Feeds

Phone vendors agree to agree on Linux API

Ganging up on Nokia, MS

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An alliance of handset vendors wants to create a common API for Linux phones. It's mostly a Japanese-flavored crew, dominated by NTT DoCoMo and its key suppliers NEC, Panasonic and the Korean giant Samsung. But Motorola, whose official phone strategy appears to be "we'll try anything", is also one of the founding five.

The means are woolly - but the principal objective will have reverberations in both Tampere and Seattle.

It's the "joint development and marketing of an API specification, architecture, supporting source code-based reference implementation components and tools, the foundation intends to leverage the benefits of community-based and proprietary development."

A common Linux API for phones has been conspicuous by its absence - but the history of "unified Unixes" goes back almost 20 inglorious years. Does this stand a better chance?

Motorola has been throwing Linux phones at the market for some time, without seeing many stick - but there are signs that's beginning to change. Maybe it's a sign of the times that Reg favorite Juha Christensen, who was prominent in the founding of the Symbian consortium, and then was smuggled to Seattle in an Entebbe-style raid, has now wound up at Trolltech. Which has high hopes for Linux capturing the mid range market.

Absent from the founding group are the market leader, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson. Both vendors, and in particular Nokia, have invested heavily in Symbian system software and middleware, and have declined to experiment with Microsoft or Linux based devices. But the more telling story is that they've also had to invest more than they can have expected to in their legacy, "modem phones" than they can have expected to when the Smartphone Wars began in earnest, in 1998. These are handsets designed to run a phone stack efficiently, with time slicing for crude applications. However, with Symbian's introduction of a real-time kernel, which permits manufacturers to build cheaper, single chip or single core phones, the distinction between high-end and mid-range is dissolving rapidly.

Also missing is PalmSource, now owned by Japanese browser vendor Access. PalmSource is hoping to woo its major Western licensee Palm over to its own Linux platform. It has a lot of catching up to do.

So perhaps the Phone Wars have only really begun. Not again? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.