SavaJe? They’re Still Around?

It’s been widely reported today that LG announced a phone that uses SavaJe’s Java OS — I was pretty surprised to see this, having thought (honestly) that SavaJe had quietly gone under, since they’ve had no news since last December. SavaJe’s big thing is that their OS is supposed to be easily customizable by operators, which is hardly surprising given that Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile own a quarter of it.

When SavaJe first emerged back in 2003, it was in the midst of the grand battle between handset manufacturers and mobile operators over branding — carriers wanted their brands to have a bigger presence on handsets, while the vendors wanted theirs to have top billing. That was an argument squarely won by the operators. I postulated then that investing in SavaJe wasn’t much more than ploy by carriers to say “hey, we’ve got our own smartphone OS thing going on over here, so, really, we don’t need you” to the big vendors, and I’m doubt it’s much of a coincidence that there hasn’t been much news coming out of SavaJe since, while major manufacturers’ phones support customization pretty much across the board, and their smartphone OSes now feature easily customizable options.

It’s hard to see SavaJe ever being more than a bit player. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see it hang around in the background and get trotted out by the operators the next time handset vendors won’t accede to their wishes.

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