The Linux platform is assaulting the mobile phone environment with a two-pronged attack that focuses on commercial operating system solutions and real-time operating system (RTOS) replacement. The result, ABI Research reports, is that more than 127 million devices will be enabled with a commercial Linux OS by 2012. Additionally, device shipments that incorporate Linux as an RTOS replacement are set to grow to more than 76 million units in 2012, up from nearly zero in 2007.
“Linux in the cellular phone is not a question of if, but when,” says Research Director Stuart Carlaw.
The new report, Mobile Linux: Bringing License-Free Operating Systems to Smartphones and Mid-Tier Devices, found that the most fundamental issue that has plagued the growth of commercial Linux in this space — vertical and horizontal market fragmentation — has shown signs of being alleviated, both by growing collaboration between industry initiatives, and by the introduction of complete solutions such as the Trolltech-led GreenSuite and ALP from ACCESS.
However, a major inhibiting factor still remains — the industry still needs to understand the total cost of ownership for Linux solutions — and it must create a common set of APIs to enable economies of scale for third-party developers.
To obtain the full report from ABI, click here.