Well, maybe I was wrong. VMware and LG Electronics have announced that VMware is working on a hypervisor for LG phones. The idea would be that the smartphone would have an enterprise-friendly, secure operating system for work, and another, completely independent OS for daily use. The idea is to support the growth of employee-owned devices in the enterprise, which is a practice that's already growing. However, in today's configurations, the employee has everything on a single device, and effectively carrying company data around where it's easily accessible at all times.
As you might imagine, there remain several hurdles to successful implementation of virtual devices in a smartphone, the two most obvious being the amount of memory available and mass storage. The first can be overcome by simply adding more memory to a smartphone-a trend that's already happening. The second will require a means of partitioning the Micro SD cards that phones use for mass storage in such a way that one partition can't be accessed by the wrong OS.
There are other questions: What do you do about phone numbers? In current phones, this is a hardware function with the phone number stored on a SIM card for a GSM phone or the equivalent memory location for a CDMA phone. Would these dual-purpose phones need two phone numbers?
There are also questions about performance: How long will it take to shift between your home phone and your work phone? Will you simply press a key or will this require a restart?
I'm sure these questions will eventually be answered, but right now they indicate that there's a long way to go before we can expect to see such virtualized smartphones in the stores. And before they show up, there's one additional hurdle: making the work version of the OS really inaccessible so that it will meet the requirements of the enterprise. It'll be interesting to see how these questions are answered, but I don't think they'll get answered this year.