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Linux, Mozilla eye smartphone market

AAP/ AFR | March 25, 2013
A handful of new smartphone platforms are expected to become available this year, challenging the stranglehold of the two market leaders, Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

Analysts say smartphone makers are seeking to mimic the success of Apple by controlling both the hardware and software "ecosystem."

"We are seeing more desire to control the whole user experience," said Gerry Purdy, analyst and consultant with the firm Mobile Trax.

A major challenge for any new platform, however, will be developing the applications that make up the ecosystem.

These are key attractions for users of the iPhone and Android devices.

Although some apps can be developed across platforms using HTML5, a programming language that can be adapted for different devices, analysts say these are inferior to "native" apps developed for a specific platform,

"You can provide a reasonable experience with HTML5 and the browser, but the native app is smoother, cleaner and more natural," Purdy said.

"It's pretty obvious when you watch them side by side."

Even a powerful firm like Samsung will have a hard time putting together an app ecosystem that can compete with Apple's App Store and Google Play.

"There is some open space, but putting together an entire ecosystem and doing that where there are established incumbents is a pretty iffy proposition," Kay said.

Because of these obstacles, Llamas said progress for any new system will be "long and slow."

"None of these things will happen overnight. There has to be time for gestation, reception and evangelisation. And picking the markets will be important," he added.

 

 

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