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First ALP Linux smartphone?

Oct 10, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

An Israeli firm will ship a smartphone that runs Linux to the Russian market, according to industry reports. Possibly manufactured by Sharp, Emblaze Mobile's “Edelweiss” phone will offer GPS and an unprecedented 854 x 480 touchscreen, while running the Access Linux Platform (ALP), reports suggest.

(Click for larger view of the Edelweiss)

On its website, Emblaze Mobile offers only a spinning 3D Flash image of the Edelweiss, along with a “coming soon” teaser. However, a number of sites have reported that the phone will go on sale in Russia by November. The rumor may have originated on the Russian mobile news site, Mobile Review, which has apparently taken down its initial story about the phone. However, sites such as Engadget have already followed up, listing leaked features for the Edelweiss such as the following:

  • 854 x 480 touchscreen
  • 8GB or 16GB of storage
  • 3G cellular capability
  • GPS
  • Camera (not listed but visible in photo)

Emblaze Mobile's Edelweiss

The huge screen dwarfs that of the iPhone or HTC's Android-based G1. The Edelweiss display even boasts higher resolution than the latest version of the Windows Mobile-based HTC Touch HD, which offers 800 x 480 pixels.

ALP application screens

Meanwhile, the sharp-eyed widget experts at Widgets Labs have made the claim, based on a separate photo in circulation that is not available on the Emblaze site, that the phone runs Access Corp.'s Netfront Mobile Widgets, supported by its NetFront Browser. Additionally, Emblaze Mobile earlier announced a “Monolith” device expected early in 2009, and expected to run the Access Linux Platform.

Next up: the Monolith

The Monolith project, which Emblaze Mobile claims is the “ultimate holistic mobile device” was reported on here last October. According to the breathless prose on the Emblaze website, “This Linux based device is not a mere phone, but rather an application centric device that acts as a full blown media and communications center.”

The five-year Monolith project involves not only Access, but Sharp, which will manufacture the uber-phone. The device also taps contributions from over 20 third-party mobile technology vendors, says the company. The Monolith will offer an extended-definition touch sensitive display, a high-end camera, and “virtually every wireless connectivity technology known to man,” boasts Emblaze. The company goes on to list features including telephony, messaging, personal information management (PIM), push technology, mobile office access, web browsing, mobile media player, and GPS-based location services.

Emblaze Mobile is a subsidiary of the Emblaze Group, a publicly traded (on the London stock exchange) umbrella company comprised of a dozen or so high-tech Israeli companies. Most of Emblaze's constituent companies are focused on enterprise computing markets, with the exception of emoze, a push email service provider, and several companies in the wireless video broad- and narrow-cast markets.


Emblaze Mobile did not offer information on the availability or pricing of the Edelweiss, but some industry reports say it will ship by the end of October. The Monolith, meanwhile, will ship in the first half of 2009, says the company. Some more information may be found on the Emblaze site, here.

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