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Linux-enabled cellphones to reach 203M by 2012, ABI says

Posted: 10 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Linux operating system? RTOS? Linux-enabled mobile phones?

The Linux community is set to penetrate the mobile phone environment focusing on commercial operating system solutions and RTOS replacement.

A new study from ABI Research predicts that by 2012, more than 127 million mobile devices will be enabled with a commercial Linux OS, up from 8.1 million in 2007. Additionally, device shipments that incorporate Linux as an RTOS replacement are set to grow to more than 76 million units in 2012, from nearly zero in 2007.

"Linux in the cellular phone is not a question of 'if', but 'when'," said ABI research director Stuart Carlaw.

The report entitled "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 spacevertical and horizontal market fragmentationhas 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.

On the other hand, issues with latency have prevented Linux from being considered as a viable RTOS replacement in single-processor devices. Carlaw pointed out that "Innovative solutions such as PREEMPT_RT, the VirtualLogix virtual operating environment and the use of RTOS executives over Linux kernels look set to deal with latency issues. However, 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."

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