Parks Associates Blog

Monday, February 09, 2009

Vodafone Signs Up Azingo, LiMo Foundation Secures More Carrier Commitment

The world’s largest carrier Vodafone has awarded a contract to Azingo to develop mobile applications based on LiMo Foundation’s R1 reference stack. LiMo Foundation is an industry consortium formed in early 2007 with the mission to design and deliver an open Linux-based software platform for mobile handsets. Both Vodafone and Azingo are core members of the LiMo Foundation so the deal is not a surprise in any sense. But this could be the tip of an iceberg for what LiMo Foundation is planning to do in the next couple of years.

Last year when I first spoke to the consortium, it had about 40 member companies including Orange, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Verizon Wireless and handset makers like Panasonic, Samsung, NEC, LG, and Motorola. It released its R1 platform as well as its SDK in 1H08. I haven’t received an update regarding its scheduled release for native, Web, and Java SDKs, but the consortium is preparing for its R2 platform release and appeared to have wowed additional operators like Swisscom and Telecom Italia. More encouragingly, the carriers have expressed commitment to specifying and releasing more handsets conforming to LiMo specs in the coming year. So far, a total of 33 handsets are LiMo-ompliant. I am sure that more will be on display at the Mobile World Congress this week.

LiMo’s Linux OS focuses on the middleware stack and tries to provide an open, low-cost, and consistent software development environment for mobile industry value chain players, down to chipset makers and up to various mobile application developers. It categorically separates itself from Google’s Android platform, even though the latter also uses Linux kernel and touts openness. Compared with the Google-leading Open Handset Alliance, LiMo is equally impressive for its list of members so it will be a good race between the two. Eventually, the handset sales will be the deciding factor for many of the operators and handset makers on both sides of the aisle.

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Anonymous YH Kwon said...

My understanding is that LiMo still in two different streams, Azingo and Access; which can be easily inferior to a single stream of Android.

12:02 AM  

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