Open-source aficionados haven't received much love in the mobile world. While Motorola has released several Linux-based phones in Asia and Europe, they're not well known in the United States, and this is the case with a lot of Linux-based handsets. The problem may lie with disparate operating systems that differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. This is because while the Linux kernel is common, each company has implemented it differently. Now, however, two cell phone carriers and four manufacturers--Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo, Motorola, Samsung, NEC, and Panasonic--are getting together to try to develop a common Linux-based smart-phone platform that will work across all their brands. With a common platform and the support of multiple companies, they hope that Linux-based handsets may finally gain some backing and popularity with the rest of the world.
It'll be a rough ride, though, as the platform would have to compete against the other more popular ones, such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Palm. Plus, let's face it--most people just want a handheld that works, regardless whether or not the platform is open source. If and when they can come up with a Linux-based platform that will please even the most nontechnical among us, only then will it really have a shot at success.
Source: CNET News.com