Nokia sees 'bigger' role for Linux in mobile

Nokia expects the role of the Linux operating system in its product portfolio to increase as the role of its internet-focused devices grows, a Reuters report said.

Nokia itself has used Linux for years in its internet tablets, large phone-like devices used to access internet on the go, but without calling functionality.

'We will expand that range, and we believe that the role of Linux will grow,' Nokia spokesman Kari Tuutti, quoted by the Reuters report, said.

Linux has so far had little success on cellphones, but its role is increasing as more new Linux-based models reach the market, while Google gave it a vote of confidence by using it to build its Android platform on, the Reuters report said.

Linux is the most popular type of open source operating system which is available to the public to be used, revised and shared -- meaning it has a large developer community which could result in more attractive programs and lower costs for the likes of Nokia.

'It's going to be terribly important,' Nokia's Chief Financial Officer Rick Simonson told an investor conference when asked about the role of Linux-based tablets.

He said the company has been developing the next generation of Linux-based products, which are starting to come to the market.

The market for software platforms on cellphones is led by Nokia's S60, built on the Symbian operating system, well ahead of Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

However, many mobile industry heavyweights, including Vodafone , Motorola , NTT DoCoMo , Samsung Electronics , Huawei and LG Electronics , have joined Linux alliances, the Reuters report further said.