NEC, Panasonic and Motorola release phones using LiMo Linux

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More phones have been released by NEC, Panasonic and Motorola that employ the linux operating system. These phones seem to be more feature phone than smartphone. The market for software platforms on cellphones is led by Nokia's Symbian operating system, but it has lost much ground over the last year to Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.


Computer operating system Linux has had the most success with servers sofar, but its role is increasing with the LiMo platform and Google is using Linux for its Android platform.

Linux is the most popular type of free or so-called open source computer operating system available to the public to be used, revised and shared. Linux suppliers earn money selling improvements and technical services and Linux competes directly with Microsoft Corp, which charges for its Windows software and opposes freely sharing its code.

A feature phone, at least by my definition, may have a number of very exciting features, but you cannot add functionality to your phone by installing apps, other than what someone may have written in Java. Those type of apps are usually games. A smart phone would be based on a platform that is intended to be expanded with third party apps, can sync with the cloud and has a rich set of development tools for developers.

LiMo also said Japanese mobile carrier KDDI Corp and touch screen company Immersion Corp had joined the not-for-profit foundation. But LiMo has been missing support from the largest cellphone vendors. So far smaller phone makers NEC, Panasonic and Motorola Inc have unveiled in total 42 phones using its software. At the same time, all the top handset vendors, except Nokia, have promised to produce phone models running Android software.

The world's second- and third-largest cellphone vendors, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc, are members of LiMo, but have not unveiled commercial models.

LiMo hopes to benefit from its focus on giving greater say over software development to telecommunications operators. Its key members — Vodafone Group Plc, France Telecom SA's Orange, Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc, South Korea's SK Telecom Co Ltd, Telefonica SA and U.S. operator Verizon Wireless, a venture between Verizon Communications In and Vodafone — have pledged to introduce LiMo phones in 2009.

DateAugust 13, 2009