Linux smartphone heads for Europe
PalmPalm in the Palm
Samsung's Linux based smartphone will appear in Europe, although a date for the launch hasn't been set yet.
The compact device, which resembles Motorola's Accompli 008 only with a colour display, is expected to ship in Korea in January. Much like the Nokia 9210, it will be bundled with a camera attachment.
For now it's CDMA only. A US launch will follow early next year, we're told.
That would normally mean that the rest of the developed world can safely ignore it, but sources at PalmPalm which developed the base technology on its Tynix platform, insist that top tier European terminal manufacturers are developing GSM-based products. Whether these ever see the light of day, we're wouldn't like to say.
We know that Nokia has invested in Linux, and not just because of the Finnish connection, but strictly for set top boxes and webpads, and Nokia hasn't gone as far as committing to launching real retail product. In fact almost every European consumer device manufacturer has flirted with Linux.
Last year PalmPalm (which you've got to love, really, as its corporate logo uses a font remarkably similar to Palm Inc's corporate logo) touted something it called a "smartphone" based on 802.11 and H.323 protocols. In other words, it was a wireless PC 'paw' with which you could make voice-over-IP phone calls, once you'd waved a dead chicken around and didn't stray more than 100 yards from your 802.11 base station. (Taking your VoIP phone and chicken with you). Still, we admire their pluck.
We've seen the phone and it's quite sweet. Picture an Accompli 008 with a heavier lid, and you're pretty much there. It has a high resolution colour display, based on Trolltech's embedded Qt. The PDA functions are organized into vertical tabs (rather than horizontal tabs as on the Accompli). It looked snappy too, although the colour display looked washed out. That might have been us, though.