While the Palm OS is used in quite a few smartphones, all of these are fairly expensive. Today, PalmSource made a significant move intended to bring the Palm OS platform to a much wider array of devices.
It is going to acquire China MobileSoft Limited (CMS), a Chinese mobile phone software company. CMS and its subsidiaries currently offer operating systems and other software for both smartphones and simpler featurephones.
PalmSource intends to give all CMS’s products the Palm OS look-and-feel and data compatibility. This will mean that there will be mobile phones running the Palm platform in all categories, from entry-level devices to the most high-end.
The China Connection
China is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world. Approximately 5.5 million new wireless phone subscribers sign up each month.
There are currently over 30 phone models shipping in China running CMS’s software. By acquiring CMS, PalmSource gains relationships with many of the companies that are developing innovative phones for the Chinese market and for export to the rest of the world.
CMS has also been developing a version of Linux optimized for mobile devices. PalmSource is going to make this the basis for a new product: Palm OS for Linux.
More information on the upcoming Linux version of the Palm OS can be found in this article.