Symantec has delayed the release of its first security suite for Windows Mobile devices.

Early last week, the company had said it would unveil the software on 29 May, but this week Symantec said that a consumer version of the product, called Norton Mobile Security for Smartphones, will not be launched until as late as December of this year.

"After some review, we've decided to integrate this product into the cycle of our 2008 Norton product line launching in the fall timeframe," a company spokesman said.

A corresponding enterprise product, called Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0, will be available in June, Symantec said. Although the company did not offer a firm date for this release, a likely target would be the week of 12 June, when the company is hosting its annual Symantec Vision conference in Las Vegas.

A public beta of the software will be available on Symantec's website "in the coming days," the spokesman said.

Symantec already sells a suite for phones based on the Symbian operating system, as well as antivirus software for Windows Mobile but these new products are expected to offer a much broader range of security features.

The new Windows Mobile software will include antivirus, antispam, firewall and data encryption capabilities, to keep data secure, even if the smartphone is lost. Symantec will also sell an optional virtual private network (VPN) component for users who want to securely connect with their corporate servers.

The enterprise product will have advanced IT administration and auditing features. For example, administrators could wipe data off the phones remotely, or check an audit log to see everything that was done with the device after it was lost. Administrators will also be able to lock down certain mobile phone features, making them unavailable to users.