The LiMo Foundation has delivered its second mobile phone to the market under the second release of its software.
The Vodafone 360 Samsung M1 looks uncomfortably like an iPhone, only with three buttons below the screen. The name is a hybrid -- Vodafone 360 refers to the carrier's service platform, Samsung M1 the phone manufacturer.
And it's the Vodafone 360 that is at the heart of it all. The company calls this its "web services strategy." Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless of the U.S.
Version 2.0 of the LiMo platform was announced in September alongside another Samsung phone, the H1. While Android stories revolve around developers and phone makers, LiMo seems proudest of its agreements with carriers.
The M1 itself seems to be a dumbed-down version of the H1, with less memory, a smaller screen, and presumably a lower price. It seems the idea is to hit the low-end of the market with something that looks like an iPhone, but isn't, and a network that seems like the Internet, but isn't.
LiMo press announcements also tend to carry a breathless quality that hasn't been seen in America since the 1980s, except among recent college graduates. Here's a taste:
This latest handset developed by Samsung offers mobile consumers a unique mobile experience presented through Vodafone’s stunning feature-rich, highly customizable Vodafone 360 user interface (UI) – providing a new set of Internet services for the mobile and PC that gathers all of a customer’s friends, communities, entertainment and personal favorites in one place.
You would think these people invented the handset.
Snark aside we are starting to see the dimensions of contrasting strategies among the various Linux handset groups. Android is about the makers, LiMo the carriers, and Moblin the developers.