Only three years ago most mobile phones and consumer electronics devices were running proprietary homegrown operating systems. Today Linux and open source have a strong momentum and Linux has become the fastest growing operating system for smartphones. In his address, Eirik Chambe-Eng of Trolltech discusses how useful an open source model is in the smartphone industry. Why are more and more mobile phone and consumer electronics manufacturers adopting Linux? Linux is known to run some of the largest servers on the internet, so why does it make sense to run it on your phone? What are the benefits of the open source model? What are the potential problems or pitfalls of using open source when producing mobile devices.
Chambe-Eng first reviews Trolltech's background and how the company has developed a dual licensing process, allowing both open source and commercial licensing. Their technology is being used in such products as Google Earth, and the Linux versions of Skype and Opera.
Until recently, hardware has been the primary focus in the smartphone industry, but as users expect more features, companies are having to spend more time and money on software. Chambe-Eng reviews five of the issues most important to companies: complexity, control. customization, cost, and community. He believes that Linux is particularly useful and has the ability to bring features to consumer at a lower price.
As of April 2005, Linux-based phones make up 22% of the market, mostly in Asia, but many of these phones have interesting features and prices are beginning to drop, particularly because of the use of Linux. Chambe-Eng reviews a number of devices using Linux, including ones that use wifi and voip technology, as well as devices that feature television features.
Eirik Chambe-Eng co-founded Trolltech with Haavard Nord in 1994, after starting the development of Qt, Trolltech's cross-platform application development framework. Eirik has many years experience in software research, development, and management. He serves on the Board of Norwegian software companies ObjectPlanet AS and Cellvision AS, and the Board of the charitable Stiftelsen Trolltech Foundation. Between 2000 and 2003, he served on the Board of Systems in Motion AS. Eirik graduated from the Norwegian Institute of Technology with a M.Sc. in Computer Science. Eirik is based in Oslo. He has been a Director and/or CEO since 1994.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Business Conference series.