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Linux to challenge Symbian in smartphones

May 29, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Symbian will still lead the smartphone market in 2012, with 44 percent market share, while Linux swells to 41 percent and Windows Mobile languishes at just six percent, a new report from Berg Insight predicts. The report runs counter to several other recent analyst reports, however.

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According to the Berg report, “a majority of the key handset vendors already sell Linux devices in some markets.”

Additionally, the Berg report suggests that for handset manufacturers, Linux's stability and openness outweigh its continued fragmentation. “A majority of the key handset vendors already sell Linux devices in some markets,” according to the report, while new Linux-based stacks like Access Linux Platform promise to further accelerate adoption.

The Berg Insight report estimates that total worldwide mobile phone shipments will increase to 1.6 billion units per year in 2012. Smartphone shipments, meanwhile, will grow at a 28 percent compound annual rate, reaching 365 million in 2012.

Berg's dismal outlook for Windows Mobile contrasts some other recent reports. Last September, for example, IDC projected that Windows Mobile would capture 32.3 percent of the enterprise market for “converged mobile devices” by 2010. Just over a year ago, The Diffusion Group (TDG) predicted that Windows Mobile would overtake both Symbian and Linux by 2010, garnering 29 percent of the market, with Linux second at 26 percent and Symbian third at 22 percent.

TDG noted that Microsoft has the advantage of leveraging “tight integration” with its other Windows OS products in both the enterprise and “advanced consumer” markets. Berg, on the other hand, appears to view this as a liability, suggesting that “Windows Mobile is likely to remain a choice mainly for business oriented smartphones, thus limiting the market share to about six percent.”

Microsoft, incidentally, recently predicted that 20 million Windows Mobile 6-based devices will ship in 2008.

Further information on Berg Insight's report, “Smartphone Operating Systems,” is available here.

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