Sun moves on Java for HP smartphone

Sun Microsystems on Monday is announcing integration of the Java Platform Micro Edition (ME) with the HP iPaq 900 Series Business Messenger smartphone. But the company's plan to put Java on the popular Apple iPhone device has remained stalled.

For the HP device, the binary Java ME implementation is based on Sun Java Wireless Client software and enables Java applications to run on the unit.

"[HP has] switched over to Sun as the supplier of the Java virtual machine for this, and we're delivering this VM in binary form," said Dave Hofer, Sun group marketing manager for Java mobile and embedded technologies.

The software integrates with the native Windows Mobile 6.1 user interface. Customers can view e-mail in the original HTML format, access contact information, and perform other tasks.

The binary software is pretested and avoids the fragmentation that can happen when only a source product is provided, Hofer said. In delivering a binary offering, Sun is following a trend toward delivering more finished solutions, he said.

Hofer, however, had no progress to report on Sun's iPhone predicament. The iPhone SDK agreement prevents Sun from offering a JVM for the device without Apple signing off on it, according to Hofer.

"We have been [talking to] and continue to talk to Apple about this," said Hofer last week. Currently, Apple is not pursuing Java, he said. An Apple representative also had no new information when questioned last Wednesday.

Sun in March revealed its intentions to put Java on the iPhone. But Apple CEO Steve Jobs needs to let it happen, said Hofer.

"Until he does, there's not much we can do," Hofer said.

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