Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 29th Jun 2006 01:33 UTC
Linux Linux has one, last, chance to become the No1 OS in a particular consumer-oriented market (not counting servers): the mobile phone market. The open nature and yes, the hype around Linux has made lots of mobile-oriented companies to consider using Linux for their next-generation cellphones. But there is a major problem on the way to success, a problem which is created not by Linux itself, but by the greed and close-mindness of these same companies that endorse Linux.
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I feel Eugenia's pain
by gtada on Thu 29th Jun 2006 07:56 UTC
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I'll tell you guys what. I have a Motorola A780, a supposed *smartphone*. However, it's difficult to find any apps, and Motorola was stupid for only allowing J2ME (SLOW SLOW SLOW) 3rd party apps AND keeping the fun API's locked away (such as JSR 179 for GPS). I was considering writing a few applications for it, but why? It'd only be compatible for a few Motorola phones, and I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the A780's unique hardware.

BTW, rhavyn I believe you understand the technical aspects of the cellular industry, but you seem to miss the difference between the smartphone and cellphone users.

Cellphone buyers want to spend the least amount possible for a phone that at minimum can txt msg and maybe has a decent camera. They just need a basic phone that has good reception to be happy.

Smartphone buyers on the other hand tend to be corporate and actually do care about applications. These smartphone buyers won't go for a free cellphone, but would rather pay hundreds of dollars for a smartphone that has push email and other features. For example, after spending $500 for a phone, they wouldn't hesitate to pay $20 for a golf scoring program for their smartphone.

Now let's look at this from a developer's standpoint. Well shit, it sure makes it four times harder to support four times the platforms. I can't for the life of me see why there can't just be two or even better one Linux smartphone platform. Would you be inclined to write and support an application four times for four similar-yet-different-enough platforms, or would you choose something easier like Windows Mobile?

A smartphone is different from a cellphone because of its extra PDA functions. The extra functionality comes in part from available 3rd party applications. The fragmentation of the Linux smartphone platform makes it less compelling to create 3rd party applications. In the end, this fragmentation only means less applications for a technical user market that DOES care.

P.S. I'm selling this Motorola A780. Brilliant hardware, retarded software. J2ME is a joke, the guy at Motorola responsible for this should be fired, and again, kudos to Motorola for making it hard as f--k for the developers.

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