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Three More Linux mobile Phones Coming in Japan 53

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-always-get-the-cool-stuff-first dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NEC and Panasonic have developed three Linux-powered 3G mobile phones to be introduced in Japan in the coming months -- NEC's N900iL, NEC's N901iC, and Panasonic's P901i. Of the three, only NEC's N900iL is currently shipping. The N900iL is a dual-network 3G/VoIP handset that works as a 3G mobile phone (using DoCoMo's W-CDMA/FOMA technologies), VoIP terminal, or both simultaneously. All three phones are based on the Linux 3G mobile phone software platform announced by NEC and Panasonic earlier this week."
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Three More Linux mobile Phones Coming in Japan

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  • Unfortunately (Score:1, Informative)

    by elid (672471)
    ...to be introduced in Japan...

    Unfortunately, it takes a long time for devices like these to make it to the US, if they make it at all.

    • Re:Unfortunately (Score:3, Informative)

      by SimonShine (795915)
      Here in Denmark, the only 3G phones for sale, by the only 3G network in Denmark, are NEC ones. It may have taken a while for the technology to get here, but if there is any delay in these new Linux mobiles from NEC, it would be because we've had a really bad experience with the last series due to software bugs. The company in Denmark has a campaign offering a free operating system upgrade until December 1st.
    • It takes long for everything in the US. I also wonder why. But after lining there for a while, I can think of one reason: MONEY and Corporate or call it special interests. If there is any interest by any of these groups in anything, development always gets affected. That is why countries of the world are embracing Linux but the US lags behind. Western Europe is very advanced in the cell phone industry because Europeans seem to see things differently. They are more socialist than Americans.

      That is why for

      • Um, please get off your soapbox. Guess what, my bet is that these systems will not be available in Canada for a while either. Why? Because the US and Canada are just too big to rationalize the investment in cellular technologies. Have you ever been to Korea or Japan? Do you know how many people there are in a very small area? Do you realize that the major investments in internet and cellular techonologies are the fixed costs, and the reason they are so profitable in these places is because with the sa
        • Well, other points aside, your argument that cellphones are lagging in the US because of its size, is bordering on the ridiculous. The EU is as large as the US, yet the mobile phone penetration has been far higher ever since the mid 90's. Up here in Finland, there is only a population of 17 inhabitants per square kilometer [finland.fi]. In the US the same figure is a little over 30 [u-s-history.com] (use google to convert to metric). So, you seriously need to rethink your argument about why the US is lagging in mobile technology.
          • I am unsure whether you are comparing the United States to the European Union, or the United States to Finland. You don't delineate very well which one you are talking about.

            I'll take the US vs Finland though, just to make it fair. ;-)

            From your link:

            Finland has a population of 5.2 Million people, 67% of which live in _towns_.

            That means you have (5.2M x .67) = 3.48 Million people living in an area of roughly (330,000 sq km x .67) 221,100 sq km!

            Please take your 3G phone out to the 33% of your country NOT
            • One niggle: In Finland, a town or city is an administrative term that collects a population spread out over massive distances. A typical countryside town here has a dozen houses and a church in the center and hundreds of houses that can be dozens of kilometers away.

              Add to that our obsession with summer cottages in remote regions that *must* be served, so that our yuppies and Nokia executives can stay in touch with the office during vacations, and you will find that 90% coverage is required from a competiti
        • Re:Unfortunately (Score:2, Interesting)

          by kryonD (163018)
          "Do you realize that the major investments in internet and cellular techonologies are the fixed costs, and the reason they are so profitable in these places is because with the same fixed costs, you can serve a lot more people and thus make a lot more money in Seoul than you can in Topeka."

          Wrong, Wrong, Wrong and Wrong.

          Why don't you actually learn something about the technology and market penetration in those countries before YOU get on a soapbox. The reason why DoCoMo has 40M subscribers isn't because
          • Yes, how can one be charged for recieving a call? That is ludicrous. One week, I got swamped by spam. Messages just appeared on my phone. For each, I was being charged 10 Canadian cents. I dumped my phone company because they would not budge. Though politicians in the west talk of the free/open market, here in Canada, one cannot start another cell phone company. We cannot even watch foreign TV stations, save for American channels. This is because there is some agreement with cable companies here...in all, m
      • Nice theory regarding the cell phones. Your giant corporate conspiracy theory is much more plausible than different cultural tastes.

        Well, OK, it's not. The fact is, Europeans and Asians are apparently willing to spend more, on average, for cell phones than Americans. If cell phones ever become more important to the American consumer (or, rather, the additional features of these super-cell-phones do), Americans will be willing to pay more - and they will be released there.

        In addition, the costs of cell pho
  • Seamless switching? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PornMaster (749461) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @11:34AM (#10881116) Homepage
    Are there any service providers currently offering the ability to seamlessly switch from cell towers to VoIP where your current call will move uninterrupted? And if so, what do they charge for VoIP minutes (if anything) over the basic cellular plan?
  • Great Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ReeprFlame (745959)
    If only we would get great technology like that of Asia and Europe quicker in the US! I always thought it would be a good idea to get a mobile phone merged with voip [though over a WLAN link]. This would allow WLANs to be 2x useful and encourage huge meshes of APs in order to utilize them not on ly for data but voice as well. Only the future will tell us...
    • by thepoch (698396) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @11:47AM (#10881173)
      Frankly, I can't wait for Japan to develop some sort of communicator that I can pin on my shirt, tap, and just say the name of the person I want to talk to with immediate and seamless translations.

