per handset in Q2 to $5.7 in Q3. The company earns royalties on each device with the Symbian OS, and then more on handsets that use its UIQ interface.

But there's plenty of pretty good news as well. Though the company shipped 260,000 fewer handsets in Q3 than the previous quarter, in the first nine months of 2003, 3.91 million phones running its OS have been sold, nearly a four-fold increase over 2002. 31 devices from 9 vendors are in the works, double the number from last year, and the fourth quarter should see a push from the release of a number of new products, like the Sony Ericsson P900, Nokia 6600 and N-Gage, and Sendo X. The Register's report says some analysts are expecting 3 million Symbian devices to be sold in the fourth quarter, making Symbian confident its revenues will shoot up as well.