With the way technology and software have been moving, nothing beats open source anything. From open source browsers to operating systems, it seems the trend is going to become the standard very soon. So, the Open Handset Alliance has just announced the addition of 14 new members to its growing community. Powered by the sacred Google-juice, Android seems to be the platform or mobile OS of choice these days, and why wouldn’t it be given its open source goodness? In addition to those already part of the alliance, AKM Semiconductor Inc., ARM, ASUSTek Computer Inc., Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International Inc., Huawei Technologies, Omron Software Co. Ltd, Softbank Mobile Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba and Vodafone are jumping on the bandwagon. The more the merrier indeed as all of these companies will now be actively developing handsets, hardware and other goodies powered by the Android OS. The G1 is getting lonely fellas, get moving!
Following Google’s footsteps, Nokia and Symbian are really pushing forward with R&D by taking in several huge companies to gain access to Symbian. Notable companies include ARM, Visa, and Huawei amongst 52 companies that have expressed their interest in joining the Symbian Foundation. With such a huge following, the software and platform potential could create a formidable force to rival Google’s Android OS. Nokia plans on buying out all shareholders of Symbian for $410 million and make their goods royalty-free… way to go, Nokia! Profits from Symbian will go to the Symbian Foundation in order to support its efforts to create an open-source platform. Symbian Foundation software should be making its debut some time in 2009 with a fully operational platform in 2010. It’s nice to see the telecom industry team up with other companies and embrace the open-source nature of things.
According to an article at TechCrunch, Motorola is ramping up it efforts in the Android arena by hiring an additional 300 developers to supplement its current staff of 50. That is a huge increase and it appears as if Motorola, one of the original Open Handset Alliance members, is ready to get a little piece of that Android action. The same source also reported seeing some Nokia and Verizon reps at a recent Android developer conference. Neither Verizon or Nokia are part of the OHA, so what are they doing there? Having a change of heart about Android or just getting some competitive advantage? Only time will tell but it looks like things are starting to get interesting in the Android world.
Last week, we spilled a rumor onto the Internet regarding Verizon Wireless’ new deal for going contract free. Today, VZW has officially announced and confirmed our suspicions — contracts are not necessary for those who want to pay the unsubsidized price for phones or potential subscribers who want to use their existing CDMA devices. The leaked internal documents above provides more of the details. Way to go Verizon! The contract-free option will also be available to current users so long as they fulfill their current contracts. So, if you’re nearing the end of your contract or you think you’d like to remain loyal to Verizon for quite some time, this would definitely be the way to go. If you’re new and you’d like to check it out online, when you select your device there is a drop-down menu beside it where you can select Month-to-Month, 1 year, or 2 year contract options. After giving it a quick run ourselves, it looks like all you have to do is pick your plan, choose a device, and checkout. Like we mentioned before, the activation fee still applies for all plans. Full leaked docs are after the jump!