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Panasonic, NEC unveil 9 new Linux phones

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Sci/Tech

Panasonic Corp and NEC Corp unveiled nine new cell phone models on Tuesday that run the open-source LiMo operating system, wireless Linux group LiMo said.

The focus of the cell phone market has been shifting to software development since Google Inc and Apple Inc entered the mobile market in the past two years, with phone vendors and operators increasingly looking for open source alternatives such as LiMo to cut costs.

The market for software platforms on cell phones is led by Nokia's Symbian operating system, but it has lost much ground over the last year to Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.

Computer operating system Linux has had little success with cell phones so far, but its role is increasing with the LiMo platform and Google is using Linux for its Android platform.

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