Feeds

Vodafone picks a Linux-phone

LiMO lives and Symbian scowls

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The LiMO Foundation is celebrating Vodafone's endorsement with two handsets from Samsung, but the news that the Linux-based alternative isn't dead won't be received well over at Symbian.

The LiMO Foundation reckons to have already launched 42 handsets using its platform, but these are closed affairs only really of interest to network operators and handset manufacturers, with Release two (R2) LiMO opens up to BONDI and Vodafone's 360 platform, not to mention getting recognition in a market where Symbian really ought to be a shoo-in.

Vodafone has been a member of LiMO since it started, but that's not the same as actually selling handsets based on the platform which is what Vodafone will now be doing. Samsung too has been paying lip service to the other Linux-based option, while releasing Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile handsets which will now be joined by at least two using LiMO.

Vodafone is betting a lot on the 360 service, and clearly wanted branded handsets to go with it. Samsung has been churning out good handsets recently and is still willing to share branding in a way that others won't any more, so Samsung makes a sensible choice of manufacturer; but Vodafone could still have gone with one of the other operating systems around today.

But they wouldn't - Android is owned by Google, and while the Android Marketplace isn't exclusive it is recognised and would be hard to compete with. The same thing applies to Windows Mobile: operators can sell their own applications and services, but only in competition with Microsoft. That should leave Vodafone knocking on Symbian's door - the operator has already developed a Symbian client for its '360 service, so surely it would make sense to use the newly-open Symbian for handsets locked into the Vodafone 360 service?

Except that such handsets wouldn't be locked in at all: they would be open to other client applications such as SPB's excellent Mobile Shell or Handango's InHand application-downloading client, while going with LiMO keeps control firmly in the hands of the issuing operator: Vodafone.

LiMO also supports BONDI; the industry's standard AJAX extensions to allow persistence and interaction with local applications, that should allow rapid creation of the plethora of widgets and eye-candy necessary for a modern smartphone, but developers who want to make use of the extensions will have to go knocking on Vodafone's door for approval just as iPhone developers remain beholden to Apple.

LiMO makes great play of offering a "common vision" by bringing companies together, but it's a vision that puts the network operators back in the driving seat - Vodafone is the first, but every other operator will be crossing their fingers and hoping that the world's biggest can gain control of its customers before it's too late. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.