Mobile ranting

Articles like this give me hope. There has been so much buzz about Linux on mobile phones during the past year, with Motorola, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and others planning linux-based phones and investing in the technology. I've worked a lot in this industry, and I've seen the vast savings that can be made by using a common platform. Some companies are killing themselves by locking themselves into obscure software platforms because they want to lock their customers into buying certain hardware. But delivering working products at reasonable prices is a better business strategy. It's not just Motorola that realise this. There's a lot of Chinese and Korean manufacturers who just want to get the job done. Linux lets them offer phones with more functionality. Some day one of these companies will do some usability tests and then really clean their clocks.

An interesting article in last week's Economist shows both that the large handset firms are already outsourcing the complete design and manufacture of some of their handset models to Taiwanese “original design manufacturers” (OSDMs), so they are not afraid of profitable change, and shows that those OSDMs are already taking market share with their own-brand handsets.