LiMo Foundation adds new handsets, members

Motorola, Panasonic, and NEC have new phones out running the LiMo Foundation's Linux-based operating system, and 11 new companies have jumped onboard.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit

Seven new mobile phones have passed the LiMo Foundation's certification process, and the group has a few new members to welcome aboard.

The new phones, from Motorola, Panasonic, and NEC, are the latest to ship with Release 1 of the LiMo Platform, a Linux-based operating system for mobile phones developed by a consortium of wireless carriers, handset makers, and others. Panasonic and NEC's phones will be available in Japan through NTT DoCoMo.

There are now 21 phones in the world running the LiMo software, mostly in Asia. But a few, such as Motorola's Rokr E8, are sold in the U.S. The whole idea behind LiMo is to give handset makers and carriers the basic underpinnings needed to create a modern mobile phone, but with the freedom to customize the look and feel of those phones to suit their desires.

These are interesting times for the LiMo Foundation, coming off market leader Symbian's decision to embrace an open-source model and the expected debut later this year of Google's Android software. Many of the members of the LiMo Foundation are also members of the other groups, which could make for some interesting discussions as the LiMo Foundation works on future releases of the software.

LiMo also announced Monday that 11 new companies have come onboard, including chipmaker Freescale, PacketVideo, and Telecom Italia, bringing the total number of companies involved in the project to 50.