Mobile

MeeGo head says LG in its corner for phones (LG: not really)

With Nokia moving to Windows Phone 7 and not looking back, there doesn’t seem to be much hope left for Intel’s MeeGo mobile platform — especially because there still aren’t any phones that use it.

But Valterri Halla, the Intel group member who is spearheading the MeeGo initiative, is convinced that Nokia’s absence will encourage other manufacturers to join in on the MeeGo party.

Speaking at a developer conference on Friday, Halla said that LG has joined ZTE and China Mobile to help bring MeeGo to phones. “It’s [Nokia’s leaving] opening opportunities for the others to come in,” Halla said. “Discussions are taking place. You’ll see things coming out this year, pretty soon.”

An LG spokesman splashed some cold water on Halla’s excitement, telling Reuters that the company still has no plans to deliver MeeGo phones. “At this point in time LG has no definitive plans to mass produce devices with MeeGo other than car infotainment systems,” he said.

That doesn’t sound like a company that’s too excited about MeeGo. It also doesn’t make much sense for LG to split its efforts with MeeGo when it’s just starting to roll out attractive Android superphones like the G2x.

Nokia said previously that it still plans to deliver a single MeeGo phone this year as an experiment, but it won’t be pursuing the platform beyond that.

MeeGo, which initially started as a joint project between Nokia and Intel, was a tough sell from the start. It was first announced as an open source Linux-based platform for netbooks, tablets and phones, but we’ve yet to see many MeeGo devices. There are some MeeGo netbooks and tablets available, but they’re more technology demos than actual competitors to the iPad and Android.

Intel has said that it’s “not blinking on MeeGo,” likely because it’s already heavily invested in its development. But MeeGo isn’t crucial to Intel — the company continues to support Windows Phone and Android. If MeeGo proves not to be worth the effort now that Nokia is effectively out of the project, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Intel give up on it entirely.

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