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Linux smartphone pioneer denies GPhone rumor

Nov 2, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Linux smartphone pioneer E28 of Beijing, China has denied a rumor that it will supply the hardware and Linux-based software for a forthcoming Google “GPhone.” The rumor began earlier this week in a brief story published by investor blog The India Street.

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In a brief phone conversation with LinuxDevices, E28 spokewoman Rebecca Lee said simply, “We have no business relationship with Google at this time.”

The rumors started this Tuesday, when The India Street published photos of a forthcoming E28 smartphone design, with a caption reading “Is this the next Gphone?”

E28's E2881 smartphone design

The E2881 phone pictured in The India Street's article is a quad-band GSM/GPRS design with integrated 802.11b/g WiFi and GPS. However, Lee said that the design is not yet finished, but rather a “future product in our roadmap.”

E28 currently offers about half a dozen Linux-based phones and reference designs, most with dual-mode (cellular and WiFi) capabilities. Recent designs even offer VCC (voice call continuity), the company claims, when used with infrastructure equipment from partners.

E28 was founded in 2002 by Roger Kung, long-time Asian continent chief of Motorola's mobile phone operation. It is believed to be the first company to ship a smartphone based on an embedded Linux OS — the mid-2003 e2800.

The Wall Street Journal suggested last week that Google will release development tools aimed at extending its network-based services and targeted ad-based revenue model to cellular network users, with the help of third-party application developers. An earlier round of speculation suggested that Google would enter the market for complete Linux-based OS stacks, possibly built largely with Java middleware and applications.

Meanwhile, our own sources close to the company expect Google to clarify its mobile plans — which reportedly do involve Linux — in two weeks time. Stay tuned…

The The India Street can be found here.

Henry Kingman

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.

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