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Linux set to dominate MIDs

Aug 4, 2008 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 15 views

The Linux OS, in the form of Moblin, LiMo, and Maemo, looks ready to take the lion’s share of the Mobile Internet Devices (MID) market and appears headed toward sales of 50 million annually by 2013, reports market analyst ABI Research.

The MID market is likely to be the first real example of a “greenfield situation” in which all mobile operating systems start on the same equal footing, without the baggage of previous histories such as existed in the smartphone market, ABI explains.

According to ABI Research vice president and research director Stuart Carlaw, “Maemo is already in this space thanks to the patronage of Nokia; Moblin will benefit from tight integration with Atom and Intel’s drive; and LiMo is actively being positioned for this market. The flexibility, customization and very positive cost comparison to Windows Mobile looks set to ensure that Linux takes the leading role in this market.”

In ABI’s view, one of the more significant aspects of the Linux OS in this market is its ability to provide a converged platform that can span multiple device segments. The concept of a single OS that covers MIDs, smartphones, and mid-tier devices is very attractive indeed. In reality, only LiMo and potentially Moblin hold the possibility of achieving this, adds the research firm.

ABI’s new study, “Mobile Linux,” provides a picture of the projected uptake of Linux in two major applications, as a commercial OS and as an RTOS replacement. It offers a frank analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Linux solution, and describes major drivers and barriers that are dictating the growth of the mobile Linux market. It forms part of the firm’s Mobile Devices Research Service, which also includes other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, an Online Database, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

[This research brief is copyright © 2008 ABI Research. All rights reserved. Reproduced by with permission.]

For an interesting comparison of MIDs with two other small-form-factor device categories — UMPCs and netbooks — read this DeviceGuru article:

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