Handset manufacturers will be able to produce a mid-tier 3G phone in less than nine months with a new reference phone being developed by Elektrobit Group Plc. Based on Freescale Semiconductor's MXC300 S60 on Symbian OS-based reference design, the reference phone is engineered to be a complete solution for handset manufacturers to quickly customize.
This reference phone shortens development time because it will be pre-tested for full type approval (FTA) and interoperability testing (IOT). Because today's 3G development cycles can range up to 18 months consuming thousands of engineering hours in development and testing, this reference phone will free up resources to focus on innovation.
"By collaborating with Freescale, our 3G reference phone will enable handset OEMs to dramatically reduce their time-to-market of new S60 phones," said Arto Pietila Executive Vice President of Elektrobit's Contract R&D business unit. "With our expertise and leadership in the wireless market, we are developing a cost-effective product to enable the widespread adoption of mid-tier 3G phones."
This reference phone is designed to fuel explosive 3G growth. According to an IDC November 2005 report, the 3G market is forecast to increase from 62 million handsets in 2005 to 356 million in 2009, a 55 percent CAGR over the period.
"Mass market 3G proliferation will be closer to reality with this reference phone," said Franz Fink, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Wireless and Mobile Systems Group. "By easing certification and testing, while reducing the electronic bill of materials, Elektrobit and Freescale expect to produce a comprehensive turnkey solution for handset OEMs to get to market quickly."
"Collaboration of Elektrobit and Freescale is another sign of the success of S60 as the market leading smartphone software, on track to volumes in 3G. The new reference phone is an excellent tool for S60 licensees to optimize time-to-market and economies of scale," said Matti Vanska, Vice President of Mobile Software Sales and Marketing for Nokia.