Support from the Linux Mobile Foundation, Google's Android initiative, and Nokia's acquisition of Trolltech are seen as fueling the prediction from analyst firm ABI.
It's not a forecast that will leave Symbian and Windows Mobile supporters quaking in their boots, but ABI Research is predicting that about 20% of middle and high-end mobile handsets will be running some form of the Linux operating system by 2013.
The consultancy pointed to a series of market dynamics that led it to this conclusion: growing momentum behind the Linux Mobile (LiMo) Foundation, founded by Motorola, Samsung, and Vodafone and others more than a year ago; Google's emerging Android initiative; and Nokia's support for its tablet-based Maemo OS and its acquisition of Linux app Trolltech.
"Linux OS solutions will be far more cost-effective than incumbent solutions, even when silicon requirements are taken into account, given that a fuller application layer will be included in the standard package and that the burden of customization falls mostly on the independent software vendor," said Stuart Carlaw, a vice president with ABI, in a statement Monday.
Mobile Linux solutions will be a cornerstone of enabling domains that embrace both Web-based applications and blended Web/native applications, the consultancy also predicted. Furthermore, Linux will be central to bringing more content-rich environments to users with mid-range mobile devices. The consultancy also foresees that the framework fragmentation and silicon issues that have constrained Linux's use in mobile applications are moving toward resolution.
A mobile flavor of Linux has its work cut out, given the fragmentation and relative disarray of the mobile OS market. While Symbian thrives in Europe, it's carved out a relatively anemic market share in the U.S., In addition to Windows Mobile and Android, the Apple iPhone remains the biggest wild card in the mix; a new beta of the iPhone software development kit was released late last month, when Apple also said it's planning a firmware upgrade for its popular devices in June.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.