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Why Open Source Phones Still Fail

Dec 06, 2009, 16:05 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sascha Segan)

"The ultimate hacker phone, the Nokia N900 is the truest expression of Linux—the OS and the philosophy—that you'll find on mobile this year. It's a great niche gadget. But the idea that free, open-source solutions will sweep the mobile world is just as doomed in the U.S. as the idea of popular, open-source desktop PCs—in this case, because mobile networks don't welcome the unexpected, and they don't welcome geeks.

"The joy of the open-source world is the joy of the unexpected. Nothing really goes according to plan, because there isn't one plan; there are a lot of plans. Creativity bubbles up from the grass roots. Many projects fail, but some become very disruptive. Wireless network planners hate the unexpected. They hate disruptive. They didn't expect how much iPhone users would surf the Web, and look where that's gotten them."

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