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VMware Virtualization on the iPhone

Faster Time to Market, Better Security, Isolated Work and Personal

VMware has announced plans to bring virtualization and its many proven benefits to mobile phones through the new VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform. Built on innovative technology acquired from Trango Virtual Processors in October 2008, VMware MVP will help handset vendors reduce development time and get mobile phones with value-added services to market faster. In addition, end users will benefit by being able to run multiple profiles for example, one for personal use and one for work use on the same phone.

VMware is excited to extend the benefits of virtualization, which we pioneered for x86 hardware, to the mobile phone market, said Paul Maritz, president and chief executive officer of VMware. By abstracting the applications and data from the hardware itself, we expect that virtualization will not only enable handset vendors to accelerate time to market but can also pave the way for innovative applications and services for phone users. We look forward to working closely with our partners to bring new mobile solutions to market faster.

Gartner sees virtualization in the mobile space as a very promising and potentially a fast emerging market, said Monica Basso, research vice president, at Gartner. We predict that by 2012, more than 50% of new smart phones shipped will be virtualized1. Virtualization can enable enterprises and consumers to easily manage and secure their phones and it can also help handset vendors reduce bills of materials and shorten development cycles to allow for faster releases.

There is a rapid and growing demand for virtualization technologies from both the designers and consumers of next-generation mobile devices utilizing the ARM® Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processors, said Eric Schorn, vice president, marketing, processors division, at ARM. Offering both time to market benefits for system integration and enhanced end-user experiences, we look forward to continuing to work closely with VMware as we enhance our support for virtualization.

What is VMware MVP?

VMware MVP is a thin layer of software that will be embedded on a mobile phone that decouples the applications and data from the underlying hardware. It will be optimized to run efficiently on low-power-consuming and memory-constrained mobile phones. The MVP is planned to enable handset vendors to bring phones to market faster and make them easier to manage.

Benefits to Handset Manufacturers

  • Accelerated time to market:
    Today, handset vendors spend significant time and effort getting new phones to market due to the use of multiple chipsets, operating systems and device drivers across their product families. The same software stack does not work across all the phones and, therefore, must be ported separately for each platform. This process is slow and expensive and ultimately slows time to market. VMware MVP will virtualize the hardware, enabling handset vendors to develop a software stack with an operating system and a set of applications that is not tied to the underlying hardware. This will enable the vendors to deploy the same software stack on a wide variety of phones without worrying about the underlying hardware differences. At the same time, by isolating the device drivers from the operating system, handset vendors can further reduce porting costs because they can now use the same drivers irrespective of the operating system deployed on the phone.
  • Easy Migration to Rich Operating Systems:
    Increasingly, handset vendors and carriers are looking to migrate from proprietary operating systems to rich, open operating systems to enable their customers to access the widest selection of applications. With this transition to open operating systems, protection of trusted services such as digital rights management, authentication, billing, etc. is becoming an increasing concern. VMware MVP will allow vendors to isolate these important trusted services from the open operating system and run them in isolated and tamper-proof virtual machines so that even if the open environment is compromised, the trusted services are not impacted.

Benefits to Businesses and End Users

  • Multiple Profiles:
    Companies are under increasing pressure from employees to support employee-owned mobile devices. Choice, however, brings with it complexity in managing a wide variety of devices in terms of both cost and security. It also brings increased risk in securing and managing employee-owned devices, especially if they contain confidential information. VMware MVP will allow IT organizations to deploy a corporate phone personality that can run alongside the employees personal phone on the same physical device.
  • Persona on the Go:
    Smart phones are quickly becoming a combination of a PC and a wallet rolled into one package. A persons phone persona an individuals collection of applications, pictures, videos, music, emails, bank info, credit card information, PIM, etc. is becoming much richer and more valuable. Consequently, the ability to protect and migrate personas will become an important purchasing decision. VMware MVP will save the persona as a set of files so that all the applications and data on the phone can be managed as a collection of files. People can then easily move their persona to a new device making the upgrade to a new phone virtually painless.

Visit for additional information about VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform

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