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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But wait, there's more
by achates on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: rhavyn is on cack"
achates
Member since:
2006-06-29

In addition to those three incentives, add
(4) operator pressure to support customization across manufacturers (vendors would rather not, but carrier requirements have been growing steadily narrower)
(5) aftermarket software makes the phone much more desirable to many customers and can provide both vendor revenue and carrier revenue
(6) easier to bring in new technologies if you use the same platform the technology innovators do (like Linux)

Seriously - Motorola and other vendors WANT to have a Linux-based platform, they're just struggling with how to create one. There have been multiple attempts (CELF, LiPS, the unnamed foundation); maybe one of them will reach critical mass.

EZX wasn't intended to be a broad platform, it was intended to be a limited-market product; the last thing Motorola would want to do is open it up and have it grow a following while they're trying to build and promote a next-generation software base designed to be a real platform, open to third-party development.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: But wait, there's more
by rhavyn on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:29 in reply to "But wait, there's more"
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

(4) operator pressure to support customization across manufacturers (vendors would rather not, but carrier requirements have been growing steadily narrower)

The only operators who are excerting that kind of pressure are Sprint/Nextel and Verizon. And for the most part, those companies deal with the second rate handset makers who would do pretty much anything to keep their business. Nokia, for example, has the GSM market wrapped up and it's odd to even see a Nokia handset for Verizon/Sprint/Nextel.

(5) aftermarket software makes the phone much more desirable to many customers and can provide both vendor revenue and carrier revenue

There has been no evidence offered by anyone on this thread that there is broad customer demand for aftermarket software on their phone. There is, however, a huge amount of market data that people aren't interested in advanced phone features beyond SMS/MMS and IM.

(6) easier to bring in new technologies if you use the same platform the technology innovators do (like Linux)

Except you're talking about, for the most part, mutually exclusive sets of innovations. 3G network support is not an innovation the Linux kernel developers care about. And I highly doubt the cell manufacturers care about iSCSI support.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: But wait, there's more
by achates on Thu 29th Jun 2006 23:17 in reply to "RE: But wait, there's more"
achates Member since:
2006-06-29

And Vodafone, and Orange, and France Telecom, and... Basically, all the majors would like to be able to tailor their handsets to their branding and apply the same changes to handsets from different vendors (the vendors, of course, call this commoditization and aren't happy about it).

Add-on software is very important if you want to sell into enterprise customers or support add-on services, which, again, the carriers want to form and the vendors also want to form.

And, there are lots of interesting technologies growing on Linux bases. VOIP is an example, instant messaging, browsers, SVG graphics, etc. At least some of the vendors believe that Linux will be a more fertile ground than, say, Symbian for such innovations.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: But wait, there's more
by Cloudy on Fri 30th Jun 2006 00:08 in reply to "RE: But wait, there's more"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

The only operators who are excerting that kind of pressure are Sprint/Nextel and Verizon. and T-Mobile, and ChinaMobile, and DoCoMo, and Orange,

eh, I can't think of a single carrier that's not.

There has been no evidence offered by anyone on this thread that there is broad customer demand for aftermarket software on their phone.

The market in ringtones and add on games is on the order of 5 billion dollars in the US; of which 20% is add on games. That's only one of the three markets for add on software.

There may be marketing data to the contrary, but I would guess it's historical, rather than predictive.

3G network support is not an innovation the Linux kernel developers care about. unless those developers happen to work for Motorola, Nokia, PalmSource, MontaVista, or half a dozen other players who are trying to make Linux viable in the cell business.

Reply Parent Score: 1