PalmSource BREWs Up Deal with QUALCOMM

NEW ORLEANS — PalmSource, the OS subsidiary of Palm , brewed up a new distribution system for its Palm OS applications through an alliance with QUALCOMM
Tuesday through which they will enable over-the-air downloads for Palm Powered devices over QUALCOMM’s Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW).

The two announced the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the CTIA Wireless 2003 show in New Orleans.

The BREW Distribution System (BDS) manages over-the-air delivery, billing and payment of wireless applications, supporting Palm’s efforts to bring its OS to wider attention in the smartphone market.

“Enabling Palm Powered devices with the BDS will provide operators with a compelling way to differentiate their services and increase revenue, and will give them access to the world’s largest library of Palm OS applications,” said David Nagel, president and CEO of PalmSource.

That library includes more than 17,000 commercial applications and 10,000 eBooks, according to Palm.

The deal is reminiscent of QUALCOMM’s alliance with Sun Microsystems on Friday, allowing it to license Sun’s Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) for some of its chipsets. That deal allows BREW developers to use Java extensions with BREW, in turn giving BREW the ability to deliver J2ME applications — including upgraded Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) — over the air.

“You’re not stuck just with what’s been loaded on the device,” Jeremy James, senior marketing director at QUALCOMM, told Monday.

Operators have been busy deploying BREW as well, including Verizon Wireless and ALLTEL in the U.S., KTF in South Korea, KDDI in Japan, and China Unicom. Telefonica Moviles and Portugal Telecom and formed a joint venture that plans to roll out BREW services in Latin America this month, and U.S. Cellular has launched a BREW user trial.

Eric Anderson of Insignia, a company that develops BREW and Java applications, said there’s a simple reason for BREW’s growing popularity.

“What’s important is that carriers get a return on their investment,” he said. “BREW is an end-to-end solution where it’s really easy for a content provider to get paid. Everyone gets paid.”

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