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Cellphones Operating Systems Linux

Why Linux Is Good For Low-End Smartphones 163

jfruhlinger writes "Nokia's announcement that it was developing a Linux distro for low-end smartphones, shortly after abandoning the Linux-based Meego OS for Windows Phone 7, was a little puzzling. But it actually makes good business sense in the smartphone world. While WP7 aims for the high end, there's a market for cheaper and less complex phones that still beat boring old feature phones, especially in emerging economies. And, unlike Symbian and the heavily tweaked Meego, Linux can be quickly and cheaply brought to market as a low-end smartphone OS."
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Why Linux Is Good For Low-End Smartphones

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  • Re:Here's hoping (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday October 03, 2011 @01:09PM (#37591550)

    What you have described is a feature phone, which these days tend to run Nucleus and not Linux.

    I don't think he's quite described the end product so thoroughly as to be able to make that distinction between "smart phone" and "feature phone". Or at least I wouldn't feel like I could make that call without a little more information.

  • Re:And Symbian S40? (Score:3, Informative)

    by randomlogin (448414) <chris@zynaptic.SLACKWAREcom minus distro> on Monday October 03, 2011 @02:58PM (#37592904) Homepage

    Why not just keep updating/upgrading S40?

    Short answer - because Nokia senior management have now completely lost the plot. Symbian is still a much better option at the low end because underneath all the shiny stuff is an RTOS designed specifically to run on resource constrained devices. Proper real time capabilities were baked into the current Symbian kernel specifically so that a single processor could be used for both the protocol stack and the applications. As someone pointed out earlier, other vendors pay good money to use proprietary RTOS platforms like Nucleus for their low end phones because they deliver the same benefits.

    Putting a full Linux workstation in your pocket in the form of the N950 is cool - and I wish they'd let me buy one. But this is a different market, and it's not one where using Linux makes a hell of a lot of sense.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Monday October 03, 2011 @03:47PM (#37593362) Homepage

    Linux is currently the best general-purpose OS, full stop. Of course, it is good for low-end smartphones -- they are general-purpose computing devices.

    What is more important, Linux is also the best for high-end smartphones and for desktops -- and it would be on all of them if not Microsoft's predatory tactics. The actions that caused Nokia to "choose" Windows for its new phones are not in any way different than the actions that make Windows "popular" on desktops. It's Microsoft's monopoly maintenance from the beginning to end, and it has to be stopped.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill