Symbian DevZone - Exposium03 - Show Report - Part 1
by Richard Bloor, May 05, 2003
The Symbian Exposium is the premier showcase for the Symbian ecosystem.
This years event was a interesting mix of optimism building on the success of the
smartphones released to date tempered with realism that there was still much
work to be done to build a vibrant economy around Symbian OS smartphones.
This week we look at the key presentations and highlights from the show that will
be of interest to developers - Printer Friendly Version
2003 has started well for Symbian, in the first quarter of the year close to 1.2
million Symbian OS phones were shipped, building on 2002’s total of 2.1 million.
Given that the first quarters shipments were achieved with neither the Nokia
3650 or Sony Ericsson P800 available for the entire period suggests the prospects
for 2003 are looking very good. There are now a further 21 phones in
development (four have been announced, the Nokia N-Gage, Siemens SX1,
Samsung D700 and BenQ P30 and a fifth the Motorola A920 for operator 3 is now
pretty well known) and a19 further projects in the feasibility stages. Given the
diversity of design shown in these first nine Symbian OS phones it is clear that
the Symbian OS is going to offer consumers, network operators and software
developers a range of opportunities moving into the second half of 2003.
It was this diversity which David Levin, CEO, of Symbian made one of the core
themes of his opening keynote address. “Phone Vision” was the phase he used to
encompass both the evolution of the phone from voice to video, or as he put it
from “ear to eye” as well as encapsulate the opportunity the Symbian OS offered
to licensees to create diverse and visionary smartphones. It was a theme echoed
by a number of presenters; the advantages of a common platform to allow
manufacturers to concentrate on differentiation.
With perhaps a certain element of British reserve there was an acknowledge that
the success to date was still only a starting point and that much work was ahead
in creating a truly vibrant and successful economy around the Symbian OS. If
Exposium03 is a good yardstick then the prospects for that economy are looking
The exhibition floor provided attendees with a good overview of the companies
involved in creating the Symbian economy. In many respects because of the
range of exhibitors Exposium was really several exhibitions taking place
concurrently. At one end you have the likes of Texas Instruments, Intel,
Samsung and Motorola exhibiting hardware reference platform and other phone
components through to software developers like PsiNT, Bitween and MobiMate
with a range of system integrators, tools, hardware and software component
vendors in between.
From a developer perspective the biggest news from Exposium was the launch of
Symbian OS v7.0s (http://www.symbian.com/press-office/2003/pr030429.html). Positioned
as the basis for the next generation of Series 60 v7.0s makes a number of
improvements particularly to the telecommunications and multimedia
architectures. The changes in the telecommunications architecture will allows
“multihoming”, or the ability to maintain multiple network connections at one
time. If you have a Nokia 7650 or Nokia 3650 you may have noticed that if you
are browsing WAP pages and then go to download you email that you are told
that the network connection is already in use and you can not get your mail
without first disconnecting from your WAP server. This is because v6.1, on which
Series 60 is currently built, can only maintain one active Internet connection.
With v7.0s you will be able to maintain as many connections as the phones
resources and network bandwidth allow you, so in theory you could listen to
streaming audio, while downloading you email, receiving an MMS and browsing
WAP pages. While this may not be common usage this multihoming ability is
required for more advanced services like video conferencing. There are also
several other changes which using the networking capabilities of Symbian OS far
easier for the developer.
The second major change is in multimedia, where there are new servers with the
ability to multi thread. This is a quite significant improvement for developers,
particularly in the games arena where, for example, the ability to play multiple
sound tracks at once, encompassing, for example, a background soundtrack and
games effects, is essential to providing a rich games experience.
While there are several other changes in v7.0s the last change I will mention is
that it is also brings support for Java MIDP 2.0.
At this stage while the intended use of v7.0s is clear Nokia have not given any
solid indication of when the new OS will be used in Series 60.
Metrowerks as a Gold Sponsor had a significant presence. Jim Welch, President
and CEO, of Metrowerks made a keynote address on the Wednesday and gave
some interesting pointers as to the future direction of the CodeWarrior and
Wireless Studio with reference to simulation, automated code generation and
collaboration. Metrowerks also announced that they will be providing a “first
access” Developer Kit based around the Siemens SX1
(http://www.metrowerks.com/MW/news/default.asp?PR=453). Due for release in Q3 this
year Metrowerks have indicated that they will be accepting advanced orders in
the first week of August. If the sales of the Sony Ericsson P800 kit are anything
to go by the demand is likely to be significant.
Metrowerks also had a presence in the Developer Village, along with Borland,
AppForge and on the AllAboutSymbian stand Ewan Spence flying the OPL flag.
Borland and Nokia formally announced
le_edition.html) the availability of the Borland C++ tools for Series 60 development.
While AppForge made no new announcements the success of AppForge Booster
on the Sony Ericsson P800 was news enough to maintain a steady interest in
their booth. Also as promised the open source project for OPL was launched
(http://www.symbian.com/press-office/2003/pr030428b.html) along with the first alpha
version for Series 60. As a long time supporter of OPL it was probably not
surprising that Ewan Spence also launched his OPL based Vexed game
(http://www.symbiandiaries.com/vexed) which also illustrated how stable this initial
Also at the Developer Village where Sendo (http://www.sendo.com/dev/index.asp) and
Sony Ericsson (http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld) promoting their developer
programs, although both had booths elsewhere on the floor where the focus of
their activities took place.
There was a significant presence of application developers both on the
Applications Pavilion and Games arcade with many names that will be familiar to
readers of this column including Anthropics, Bitween, Intuwave and MobiMate.
While not represent on any of the main pavilions testing tools were strongly in
evidence at Exposium03 with the release of two new products. TRY from Mobile
Innovation (http://www.mobileinnovation.co.uk/reports/001.htm) is a script based system
for applications testing while Digia launched Digia QualityKit
) a set of three tools to address functional and unit testing as well as build
management. LDRA (http://www.ldra.com) were also showing their unit testing and
code quality assessment tools and TestQuest (www.testquest.com) where promoting
the software version of their testing tool.
Next week we will take a look at some of the other exhibitors and announcements
made at Exposium before returning to our usual in-depth coverage of key
About the WDN Symbian Editor, Richard Bloor:Symbian DevZone Home
Richard Bloor is a freelance writer and editor with 18 years experience in the IT industry as a developer, analyst and latterly Project Manager with a particularly focus on software testing. Richard has been involved with the Symbian OS since 1995 and has been writing about it for the last 3 years.
Richard is also an associate with System Architecture consultancy Equinox of Wellington, New Zealand.
Richard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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