The groups hope the move will help bolster the mobile Linux developer community and increase the adoption of mobile devices in the face of increasing completion from open source competitors like Symbian and Android.
"LiPS Forum is proud of our standardization efforts, development activities and other achievements of the last three years," LiPS Forum president Haila Wang said in a statement. "Our membership agrees that LiPS's greatest impact can be realized by adding our members' expertise and resources to LiMo Foundation. Together, the member companies can better strive for a unified and ubiquitous Linux-based mobile platform."
The realignment is not completely unexpected because both groups have been working toward a similar goal. LiPS sought to create a formal standard for mobile Linux, while the LiMo Foundation wanted to create a Linux framework that can be quickly designed into a handset. Additionally, many members of LiPS, like Trolltech, MontaVista, and France Telecom, have already joined LiMo.
The move comes as mobile Linux faces increasing competition. On Tuesday, Nokia bought Symbian and said it would convert it into a free, open source operating system under the Symbian Foundation. This foundation features a broad range of partners, including Sony Ericsson, Motorola, AT&T, and Samsung.
There also will be competition from the Linux-based Android operating system, which is being supported by companies like Google, Broadcom, and Sprint. But, the LiMo Foundation should be the first to have handsets on the market, with the first wave expected within a few months.