New Motorola cell phones ring up Linux, Java

The first Linux- and Java-equipped cell phone and personal digital assistant (PDA) from Motorola Inc. will be released later this year, ushering in a new generation of phones based on the open-source operating system.

In an announcement today, the company said the first phone, the model A760, “is Motorola’s first handset demonstrating the company’s commitment to making the Linux operating system a key pillar of its handset software strategy.”

By using Linux and Java, Motorola said, the new line of phones will provide “mobile developers with an increased freedom to create new Java applications, from games to productivity tools, for smart devices like the A760.”

The new devices will also allow for the creation of applications, which will help lead to increased revenue and sales opportunities for service providers around the world, the company said.

The A760 phone will include PDA features, as well as a digital camera, video player, MP3 player, speaker phone, advanced messaging, instant Internet access and Bluetooth wireless technology. The units will offer voice and text communications, as well as entertainment services.

“This handset is special because it features one of the most open and flexible software platforms that exists,” Rob Shaddock, vice president and general manager of the GSM/TDMA Product Line in Motorola’s Personal Communications Sector, said in a statement. “By supporting the open-source Linux OS and Java technology, Motorola is creating the most open and flexible environment possible to help drive the development of compelling applications for rich, customized mobile experiences.”

The device is expected to launch first in the Asia Pacific region in 2003. A U.S. launch date wasn’t provided.

A Motorola spokesman couldn’t be reached today at press time for comment.