Fragmentation is Slowing Linux Uptake in Mobile Phones

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Fragmentation is one of the most common complaints levied against Linux as a cell phone operating system reports IMS Research and at present there is a relatively high degree of variation in Linux based solutions when compared to other platforms such as Symbian or Windows Mobile.

The Linux ecosystem will have to continue to address fragmentation in order for cellular Linux to remain a viable alternative to strong competitors; however, IMS Research does not believe that fragmentation will hamper the platform in the long-term. In fact, IMS Research projects that Linux as a cellular OS will experience strong growth over the next several years, in both the smartphone and feature rich handset tiers.

"What many do not realize is that Linux itself is not actually a complete cellular OS platform; it is a kernel," explained IMS Research Senior Analyst Alison Bogle. "So far, most of the time when the Linux kernel has been modified to create a solution, it has resulted in another Linux 'flavor,' or variant. That is why there is currently such a problem of fragmentation with Linux."

Several industry organizations are at work to address Linux-related fragmentation.

For example, the LiMo Foundation plans to focus on the development of a Linux-based mobile platform with the idea that this will become somewhat of a de facto platform for the market and will provide a general standard for the market.

While IMS Research does not believe that the market will consolidate on only one platform, it does expect that clear leaders will emerge. This will allow the Linux ecosystem to narrow its focus to a smaller number of Linux platform variations, further diminishing the effects of fragmentation."

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Tags: windows mobile  ims research  symbian  ims  limo foundation  linux  os 

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