Sendo Holdings Ltd will offer operators a choice of mobile Java
environments on its Z100 smart phone after sealing a deal with Insignia Solutions Inc to port its Insignia Mobile Foundation software to the much anticipated device.
However, Birmingham, UK-based Sendo looks set to push back the Z100's introduction to the end of the year, after failing again to meet its planned autumn launch.
Sendo's deal with Fremont, California-based Insignia breaks the
stranglehold that Reading, UK-based Tao Group Ltd had seemingly engineered to supply Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) technology on the first commercial device to be powered by Microsoft's Windows Powered
Smartphone 2002 handset platform.
A spokesperson for Insignia said that Sendo has not redesigned its Z100 exclusively around Insignia's platform. Rather, Sendo will now offer both the Insignia and Tao J2ME environments depending on operator requirements.
But the move could yet limit Tao's ambitions to supply its Intent platform - in which J2ME is a part - on Microsoft-powered, or for that matter non-Microsoft-powered, smart phones.
Insignia's platform is already the virtual de facto standard JVM on Microsoft Pocket PC-based PDAs, following a deal to supply technology on Hewlett-Packard's (nee Compaq's) iPaq range, suggesting that company's software could now become the preferred Java platform for Smartphones based on Texas Instruments' OMAP chipset. Insignia announced in March that it was working to port its J2ME environment to OMAP.
Either way, the move is an interesting new twist in the ongoing saga of the Z100, which has suffered multiple delays since it was first announced. Sendo told ComputerWire in July that it was confident of bringing the device to market by September or October this year. The Insignia spokesperson suggested the end of the year is now a more likely target.