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Moto rides Linux to #2 smart mobile device spot

Jul 26, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Motorola shipped a million Linux-based smartphones in China last quarter, making it the second-largest vendor of smart mobile devices, according to Canalys. Chinese smartphone shipments enabled Motorola to pass RIM, Sharp, and Palm, but the number-two mobile phone vendor still trails Nokia by a… wide margin.

Rokr E2
(Click for review)

Linux-based Motorola smartphones that have shipped recently in China include the Rokr E2 music phone (pictured at right) and the sleek A1200 or “Ming” phone (pictured at top-of-page).

Interestingly, of the top five mobile device vendors, all but RIM either offer Linux-based devices today, or are in the process of executing Linux strategies.

Nevertheless, Symbian remains far and away the top mobile device OS, according to Canalys, with a 67 percent share, well ahead of second-place Windows Mobile, with 15 percent of the market.

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Overall, Motorola shipped 1,586,870 smart mobile devices for the quarter, to claim an 8.4 percent share of the market. The figures represent year-over-year growth of nearly 300 percent; for the same quarter in 2005, Motorola shipped only 556,050 smartphones.

Motorola's Windows Mobile-based Q phone, which debuted in the U.S. last quarter, also contributed to the company's growth, Canalys said.

Smart mobile device marketshare leader Nokia, meanwhile, also demonstrated strong year-over-year growth of 35 percent. Nokia claimed 47.7 percent of the market, shipping just over nine million Symbian-based smartphones, of which 95 percent were S60 models, the company estimates.

Overall, smartphone shipments grew 75 percent last quarter, year over year. Traditional handheld sales, meanwhile, fell 33 percent, from 2 million in Q2 2005, to just 1.4 million last quarter. Together, these changes meant that for the first time, traditional handheld sales were surpassed by wireless handset sales.

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