Much has changed in the world of handset operating systems since 2003. The mobile software market has grown into a landscape of hundreds of vendors, where understanding the roles, functionality, lines of partnership and competition across OS products can be a complex endeavour. In a recently published whitepaper, London-based research and consulting firm, ARCchart, sheds light on the new paradigm which now exists in the evolved handset OS market.
The whitepaper, titled ?Mobile Operating Systems: The New Generation?, examines some of the common misconceptions in the software market and suggests that it is a ?flexible OS?, more so than an ?open OS?, which the industry really requires. The paper also examines the myth and reality behind Linux for mobile phones, and the false start but continued efforts around Java.
There are five key layers of the handset OS software stack consisting of the kernel, middleware, application execution environment (AEE), the UI framework and native application suite, and there is a growing importance of AEE and UI framework solutions, which several specialist vendors are now offering as standalone products.
The whitepaper reviews the software platforms from 15 vendors - A la Mobile platform, Access Linux Platform, Adobe Flash Lite, GTK+, MiniGUI, Mizi Prizm, MontaVista Mobilinux, Nokia S60, Obigo Suite, Openwave MIDAS, Qualcomm BREW, SavaJe, Symbian OS, Trolltech Qtopia and Windows Mobile. These are major players in their respective software segments, from those offering full end-to-end operating systems to those providing UI frameworks, AEEs and OS kernels.
ARCchart sees several trends emerging within the mobile software market. Software flexibility versus openness will be a critical theme for successful operating systems. Secondly, as the sale value line moves towards middleware and upper software layers, so the core OS technology will commoditise. Thirdly, technology verticalisation is gradually taking place, with vendors merging or partnering to offer out-of-the-box pre-integrated software stacks. At the same time, the demand for software platforms is consolidating, with not only manufacturers, but also enterprises and mobile operators, making a choice of platform.
The whitepaper marks 2006 as a turning point in the evolution of Linux as a mobile phone platform, not only due to Motorola?s recent commitment, but also due to the wealth of products and support services from a growing commercial community. Longer term, Linux-based platforms will prevail over many of today?s credible contestants.
The whitepaper is available for free download from the ARCchart website: http://www.arcchart.com/reports/mos.asp
Whitepaper title: Mobile Operating
Systems: The New Generation
Publication date: September 2006
Number of pages: 27
Download Link: http://www.arcchart.com/order/order1_b.asp?prod=192
Cover artwork: http://www.arcchart.com/reports/images/cover_mos.jpg
ARCchart is an independent research and consulting firm focusing on all aspects of the wireless communications sector. Based in London, ARCchart?s depth and breadth of analysis provides a global perspective on wireless technology and industry developments. Combining original thinking with exceptional knowledge and experience, ARCchart assists clients in making sound commercial decisions about technologies, market strategies and competitive positions. ARCchart?s strategic advice covers all aspects of the wireless value chain - ranging from semiconductors and WLANs to network operators, handsets and mobile applications.