Symbian sells 'one phone per second'

The handset software company goes into the black for the first time, and now looks beyond smart phones for growth.

Jo Best Special to CNET News.com
Symbian's most recent quarterly results helped bring it to profitability for the first time--and it's now selling more than one phone every second, the company said.

The software company announced Tuesday that its operating system shipped on 10.9 million mobile devices in the fourth quarter of 2005, bringing the year's total to more than 33 million phones--a year-over-year growth of 136 percent.

With 60 million phones shipped cumulatively, the company said it now has between 60 percent and 70 percent of the smart phone market.

Symbian said its revenue for the quarter reached 33.6 million pounds ($57.4 million) and the smart phone maker said it reached profitability for the first time in 2005.

Symbian CEO Nigel Clifford reiterated the company's intention to make its mark in the mass market. "We want to take our apps and software into what is currently called the feature phone market," he told delegates at the 3GSM World Congress, the wireless technology conference held this week in Barcelona, Spain.

The company recently announced a change to its licensing structure, cutting initial costs in return for high volume sales.

However, Clifford said the company was not forgetting its smart phone roots. "We are not saying smart phones are done. We're off to do something else," he added.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from Barcelona.