Monday, February 16, 2009

Symbian going CDMA

In advance of this week’s GSM Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm has joined the Symbian Foundation (as have HP and MySpace). Qualcomm of course is interested in supporting CDMA around the world, in addition to its dual mode 3G processors.

Rumors of Symbian CDMA support date to at least 2004. Nokia had once sponsored an adaptation of Symbian S60 to work with CDMA – presumably to gain access to the US market and segment where it’s had a relatively weak presence.

Back in 2005, MobileTracker reported that Nokia had won FCC approval for the Nokia 6638:

The FCC has approved (FCC ID QMNRM-18) the Nokia 6638, the first CDMA Series 60 phone. Visually, it looks just like the Nokia 6630 with the addition of a [very long] antenna. Since the 6638 is a CDMA handset, Nokia is most likely aiming for a US release.
The phone was compatible with Verizon’s two CMDA bands, 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz.But the phone apparently never made it to the market.

Qualcomm has already joined the Android Foundation. Apparently Qualcomm has worked on a Windows Mobile prototype that works on Qualcomm chips, and its chips power several BlackBerry models that are dual cdma2000/W-CDMA, including the Storm and the 8830 world phone.

Now Qualcomm has committed resources to the major smartphone operating systems — pretty much everything outside the iPhone. From now on, we’ll see how many operators and manufacturers use Qualcomm chips for their Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile smartphones.

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