Psion's Symbian links with Sony to challenge Microsoft

Psion, the personal organiser maker, yesterday stepped up the pace of its drive to dominate the market for mobile phone software when it licensed Japanese electronics giant Sony to use its next-generation Symbian operating system.

Psion shares jumped by 15 per cent to 3,244p, putting life back into the stock, which has slid from £73 in recent weeks. Symbian, based on the EPOC system used in Psion's personal organisers, includes among its partners the three biggest mobile phone makers, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola.

Colly Myers, Symbian's chief executive, said: "Sony is the first non-shareholder licencee, but I hope the first of many. Sony is the perfect licencee to help grow a mass market and proliferate the Symbian standard."

The move comes just a week after Microsoft unveiled the Pocket PC in partnership with Compaq Computer and Hewlett-Packard. The new handheld device uses a scaled down version of Windows as well as adapted versions of Microsoft applications, including Word and Internet Explorer.

In addition to the Symbian operating system, the link-up will also see Sony use an open multimedia application platform processing engine (OMAP) created by Texas Instruments (TI). The three aim to develop products for mobile users who want one device that can make phone calls, access the internet and run advanced multimedia, application content and services.

Katsumi Ihara, president of Sony's personal IT network company, said: "As a leader in consumer electronics, Sony is ideally positioned to offer compelling mobile solutions based on TI's OMAP and the Symbian platform. The upcoming broadband data services and the rising demand for ubiquitous, omni-functional mobile devices will require a powerful, power-thrifty processing engine and open operating system."

Sony's decision to embrace the Symbian alliance raises question marks for Palm, the market leader in handheld devices. Palm had licensed its less powerful 16-bit software to Sony and has also made a loose co-operation pact with Symbian. Analysts now believe Palm will need to decide quickly whether to work closely with Symbian to help fend off an expected Microsoft-led onslaught in the handheld market.

Although Psion shareholders have been burned recently, analysts were encouraged by the pact with Sony and TI.

"News flow should be good over the 18 months, and that will help the stock," said one analyst. "But it's a momentum stock and is likely to suffer when the market does."


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage

nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London