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Oracle considered entering smartphone market

“Project Java Phone” kicked off in 2009, also thought of buying RIM, Palm

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has told the US Federal Court that his company assembled a team to contemplate entering the smartphone market, as he wanted to compete with Apple and Androind. The team formed in 2009, as Oracle was in the process of acquiring Sun.

Ellison's latest testimony in the Battle of the Larries, the case in which Oracle alleges Google improperly uses Java in its Android operating system, also saw him reveal he contemplated acquiring RIM or Palm as other ways to enter the smartphone market.

Neither an Oracle phone or an acquisition reached fruition after Oracle decided entering the smartphone market was “a bad idea”, in part because RIM would be too expensive to buy.

Ellison's testimony also saw him asked why, in a 2009 appearance alongside former Sun CEO Scott McNealy, he heaped praised on Android's use of Java. Google's legal team suggested that Oracle's suit is an attempt to cash in on Android now that there are profits to be had, which may not have been apparent back in 2009.

Ellison maintained that Oracle reached out to Google in 2010 to arrange a licensing deal, but was rebuffed, and that this incident is the root of the legal action.

Google's Larry Page also took the stand on Tuesday, US time, and repeatedly said he knew nothing about the processes used to develop Android, at least as they pertain to the use of Java. Google also said it felt no need to licence Java, because the components it uses were in the public domain.

The case continues. ®

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