PalmSource, Inc. the company that develops the Palm OS, used by device manufacturers like PalmOne, Sony and others, agreed to acquire China MobileSoft Limited (CMS), a Chinese mobile phone software company.
The acquisition of CMS will create the conditions for PalmSource to work on a Linux based version of its Palm OS: "This is the next stage in our growth and a major milestone for the mobile phone industry. We plan to offer the ease-of-use and flexibility that Palm OS is known for to all mobile phones," said David Nagel, president and CEO of PalmSource, Inc. "We believe the combination of PalmSource, CMS and Linux gives us the technological and market critical mass to compete with even the biggest proprietary operating system companies."
CMS applications are now shipping in over 30 phone models in the largest wireless market in the world. With a major R&D center and a sales and marketing team in China, PalmSource will now have direct access to this fast growing market. PalmSource also gains relationships with many of the OEM and ODMs that are developing innovative phones for domestic use and export to the rest of the world.
PalmSource will continue to offer both Palm OS Garnet and Palm OS Cobalt to support a range of mobile devices including smartphones. PalmSource also plans to implement Palm OS on top of Linux. It's the intention of the company to work within the Linux community to help Linux grow rapidly in the consumer and enterprise mobile markets.
Industry analysts estimate that by 2008, the worldwide mobile device market will total more than 800 million units, 250 million of them smartphones, and 540 million of them feature and voice phones. The combined company will be poised to take advantage of this larger opportunity.
According to market data published by China Daily, China is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world, with more wireless phones installed than wired phones, over 320 million mobile phone users and approximately 5.5 million new wireless phone subscribers signing up each month.