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Sprite Software

Sprite Software

Sprite Software develops backup and recovery software for hand-held devices and smart phones using the Windows Mobile and more recently, the Symbian mobile operating platforms.

HQ: Auckland Website: www.spritesoftware.com

Global leader: Sean Connolly, CEO

Core activity: Mobile data protection products and services

Revenue: Not disclosed

Key customers: HTC, HP, Sharp, LG Electronics, Samsung

Employees: 15 including contractors

Sprite Software was founded in 2001 by chairman Murray Haszard and CEO Sean Connolly, to develop backup and recovery software for hand-held devices and smart phones using the Windows Mobile and more recently, the Symbian mobile operating platforms. Sprite Software products are now used by more than 10 million mobile phone owners worldwide, and come pre-packaged with handsets from makers including Taiwanese company HTC (presently shipping three million phones per quarter with Sprite software loaded) and Korean firms Samsung and LG Electronics.

Connolly says milestones over the past 12 months include the release of Sprite Terminator, a remote data wipe and device tracking product for individual phone owners who lose a mobile device or have it stolen; and Sprite Archie, a SMS and mobile email archive and retrieval product. This year, Sprite Software has also been hard at work on a web portal service called Virtual Mobile, which is due for release in early 2009 and will allow phone owners to manage their devices and mobile communications online.

Features include being able to log on and view SMS messages, emails and pictures taken on the phone’s camera online. Phone data can also be backed up and stored securely online.

“It’s a full desktop screen interface to a mobile phone, unifying Backup, Terminator and Archie into a web experience, and a significant growth area for us internationally.”

He says Europe and the US are Sprite Software’s largest geographic markets by revenue, but Asia and China are noted growth areas. Challenges include competition from a myriad of international mobile platform developers, reliance on a positive exchange rate — most of Sprite Software’s revenue is in US dollars — and the need to acquire licences for new technologies and services such as Virtual Mobile.

These are balanced by the opportunities afforded by a strong international smart phone market, which has received a boost in the past year with the arrival of devices like the Apple iPhone, and a steady increase in sales of Windows Mobile devices.

“Customers like HTC, Palm and Sharp give us reach into markets we cannot reach ourselves,” says Connolly.

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