It's two, two, two phones in one

Virtualized dual-profile phone coming from LG, VMware

LG and VMware have created a partnership intended to deliver a dual-profile mobile smartphone sometime in 2011. As a result, users should eventually be able to carry a single device that logically segments personal applications and data from work resources so that IT departments can manage and secure just the corporate "side" of the device.

LG and VMware have created a partnership intended to deliver a dual-profile mobile smartphone sometime in 2011. As a result, users should eventually be able to carry a single device that logically segments personal applications and data from work resources so that IT departments can manage and secure just the corporate “side” of the device.

Also read: A brief history of Android 

VMware mobile middleware will create two virtual instances of a smartphone in one physical device. LG said early this year that it planned to focus its smartphone efforts on just two mobile operating systems going forward: Android and Windows Phone 7.  The virtualized Android version will likely ship first, though the companies haven’t confirmed that or when in the New Year we should expect to see the device.

The virtualized phones will have two phone numbers – personal and work. Presumably, the employee could receive an invoice for personal usage and the company could receive an invoice for corporate charges.

This is the first reported application of VMware’s Mobile Virtualization Platform, mobile hypervisor software that the virtualization giant gained from its 2008 acquisition of Trango Virtual Processors.

Similar methods of achieving the two-devices-in-one effect are also kicking around. Mobile device management companies such as Good Technology, Mobile Iron, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Sybase, for example, have varying abilities to keep personal and business work separate by blocking or wiping certain applications, data and access when the user is on the corporate network.

And the carriers have had the capability of splitting phones via back-end software for at least two years. Carrier software provider Openet announced its Balance Manager software in late 2008 so that a single phone could be associated with multiple accounts and people could use a single device for work and home.

To date, there have been no reports of the mobile operators using the Openet software to deliver dual-profile services.

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