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Summary:

Developers and phone geeks look at Linux-based cell phones and see the promises of open source — Investors, on the other hand, see green. Venture buyout firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital said it is buying Linux mobile software company Celunite with an initial investment of $30 […]

Developers and phone geeks look at Linux-based cell phones and see the promises of open source — Investors, on the other hand, see green. Venture buyout firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital said it is buying Linux mobile software company Celunite with an initial investment of $30 million undisclosed sum. VentureWire put the price tag at $100 million over the next four years for the year-old company based in Sunnyvale, California. Garnett & Helfrich also previously funded Celunite with $30 million.

Update: Garnett & Helrich decided to disclose an initial investment of $30 million in the majority stake acquisition, which I thought was a prior round.


It’s an unusual buy for Garnett & Helfrich, which formerly purchased Ingres from Computer Associates and Blade Network Technologies from Nortel. But a spokesperson said the purchase was based on the growing market for Linux-based mobile software and the search for an alternative to Symbian.

The demand for an open platform for mobile devices is growing as hardware makers and developers look for alternatives to Symbian and Microsoft, and find Linux can provide a cheaper faster way to bring devices to market. Motorola said earlier this year that the company hopes to have more than half of its new cell phone models running Linux over the next few years. Linux mobile software company Trolltech (of Greenphone fame) went public this July.

  1. “Linux mobile software company” – what product or solution does Celunite offer? This makes it sound like they produce a Linux distro (kernel, run-time, toolchain) for mobile devices (cell phones?). But some web searching hints they have a content distribution platform for mobile devices?

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  2. Rummors today in London at the Smartphone show that Savaje has gone into recievership.

    The investors have failed to agree a bridging agreement and so management have been forced to pull the plug just as the company had managed to get paying customers. (For more details see http://www.newswireless.net/index.cfm/article/2977)

    Whilst Linux mobile devices are something the networks demand so that they have something to beat down handset prices. It is no more than a pipe dream because the consumer will demand more than a Linux device can provided. Remember that the IP owned by Qualcomm will never go open source and so Linux can only be a layer built above the core OS.

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  3. Digital Evangelist,

    Yeah, whatever. Qualcomm this, Qualcomm that. I suppose Apache could never have created a successful open source web server because Microsoft owns the world, right? So why try? I mean, what the heck, throw in the towel and forget innovation and forget pushing the envelope forward, right? We’re all doomed to the arch capitalism of Qualcomm so just bow down to them because they and Microsoft have the holy grail. Ooops, did you say you were an employee of Qualcomm and feel threatened by innovative ideas such as VOIP, WiFi, and Greenphone? Ooops, big mistake ha ha ha you shall learn the hard way!

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  4. This is just a rig the jack and make a buck thing!

    I personally know the guys behind this and their strategy is nowhere near to a product. Creation of Trolltech took 10 years and these guys hardly can compile a kernel.

    So beware!

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