      Either that or the skull implanted cellphones Nokia is planning on that Linus talks about in his Just For Fun book.
    • "If only we would get great technology like that of Asia and Europe quicker in the US! "

      What "great technology of Asia and Europe" are you talking about?

      The same CDMA2000 1x EV-DO phones used in South Korea could be brought to the US. Verizon is deploying a CDMA2000 1x EV-DO network. 14 networks down, and they hope to have the entire network upgraded by the end of 2005.

      Or did you mean the UMTS phones in Europe? ATT/Cingular is deploying UMTS.

      Or did you mean the GSM phones used in Europe like the XDAIII?
  • telco monopoly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @11:38AM (#10881137) Homepage Journal
    The telcos control the wireless airwaves, and lockin consumers to the phones they sell for their network. Of course they won't be selling phones with WiFi features that can cut their meters out of the loop. That's why, in the US, we have an FCC that vigorously defends our free market, right?
    • Of course they won't be selling phones with WiFi features that can cut their meters out of the loop.

      Most cell phones have free calls to co-workers/spouses/family in some manner. The wireless telco.'s won't loose their bussiness by having lower usage on their networks, they will loose it if the industry is standardized enough to work around them. Once they are just selling connections and not 'services' the profit goes down, and they are the provider of services because of a lack of standards.

      • The telcos won't get to charge for WiFi->Internet VoIP calls, unless they're routed through their network and/or servers. The telcos are too lazy, because they're fat on legislated profits, to offer connections like that. So instead, they're afraid of those who do. At least in the USA, where we won't be seeing these WiFi/cellphones anytime soon. Even the Treo600, with its SDIO slot, was disabled from WiFi, as well as Bluetooth (for home VoIP connections). The new 650 has Bluetooth, and we'll have to wait
        • Treo 600s and 650s don't support WiFi in the SDIO slot largely because of the power draw, even though there is an SDIO card already available with Palm drivers. Unfortunate but not a conspiracy by the big bad telcos...

          Some mobile operators don't have any infrastructure at all, e.g. Virgin in UK and US, and many others in rest of Europe - these are the ones who will buy WiFi+GSM phones. However, without seamless handover from WiFi to/from GSM, they'll find it difficult to really sell a lot of VoIP over Wi
          • Actually, it's an open question why the 600/650 won't support WiFi in their SDIO slots. WiFi power draw should just make the uptime shorter, according to the SDIO spec, which provides enough to drive the card. It seems to work fine in T5s, so why not just turn off the CDMA/GSM radio when WiFi is on? No SDIO WiFi card has a driver for 600/650. Believe me, I've been tracking this problem very closely - I even got the TreoCentral.com WiFi driver bounty [slashdot.org] on the front page of Slashdot. There's just no conclusive
  • by thnmnt (62145) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @11:39AM (#10881145)
    Why do we care unless these companies pass the savings from using open source software on to the consumers? i could care less what the underlying os of my phone is...unless of course i could get shell..cause maybe i'd like that..
    • it shows that linux is gaining credability in the market
    • Open Source Software is about more than just the bottom line. While a corporation may only consider OSS int erms of what it can save them, OSS is about much more. While the software is free as in beer, it's much more important that it is free as in speech.

      First, even though they're using Linux, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're saving a significant amount. Anti-linux trolls have often said that Linux is only free if your time if valueless. While somewhat trite, this statement DOES have truth in it
      • your argument is a more general observation about the world of open source software, and while i agree with you about OSS philosophy, i still wonder about the choice to use this in consumer electronics device that i will use for a year and then toss out - because as good as the software is - the battery will still suck.

        is it stability? as crappy as my phone os's have been - they've never crashed on me. i've also never had a phone running WinCe- it's usually openwave or some such thing.

        *snip*
        >>it's a
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's just an anagram of "Not dotcom"
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @12:05PM (#10881261) Homepage Journal
    is a small Linux PDA/phone with
    • wifi
    • 2-3 {USB|keyboard|mouse} ports
    • VGA output
    • use and boot from some kind solid state memory expansion
    • built-in screen doesn't have to be fancy, just big enough to display nmap output or run vi.

    If my calling plan is reasonable, I don't care about VoIP.

  • Geez, this is like taking the wind out of the hackers' sails. I mean, if it's already got Linux on it, what are they gonna do? Any takers for being the first to put a Microsoft OS on one of these?
  • by sudog (101964) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @01:26PM (#10881655) Homepage
    All these embedded Linux systems out there that distribute Linux are required to offer the source code for redistribution.

    So where is it all? Or are they cheesing out and using only userland software to drive their phones?

    (In which case, who cares if it's running Linux, because we can't do anything useful with it anyway?)
  • the Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] solution!
  • Usually they are only available in China or Japan, but there are even more mobile Linux phones [tuxmobil.org] available. You may also enhance a Linux PDA [tuxmobil.org] with a GSM/GPRS CF-Card and turn it into a mobile SmartPhone this way.

  • Why is the OS important ?
    Surely it's just the usefulness features, or coolness of the phone which matters.

    Using linux is just manufacurers saving licensing costs of Sybian, but how does this affect consumers; the savings won't be passed on.

    Personally, while they are still refered to as phones, and tarrifs are kept confusing and basically the same, the ubiquitous mobility revolution cannot start.

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