I think we all here know the benefits that Linux generates to our computer, whether desktop or laptop, now what does Linux bring to our mobile? Worldwide, Symbian is still the most widely used operating system in these devices, it is logical, 1 in 3 mobile phones in the world is Nokia. But Linux is putting its head in this market with more success than ever thanks to Android and Maemo mainly.
The two most powerful Linux platforms for mobiles are backed by two of the biggest companies in the world: Google for Android and Nokia for Maemo, because I'm not going to get into OpenMoko, LiMo or Qtopia. So, in addition to the support of large corporations, we are going to see what other advantages we have with Linux on the mobile, especially against the great monster of the market, the iPhone.
1 Open Source
Anyone familiar with Linux will already know what this topic is about. But it is also that in the field of mobile telephony it is a very important value to be able to create and run any application on our terminal. This does not happen, for example, with the iPhone (main competitor for all). Since you are limited to the applications that Apple allows in its App Store.
Another of the strengths of Linux. In mobile telephony you may think that it is not so important but day by day phones are becoming more and more a computer and therefore the bugs will be more and more critical. As with computers, security updates are more frequent and faster to perform on Linux than on Mac OS or Windows, so at this point an Android has more advantage than an iPhone OS or Windows Mobile.
Apple has more applications than anyone, but perhaps it is because they were the first or because the fanboys are many, in any case, development for a Linux platform is easier since it is done on common languages (Java, C, etc.). However, the iPhone SDK can only be installed on a Mac, programs on Objective C and, in addition, to send your application to be reviewed to see if it can enter the App Store, you must do it, imperiously, from a Mac. the perfect maqueros, for the rest of humanity it is a problem and, let's face it, programmers often use Linux.
Here more than an advantage of Linux, it is a disadvantage of the iPhone. With any phone you can exchange information with your computer, be it PC or Mac, with the simple gesture of copying and pasting. However, an iPhone is linked to iTunes, it is the only way to copy things from mobile to computer and vice versa. A small handicap for those who do not have a Mac or do not want to have iTunes, which, as we know, occupies a lot.
At this point is where the difference between a Linux device and any other is most noticeable, especially an iPhone. In the Apple phone everything is as Apple wants, the menus, the browser ... However, on a Linux phone you can install practically anything. Browsers, mail managers, you can even change the aesthetics of the phone 100% and, if you want, have the same menu as an iPhone. The possibilities are endless.
In short, without going into evaluating aspects of hardware, usability, design and those things outside the operating system, Linux has more potential than iPhone OS and, of course, Symbian, Windows Mobile, etc. In fact, in Japan and China they cover 40% of the mobile market. But this is how it happens in computers, Linux can have overwhelming benefits over its Windows and Mac OS competitors that without strong support nothing is achieved. The difference is that here it does. We'll see what happens when this spreads further.