TAIPEI/HELSINKI, April 17 Netbook PC pioneer
Asustek (2357.TW) will use a Linux-based operating system in one
of its first two smartphones, a senior company official said on
Friday, in a boost for the system's developer.
Both Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Windows Mobile platform and the
open-source Linux-based LiMo platform will be used in the phones
being co-developed with global positioning device specialist
Garmin (GRMN.O), Asustek's Chief Operating Officer H.C. Hung told
He did not say when the Linux smartphone would be launched.
But a source with direct knowledge of the project, speaking on
condition his name not be used because he was not authorised to
speak to the media, said the plan was to begin shipping the first
LiMo phones in June.
This will be the second time Asustek is launching a product
based on the Linux operating system, which operators and
manufacturers like because its licensing fees are typically much
lower than other systems.
It used Linux on its line of low-cost netbook PCs when they
were launched in 2007, although those are now outsold by netbooks
running on Windows.
Asustek is a minor player in the smartphone field, competing
with industry titans such as Nokia NOK1V.HE, HTC (2498.TW) and
Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhone, but is one of the latest in a string of
PC companies to launch its own line of smartphones.
Some analysts have expressed doubt at the PC vendors' move
into smartphone territory, suggesting that they could add little
value to the already crowded arena. [ID:nSP92017]
LiMo has been missing support from the largest cellphone
vendors so far, with only NEC (6701.T), Panasonic (6752.T) and
Motorola MOT.N having unveiled phones using its software.
For a factbox on mobile phone operating systems, please
double click on [ID:nLO147224]
(Reporting by Kelvin Soh and Tarmo Virki; Editing by Chris