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LiMo Foundation: More Linux Phones In 2009

The LiMo Foundation said several major mobile operators will release lower-cost Linux devices this year.

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According to the LiMo Foundation, six of its operating members plan to deliver handsets based on the LiMo Platform, a Linux platform, this year. Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica and Vodafone are all planning devices sometime this year, the LiMo Foundation said.

The LiMo Foundation said many of the new devices coming this year will be low-cost Linux devices. Because of the open platform, operators have more control over the software development and customization of the devices. According to LiMo, its collaborative nature opens itself up to customization and enables operators to build on their individual strategies through flexible implementation, while also reducing portfolio complexity, lowering device costs and speeding the deployment of third-party applications and services.

Along with the members stating their intent to have affordable LiMo devices on the market this year, the foundation on Monday also hinted at the release of LiMo Platform R2 and the development of several reference platforms. All participants have turned in the technology needed for the R2 platform, the foundation said.

"The on-time completion of R2 technology contributions and the introduction of reference implementations demonstrate the deep collaboration amongst mobile industry leaders within the LiMo ecosystem," Morgan Gillis, the LiMo Foundation's executive director, said in a statement. "Cooperation of this nature is unprecedented within the mobile industry and is fostered by LiMo's unique governance frameworks which promote balanced contributions and influence over the LiMo Platform. The LiMo Reference Implementations will reduce time to market for LiMo devices while providing ample scope for deep customization at the user interface and application layers."

LiMo said the reference implementations will include code specific within both LiMo Platform R1 and LiMo Platform R2, which includes source code contributions from members including Access, Azingo, LG Electronics, Purple Labs and Samsung Electronics, and components from open-source communities.

The devices expected from the six operators will be based on the latest LiMo Platform. According to LiMo, so far 33 commercial handsets have been certified as LiMo Compliant, including 10 that will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, which includes devices from NEC and Panasonic and prototype models from LG and Samsung.

The LiMo Foundation was launched in January 2007 and is open to all mobile vendors and service providers, including device manufacturers, operators, chipset makers, independent software vendors, integrators and third-party developers.

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