Sharp and Sony Ericsson work together on 3G handsets

Sharp and the Japanese division of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will jointly develop mobile phone handsets based on the...

Sharp and the Japanese division of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will jointly develop mobile phone handsets based on the Symbian operating system (for NTT DoCoMo's third-generation (3G) Foma service in Japan and software for Foma phones.

Foma is the most widely used network that employs Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology in Japan.

In April NTT DoCoMo launched a two-year, ¥37bn (£187m) plan to promote and partially fund the development of common platforms for mobile devices using Symbian or Linux operating systems.

In using the open source platforms, the Tokyo company said it aimed to cut costs and bring the 3G phones, which are complicated to build, to market more quickly.

Other companies, such as  Fujitsu and Mitsubishi have already committed to jointly develop Symbian-based 3G handsets for the Asian market, as have Motorola Japan, NEC and Panasonic Mobile Communications.

According to Symbian Fujitsu has developed seven Symbian OS-based handsets for NTT DoCoMo’s Foma service. The first such phone, Fujitsu's F901iC, was released earlier this month.

Devices that use a Linux OS version of the Foma platform also hit the Japanese market this monthincluding one frm NEC and another from Panasonic.

Sharp and Sony Ericsson said they are working with NTT DoCoMo on a schedule for new phone development.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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