LiMo is developed by the LiMo Foundation (founded by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics, and Vodafone) for handheld devices, and is based on the Linux operating system. It has a modular plug-in architecture, and supports DRM. LiMo application developers will be able to use SDKs to write managed code running in a Java virtual machine, browser apps for WebKit, and native code.


In creating the LiMo Foundation, the founding members have also created two new licenses for contributed code, while it appears that not all the code will be available to everyone.

Open source licenses such as the GNU General Public License and Mozilla License can be used, but members can also choose between the FPL (Common Capable) and the FPL (Non-Common Capable) license. Common Capable includes a patent non-assert clause and covers code that could be included in the common core. Non-Common Capable covers code not considered for inclusion in the common core, and enables the contributor to charge non-discriminatory royalty fees for patents.

Sponsorship and Financial

There are more than 50 members from the LiMo Foundation who are working together within an open and transparent governance model - with shared leadership and shared decision making - to deliver an open and globally consistent handset software platform based on Linux for use by the whole mobile industry.

LiMo is NOT a standards body – through an innovative business model and an open framework for industry collaboration, LiMo is directly connected to the real business of delivering next generation handsets, applications and services to consumers. As of this writing, membership to the LiMo foundation is $40k/year for associate members, $275k/year for Core members without a board seat, and $550k/year for Core members with a board seat. All foundation members can access and modify foundation code. Membership Benefits.


A relatively small community, especially comparing to that of iPhone and Android. There is Core or Associate membership, with the different membership offering different benefits.To learn more about the community and how to join the LiMo foundation, more information can be found here:

Market Penetration

  • Number of end users - Relatively more popular in Japan, since more devices in Japan uses LiMo compare to the rest of the world
  • Carrier penetration - Mainly Japanese domestic phones. the list could be found here :

Support and Infrastructure

  • Application store availability - no
  • Type of support (Professional support, community support, corporate support etc) - from LiMo Foundation and the community
  • Developers’ tools (IDE, developer sand box etc.) - SDK from LiMo Foundation


  • Quality/Stability of the platform - pretty well, since a lot of the Japanese phones are base on LiMo


LiMo supports multitple hardware, as LiMo foundation was formed by multiple hardware manufacturers. Applications can access middleware components through a well-defined API and interface model. For design flexibility, middleware components may be implemented in either C or C++. Two architectural components, the Application Manager Framework and the Application UI Framework, provide both C and C++ interfaces.The LiMo Foundation Platform is designed to be hardware independent so that LiMo Foundation member companies that create a LiMo-powered handset have the flexibility to choose any hardware chipset solution to meet their needs.

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