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Open Source: Article

Android Outside the Mobile Domain

Trend cloud be part of the next wave of price reductions that will push netbooks down to $150 and less

Enterprise open source commentator Glyn Moody says that Android-based ARM systems, such as the chipsets for Google's Android operating system announced this week by Freescale, could be part of the next wave of price reductions that will push netbooks down to $150 and less.

Moody believes that Apple will over time lose its iPhone advantage to open source solutions like Android. Here is his logic:

"Freescale's announcement is still at the level of marketing hype, but it is nonetheless indicative of how people are starting to think. And the crucial element is Android, because once you have netbooks running the stack, then you will have a spectrum of hybrids that can mix mobile and netbook features. Again, this is something free software is ideal for: there are no constraints on experimentation, and the tools for trying things out are readily available.

This is an aspect that Apple will simply not be able to match. Even if it comes out with a netbook that is based on the iPhone, developments will always be limited to what Apple wants to do and is capable of doing. In any single well-defined market sector Apple might well be able to produce the coolest and best machine. But create a fluid situation, where originality and flexibility are key, and Apple will lose that advantage to open source solutions."

"The openness of the Android platform means that developers will have a freedom those working with the iPhone can only dream of," Moody notes.

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