Symbian (EPOC) Operating System

627 words [ 4 Screenshots ] [ 16 Versions ] [ 3 Weblinks ] - Last update: 2023-12-22 Page created: 2004-03-04 [SB]



Website 2007 EPOC is the operating system of Symbian, formerly software house of Psion. Symbian has licensed Symbian OS to companies which are big players in the market of High Technology mobile telephones. Included are Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson. Handhelds with SymbianOS from Psion are the 5mx Pro, Revo, Revo Plus, netBook and others.

Symbian, EPOC, the Symbian logo and Symbian Developer Network logo are registered trademarks of the Symbian Ltd. Symbian was founded in June 1998 as a private and independent company. Partners of this company are Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Psion. Different reference designs like Quartz, Crystal and Pearl correspond to a standard implementation for the requirements of different sorts of device types. In the year 2000 Sony and Sanyo became new licensee for the Symbian OS, in the same year the first Symbian OS Smartphone Ericsson R380 was introduced. In 2001 Fujitsu joined the licensee, the Nokia 7650 and Nokia 9210 Communicators are introduced. In 2002 Sendo also licenses Symbian OS, Siemens becomes a shareholder of Symbian.

Symbian OS united mobile telephone functions with the efficiency of a computer. It is suitable as a platform for the development of applications and services in the mobile area. Symbian OS bases on a microkernel and supports multitasking as well as multithreading. The operating system is object-oriented and consists of components. The user interface is flexible, the number of supported protocols gets almost increased with new releases. Alone in the year 2005 about 35 million devices was sold with a Symbian OS.

Field of Application
Wireless embedded devices like telephones
Development of applications

TCP/IP, WAP, GSM, Bluetooth, IrDA, serial
security standards like SSL, HTTPS, WTLS

Symbian OS 8.0 includes improved Java and multimedia framework functions to make acceleration of applications possible. Symbian OS supports equipment with only one processor for telephony and the operating system by his new real-time function now. The support of the UMTS and STDIO standard enlarge the range of application of the operating system. Remote maintenance makes it also possible to access storage cards in the SD format.

Symbian OS 9.1 contains the communication protocols TCP/IP, WAP 2.0, IrDA, Bluetooth, USB, GPRS and UMTS. For international use the unicode standard 3.0 is supported.

Symbian OS 9.3 has native WLAN support, USB 2.0 and new Push techniques and WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) as well as HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access). Symbian OS can smoothly submit VoIP conversations held in the WLAN to the mobile phone network with the new support for Unlimited Mobile Access (UMA). With the improved memory management the operating system shall run applications considerably faster.
The operating system is binarily compatibly to programmes for Symbian OS v9.1. New function is the update of the firmware without cables (FOTA).

Symbian OS 9.5
- optimized energy consumption and 20 - 30 % fewer RAM needed
- reduced start up time of the operating system and applications
- standard support for digital TV
- new functions for digital camera
- SQL database and POSIX interfaces for easy porting of desktop/server applications
- automatic change between WiFi and 3G nets

Nokia bought Symbian Limited with the purchase of shares that does not belong to Nokia already in 2008-06-24. The acquisition include shares of approx. 52% for approx. 264 million EUR. Nokia creates a foundation to provide the operating system as an open software platform. Sony Ericsson and Motorola bring UIQ to the foundation, DOCOMO contributes MOAP(S) for the 3G network. Together with the user interface S60 of Nokia a common platform shall be created. It is planned to publish SymbianOS under the Eclipse Public License 1.0 (EPL) in the 1st six months of 2009 as open source operating system.



Symbian (EPOC) Operating System screenshot 1Symbian (EPOC) Operating System screenshot 2Symbian (EPOC) Operating System screenshot 3Symbian (EPOC) Operating System screenshot 4
EPOC planerEPOC browserEPOC CalendarEPOC eMail Client


Date - Version
1993 - SIBO
1995 - EPOC16
1997 June - 1.0 - EPOC32 (Protea)
1997 Aug. - 2.0 - EPOC32
1997 Oct. - 3.0 - EPOC32
1999 - 5.0 - EPOC32 (ER5)
2000 - 6 - Symbian OS, with Quartz and Crystal reference design
2001 - 6.1 - Symbian OS, GPRS-based data exchange, WAP 1.2 and bluetooth added
2002 - 7.0 - Symbian OS
2003 - 7.0s - Symbian OS, improvements for telephony and networking, Java, Multimedia
2004 Feb. - 8.0 - Symbian OS
2005 Feb. - 9.0 - Symbian OS
2005 - 9.1 - Symbian OS
2006 - Symbian OS 9.2
2006 Juli - Symbian OS 9.3, verbesserte Speicherverwaltung
2007 March - Symbian OS 9.5


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