Palm Likely to Launch Linux-based Smartphones

Digitimes has posted a vague article that quotes Palm's vice president for Asia-Pacific as saying that Palm is likely to launch Linux-based smartphones while continuing to roll out mobile phones supporting its own Palm operating system.

The author does seem to confuse Palm with PalmSource later in the article. Though the linux quote is attributed to Palm the hardware company. (since corrected) It is widely known that PalmSource is working on a linux based version of the Palm OS. It is due to be completed in the second half of 2006.

Thanks to Pat Horne & LegoDude522 for the tip.

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Likely could mean years from now or never

Gekko @ 12/6/2005 11:24:15 PM # Q
Palm was once "likely" to launch a Cobalt smartphone too, remember?

don't hold your breath.

RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
Admin @ 12/6/2005 11:40:10 PM # Q
the general thought it that it would take a hardware manufacturer at least another six months to develop a product once Palm OS for Linux is finished... so "likely" not until early 2007.
RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
Gekko @ 12/6/2005 11:44:44 PM # Q

ken wirt of palm already said it would take at least "one year" after they got plinux for them to ship a phone.

i'm too tired to find the quote/interview but it's out there.

RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
PenguinPowered @ 12/7/2005 2:09:20 AM # Q
You can probably forgive the article author (editor?) for confusing Palm(One|Source}. After all, PalmSource only lasted for two years between the Palm sale and the Access purchase, and PalmOne was a company name for even less time.

Still, I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in what "linux" means to an editor who thinks that Palm bought CMS.

Marty Fouts

I survived PalmSource '05

RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
Gekko @ 12/7/2005 8:51:48 AM # Q

Ken Wirt, senior vice-president of marketing, said his firm was waiting for PalmSource to port the Palm environment to Linux before moving away from Palm OS 5. He said that there were no plans to produce Windows Mobile PDAs. "It will take us about a year to build a product on Palm OS for Linux after they come out with it," Wirt added.

RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
LiveFaith @ 12/7/2005 11:39:55 AM # Q
This is the part from Wirt that makes me wince (no pun intended) ...

"While Palm looks set to continue shipping Palm OS 5 handhelds for the near future, Wirt admitted there would have to be a cut-off point. "At some point in the future, we would obviously prefer to be on one platform," he said."

: - o

Pat Horne;

RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
Gekko @ 12/7/2005 12:29:54 PM # Q

Reverend - I think Wirt means "One PALM platform" - ie -

1. Garnet *OR* Plinux
2. Windows Mobile


RE: Likely could mean years from now or never
LiveFaith @ 12/7/2005 2:15:30 PM # Q
As long as it's ANY I'll be happy.

Pat Horne;
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Make of this what you will.....

Masamune @ 12/7/2005 4:47:13 AM # Q
"Palm is likely to launch Linux-based smartphones while continuing to roll out mobile phones supporting its own Palm operating system"

I was under the impression that Palm was only going to have one OS i.e: the linux derived one.

RE: Make of this what you will.....
LiveFaith @ 12/7/2005 11:41:22 AM # Q
Such a strategy makes no sense to me either, but when the cheiftains start saying these things, I have to take notice. Maybe the writer of the article is discombobulated by Palm, PalmOne, Palmsource, Linux and PalmLinux and just muffed the whole thing? Nonetheless, he's quoted as saying it.

Pat Horne;
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The web is full of Me-Tooers

SeldomVisitor @ 12/7/2005 6:48:50 AM # Q
The article has been corrected. The PALM words now mean...nothing:


RE: The web is full of Me-Tooers
Nycran @ 12/7/2005 8:03:17 AM # Q
I'm pretty sure that we're not talking about palm OS here. Sounds like the article is refering to a linux variant that has nothing to do with palm OS at all. Wind River anyone? I can see good reason why Palm would do this as it would give them another revenue stream that is not influenced by the success or failure of Palm OS/Access.

That being said, this directly conflicts with the "we don't need any other OS" comments from the Palm big guns. It's likely that Palm is in fact experimenting with different hardware and software. As to whether anything will come of it, well that could easily swing both ways.

RE: The web is full of Me-Tooers
LiveFaith @ 12/7/2005 11:44:22 AM # Q
Would it be to far fetched to see them release Linux based feature phones only to make the Plinux jump with smartfones later on?

