Nokia eyes wider use of Linux software in phones

The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet on display at the Web. 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, California October 18, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White

BARCELONA (Reuters) - The world’s biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia, could start to use open-source Linux software on its more expensive phone models, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

“In the longer perspective, Linux will become a serious alternative for our high-end phones,” Ukko Lappalainen, vice president at Nokia’s markets unit, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the “Nokia World” industry conference.

Linux’s role in the handset industry is growing as Google has introduced its Linux-based Android platform, but Lappalainen said Nokia was likely to stick to its own Linux development.

Nokia uses Linux maemo software in its niche offering of Internet tablets, while it uses Symbian software for its phones.

“I don’t see anything in Android which would make it better than Linux maemo,” Lappalainen said. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki)