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Rumor of 3G Linux phone/GPS reportedly false

Jan 30, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated Jan. 31, 2006] — Benq's GPS-equipped SXG75 mobile phone reportedly does not run Linux, contrary to our news item published yesterday. Despite widespread rumors, the 3G UMTS mobile phone runs neither Linux nor Trolltech's phone software stack, Trolltech said today.

Trolltech's global PR manager, Karen Romer, confirmed this morning that the SXG75 is not based on Linux. She said, “As I understand from our business development manager, this is not a Linux phone, hence does not use Trolltech's technology.”

We based our coverage yesterday partly on reader tips about a story at InfoSyncWorld that called the SXG75 “the first Linux handset from a major brand name to go into widespread distribution.”

We should have been suspicious of such a statement, as Linux phones have long been widely distributed, especially in Japan and other parts of Asia. For example, Gartner reported last summer that strong Q1, 2005 sales of Linux phones in Japan helped Linux trounce Windows in mobile phones that quarter.

Executive Editor Rick Lehrbaum apologized for the gaffe, stating, “Just another day in our effort to keep up with the bleeding edge of embedded linux devices.”

Siemens recently joined the OSDL, stating its intention to contribute to a working group devoted to mobile handsets, as well as to one devoted to carrier class infrastructure equipment. This may have led some of our sources to assume the SXG75 was based on Linux.

The SXG75 is the first 3G phone to bear the Siemens brand. Siemens is the world's 21st largest company, according to Fortune's Global 500, but it has struggled in the mobile phone market, selling fewer phones in 2005 than in 2004 despite a booming market, according to research firm Gartner. Siemens in June sold its mobile phone operations to Taiwanese ODM (original design manufacturer) BenQ, which has also licensed the rights to use the Siemens name for a year, and the Siemens-BenQ name for five years.

The SXG75 is reported to be widely available in Europe, priced at 375 Euros.

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