Verizon Wireless formally announced its membership in the LiMo Foundation open handset consortium, committing to introduce across its handset lineup devices based on the group's mobile Linux operating system. During a conference call last week, Verizon Wireless vice president of network Kyle Malady said that while the carrier will continue supporting rival operating systems including Windows Mobile and RIM, it expects the LiMo Platform to gradually emerge as its OS of choice: "We're not adopting mobile Linux to the exclusion of other operating systems--we will continue supporting an agnostic approach," Malady said, forecasting Verizon will require many months of development before introducing Linux-based devices. He expects the company to unveil LiMo-based feature phones sometime in 2009, from there scaling up to smartphones.
According to Malady, Verizon's decision to embrace the LiMo Foundation OS over Google's rival Android platform is predicated in large part on the availability of commercial LiMo handsets. At the Mobile World Congress 2008 event in Barcelona in February, LiMo formally announced handsets including Motorola's Moto U9, Moto Z6w, Motorokr Z6 and Razr2 V8, NEC's FOMA N905i and FOMA N705i, Panasonic's FOMA P905iTV and FOMA N7051, and Samsung's SGH-i800. Reference and prototype LiMo handsets from LG, Aplix and Purple Labs were also introduced.
The LiMo Foundation last week announced eight new members in all, with Korean operator giant SK Telecom and open-source software development initiative Mozilla among the other marquee additions. The organization now boasts a total of 40 members worldwide. "This announcement supports a broad industry shift towards openness and collaboration," said LiMo Foundation executive director Morgan Gillis during the conference call, declaring "Openness will ignite the mobile Internet."
For more on the Verizon/LiMo announcement:
-read this release
Verizon Wireless embraces open access
On the Hot Seat with LiMo's Morgan Gillis