Mobile Heavyweights to develop Linux-based Smartphones

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Motorola, NEC, DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile, Samsung Electronics, and Vodafone have announced plans form an independent foundation with the intent of developing global, open Linux platform for mobile handsets. The foundation will focus primarily on the joint development and marketing of an API specification, architecture, supporting source code-based reference implementation components and tools. The foundation also plans to provide a test suite to assess and demonstrate product conformance to the platform specification.

“Linux sits at the core of Panasonic Group’s software strategy, and to date we have shipped nearly 8 million Linux based handsets in the highly competitive Japanese market,” said Osamu Waki, Managing Director of Panasonic Mobile Communications. “We intend to leverage our experience to accelerate the realization of a truly global Linux-based software platform and ecosystem, which will lead to faster time to market and increased flexibility, to deliver appealing products fit for a ubiquitous network society.”

This new Linux-based mobile operating system could be seen in handsets as early as 2007.