While the Google-backed Android operating system for mobile phones has been hogging the limelight for months now, a more nimble rival by the name of LiMo has been quietly going about the business of actually releasing phones.

To add to more than a dozen handsets powered by the Linux OS, the LiMo Foundation has just announced seven new phones based on its software. One is from Motorola, while the other six come from Japan.

Japan heavy

The Motorola handset is the US-only Motozinet ZN5, while DoCoMo is already delivering the remainder to customers in Japan on its 3G FOMA network.

Of those half dozen new 706- and 906-series phones, four are from NEC and two from Panasonic.

Android far behind

Naturally, all are jam-packed with the usual overkill of gadgets and services users there have come to expect. These include digital TV tuners, GPS, RFID e-cash chips and plenty more besides.

Clearly, even if Android can deal with its current problems with disgruntled developers, it has already ceded substantial ground to LiMo in the imminent mobile Linux war.