Nokia eyeing maemo Linux for future high-end cellphones

Chris Davies - Dec 3, 2008, 5:22 am CST
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Nokia is considering using a Linux-based OS on its high-end cellphones, according to Ukko Lappalainen, vice president at the company’s markets unit.  However it’s unlikely to be Google’s Android OS; Nokia have their own Linux software, maemo, which is currently used in the N-series Internet Tablet range, and Lappalainen can’t “see anything in Android which would make it better than Linux maemo”.

“In the longer perspective, Linux will become a serious alternative for our high-end phones” Ukko Lappalainen, vice president of markets, Nokia

Nokia maemo version 5 has been openly discussed since September, with support for features such as OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration and new, lower-power chipsets.  That would make it equally at home on smartphone-style mobile devices, which have longer battery life demands than are expected from the company’s Internet Tablet range and yet from which users are expecting functionality traditionally limited to a laptop computer.

Lappalainen gave no indication of when we might see maemo on a cellphone, suggesting that the open-source distro will still be limited to larger Internet Tablets at least for the near future.  Nokia previously acquired Trolltech, who are responsible for the Qtopia application platform for mobile devices, embedded and medical systems.


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