Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

Linux phone industry groups align

Aug 14, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Two industry groups devoted to improving and promoting Linux as a mobile phone platform have announced a formal agreement to cooperate. The Mobile Linux Initiative (MLI) and the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) say their collaboration will “further accelerate the growth and proliferation of mobile Linux phones and devices worldwide.”

The MLI was launched last October by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). It focuses on kernel-level gap analysis and requirements, serving as a liason between handset manufacturers and the Linux kernel developer community. For additional background on the MLI, read our exclusive interview with the OSDL's MLI representative, Bill Weinberg.

The LiPS Forum was founded a month later, by 11 companies, mostly mobile carriers and operators. It is working to define common “profiles” constituting services and APIs (application programming interfaces) above the kernel level, in order to foster greater software interoperability. LiPS now has more than 20 members, including chipset and terminal manufacturers, third party software vendors, and operators. For more about LiPS, read our recent mini-interview with LiPS executive and management team members Michel Gien and John Ostrem.

The two groups say they will actively collaborate, in order to reduce fragmentation. The MLI will focus on kernel-level interoperability, while LiPS will work at the applications and service-enabler level, the groups say.

Another alignment — four large mobile phone vendors, together with two major wireless operators — announced June 15th that they plan to create their own open Linux implementation for mobile phones. Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone said their Linux implementation would provide a global standard, and prevent the “fragmentation” of mobile phone Linux.

Additionally, startup a la Mobile will be demonstrating its new Linux-based mobile phone stack, the “Convergent Linux Platform” (CLP), at LinuxWorld this week. CLP is touted as the “first complete and configurable OS for mobile phones.”

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen stated, “The success of mobile Linux requires a cross-organizational effort without duplication of efforts.”

LiPS President Haila Wang stated, “No one questions that Linux and its applications can deliver more capable mobile devices, increase flexibility, speed time-to-market, and lower costs. It's a matter of how we get there. LiPS is working with OSDL and other organizations and companies to build consistent, complementary specifications for making open source software a key component in mobile devices.”

Linux phone shipments are expected to surpass those of current mobile phone OS marketshare leader Symbian by 2010, according to Diffusion Group research cited by the OSDL.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.