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RealNetworks/Symbian launch mobile video

RealNetworks has leapt into the mobile streaming breach, launching arguably the first genuine commercial multimedia content for mobile handsets – short video clips for the Symbian OS.

However, due to a lack of Symbian uptake, the only handset currently capable of running the short films and music clips is the Nokia 9210 Communicator. The player, a cut-down version of standard Realplayer ships with the Nokia as standard in Europe, and can only download then play, rather than truly streaming content. Symbian licensees include Ericsson, Kenwood, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Psion, Sanyo, Siemens and Sony.

Paul Cockerton, Symbian marketing manager, said: ‘We will have more devices out by the end of the year, with our build version 6.1 – designed for 2.5G GPRS networks. The next 18 months are going to see this sector explode.’

According to an announcement from the streaming company, companies involved in content production include Virgin Radio, BMG Entertainment, Kirch New Media, TF1, Darker Than Blue, Aestheticom and Supersoni.com.

Symbian has also struck similar deals with Packetvideo and Emblaze, but neither of these seems to have progressed as far. Cockerton commented: ‘Usually when one company makes an announcement their competitors are quick to follow suit! However, Real is being very aggressive in this market, and now have the first mover advantage for their pains.’

Real has previously said that it places much of its European marketing and development emphasis on the mobile space, and this seems to be bearing fruit, although ironically the Nokia 9210 website uses a Quick Time ‘Virtual Reality Demo.’

RealNetworks Partners with Symbian(This related story in full)

( http://www.real.com/player/mobile/ )

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