PARIS The world's top handset maker Nokia Oyj
NOK1V.HE expects the role of the Linux operating system in
its product portfolio to increase as the role of its
Internet-focused devices grows, company officials said.
Linux has so far had little success on cellphones, but its
role is increasing as more new Linux-based models reach the
market, while Google Inc (GOOG.O) gave it a vote of confidence
by using it to build its Android platform on.
Nokia itself has used Linux for years in its Internet
tablets, large phone-like devices used to access Internet on
the go, but lacking calling functionality. "We will expand that
range, and we believe that the role of Linux will grow," said
Nokia spokesman Kari Tuutti.
Linux is the most popular type of open source operating
system which is available to the public to be used, revised and
shared -- meaning it has a large developer community which
could result in more attractive programs and lower costs for
the likes of Nokia.
Nokia has used the tablets to target technology-savvy
consumers or support emerging technologies like WiMAX.
"It's going to be terribly important," Nokia's Chief
Financial Officer Rick Simonson told an investor conference
when asked about the role of Linux-based tablets.
He said the company has been developing the next generation
of Linux-based products, which are starting to come to the
The market for software platforms on cellphones is led by
Nokia's S60, built on the Symbian operating system, well ahead
of Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Windows Mobile.
However, many mobile industry heavyweights, including
Vodafone (VOD.L), Motorola MOT.N, NTT DoCoMo (9437.T),
Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), Huawei HWT.UL and LG
Electronics (066570.KS), have joined Linux alliances.
Linux suppliers earn money selling improvements and
technical services and Linux competes directly with offerings
from Microsoft, which charges for its Windows software and
opposes freely sharing its code.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Helsinki bureau; Editing by