DoCoMo, Japanese handset firms to combine on mobile OS

Nicole McCormick
27 Apr 2010

Japan’s biggest cellco, NTT DoCoMo has hooked up with five electronics firms to work on a new mobile apps platform.

The first devices based on the new OS – which will be compatible with Symbian and Linux - will be released in late 2011 or early 2012, according to a joint statement.

DoCoMo’s partners include Japan’s biggest handset-makers NEC, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Sharp, as well as chipmaker Renesas Electronics.

The joint effort underlines the failure of these brand-name hardware firms in developing a smartphone. Apple’s iPhone, with an OS that supports application downlaods, has 72% of the local smartphone market.

The new platform aims to offer “improved processing speeds for high-quality video and enhanced 3D graphics processing for advanced mobile multimedia functions.”

The vendors said the new platform means they will be able to “avoid having to develop basic application-processing functions on their own,” thus significantly reducing development time and costs.

Compatibility with open operating systems such as Android also is under consideration, the statement said.

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