MontaVista Software Inc. and PalmSource Inc., two leaders in mobile device software, have joined each others partner programs and are teaming up to “help further accelerate the development of next generation Linux-based mobile phones,” the companies announced today. They plan to “leverage their collective expertise to create integrated solutions for handset vendors and mobile operators looking to build Linux handsets.”
PalmSource has joined MontaVistas Mobilinux Open Framework partner program, and MontaVista has joined PalmSources “Palm Powered Mobile World” (PPMW) program.
Market analyst Gartner recently reported that embedded Linux powered 13.7 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2005, up 412 percent from 3.4 percent in Q1-04, and well ahead of both Palm OS and Windows Mobile Smartphone Q1-05 shipments, which were 4.6 and 4.5 percent, respectively. Additionally, Gartner noted that smartphones comprise the fastest-growing portion of the “mobile terminal” market, with sales expected to double year-over-year in 2006, reaching 200 million by 2008.
The MontaVista/PalmSource alliance announcement comes amid persistent rumors that PalmOne, recently renamed “Palm”, is preparing to launch a new Palm Treo mobile phone running Microsofts Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone software platform. The new Windows-powered Palm smartphone is rumored to be dubbed the “Treo 670.”
MontaVista, which has a strong focus on the Linux mobile phone market, launched its Mobilinux Open Framework partner program last February. The program aims to “provide mobile handset vendors and operators with the architectural freedom to create and deliver differentiated products and services.” Through the program, “mobile handset vendors will build and ship devices featuring the latest technologies more quickly and more efficiently, while reducing overall development costs.”