Pat Horne;
RE: The web is full of Me-Tooers
AdamaDBrown @ 12/7/2005 2:29:27 PM # Q
Anyone else ever wonder if these persistent pure-Linux phone rumors are planted by Wind River to stir up interest in their product? Honestly, I can't see Palm producing a pure Linux device, not unless PalmLinux bombed and any attempt Palm made to create their own Linux flavor didn't pan out.

RE: The web is full of Me-Tooers
PenguinPowered @ 12/7/2005 4:17:19 PM # Q
"pure Linux device" doesn't make much sense. Linux is just the kernel. What people think of as "Linux" is that plus whatever the people who put the distribution (distro) together decided to add. PC Linux always uses X Windows for its GUI base, but that's just a starting point. Once you do that you decide on which window manager, display manager, and set of applications you want to run.

So-called "embedded" Linux is a bit different. There are no real distros, just a few companies selling kernels and minimum sets of tools, like MontaVista, or companies without kernel experience selling GUI stuff like TollTech. So these days, everyone rolls their own "distro".

OSDL, CE-Linux, and now LiPS are trying to change that, but, true to the LinuxWay(tm) they're agreeing to disagree. As Larry Wall says, "There's more than one way to do it", and the Linux community seems to hit on all of them at one time or another. (I love that part, it keeps life fresh for developers.)

Expect embedded Linux to be like PC Linux in that there will be dozens, if not hundreds of attempts to create a distribution and that out of these a small number will come to dominate. Where emedded Linux will differ from the PC is in the degree of customization available. Carriers, especially in the US, are not likely to allow a great deal of customization, and consumers of embedded devices are far less likely than even PDA users to want to customize anything beyond the "look and feel" of their feature phones. Of course, look and feel is the last thing that a carrier wants the customer to customize.

Interesting times ahead for those who tread in the linux end of the pool.

Marty Fouts

I survived PalmSource '05

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Wrong OS

Galley_SimRacer @ 12/7/2005 8:28:09 AM # Q
Screw that, if they insist on making non-Palm-based smartphones, base them on BeOS!

Galley's Music Scene
A different music topic every weekday
RE: Wrong OS
javispedro @ 12/8/2005 11:34:10 AM # Q
Yes, the power of the Tracker in my Palm! ;)

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Nothing like vague comments to fuel the rumor machine

DJS_TX @ 12/7/2005 9:30:05 AM # Q
This could mean a number of things (or it could mean nothing). Given Palm's recent track record, I am hesitant to be excited but this could be something very cool.

At worst, it is just another product somewhere between a featurephone and a smartphone. At best it could be a transition device to help shorten the time between the release of palmsource linux the OS and a palmsource linux based product.

This device could be a testbed for writing hardware drivers under the linux API and getting familiar with the linux / GNU toolchain.

My biggest hope is that Palm leaves the architecture open enough that they can get the linux hackers excited and involved. Probably going to be dang hard to keep the control freak carriers happy and make it hackable for the geeks but if the can do it, they will have a hit. Get the open source hackers involved and you have the best testing and debugging resources in the world.

I'm still hanging on to my Zire 72 waiting for a decent linux PDA. I'll be the first one in line if they make a linux PDA that can run all my old palm apps.

Oh well, this announce proves nothing but it could be the start of something good.

RE: Nothing like vague comments to fuel the rumor machine
LiveFaith @ 12/7/2005 11:47:14 AM # Q
Eternal optimism is more fun than raw truth isn't it. :-D

I thot the same about getting a stop-gap Linux model out only to make the short jump to Plinux when it hits. I'm speculating.

Pat Horne;

RE: Nothing like vague comments to fuel the rumor machine
PenguinPowered @ 12/7/2005 10:31:18 PM # Q
Writing device drivers for smart phones and such creatures requires access to proprietary documentation that describes hardware features that the vendor tends to want to keep secret.

Also, do you really think, especially in the US, that the carriers are going to be happy with an open architecture on a phone?

As much as fun as Seti@phone would be, I don't think cingular would be all that interested in allowing it -- unless they could figure out how to charge you for it.

Marty Fouts

I survived PalmSource '05

RE: Nothing like vague comments to fuel the rumor machine
LiveFaith @ 12/8/2005 11:53:27 AM # Q
Is there not a cause? In the US, is there not enough market for an open-device revenue model for a cell carrier. More like European carriers. It would have a cult following, but would it be enough to $urvive? What about piggybacking on Cingular's network, or even on of the GSMs spinning out another portal to their network based on different criteria. Where's Apple?

Pat Horne;
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