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Executive Summary

Much has changed from the world of open operating Contents


systems of 2003. The mobile software market has
Chapter A: Mobile Software Today: Open OSs, Linux
grown into a landscape of 100s of vendors where
and other Misperceptions
understanding the roles, functionality, lines of
A.1. The New Generation of Operating Systems
partnership and competition across software products
A.2. Linux: Myth and Reality
is a complex endeavour, even for a seasoned industry
A.3. Java: A False Start, But Efforts Continue
observer. This paper aims to help change that.
A.4. Nokia against Symbian
A.5. Conclusions and Market Trends
The paper firstly presents the key software layers for
mobile phones today and explains the importance of Chapter B: Making Sense of Operating Systems, UI
application execution environments and UI frameworks. Frameworks and Application Environments
Section A then examines common misperceptions in
Chapter C: Product reviews
the software market of 2006; the flexible OS genre as
In-Depth reviews of A la Mobile, Access Linux
the successor to the open OSs, the myth and reality
Platform, Adobe Flash Lite, GTK+, MiniGUI, Mizi
behind Linux for mobile phones, and the false start but
Prizm, Montavista Mobilinux, Nokia S60, Obigo,
continued efforts around J2ME. Chapter B compares
Openwave Midas, Qualcomm Brew, SavaJe,
several software platforms for product functionality,
Symbian OS, Trolltech Qtopia, UIQ And Windows
licensees and speed of market penetration.
Mobile.

A reference section follows, consisting of 2-page Chapter D: Trends in the Mobile Software Market
reviews of 16 key software products, covering historical Open OSes are out; Flexible OSs are in
product background, positioning, technology, strategy, Commoditisation of the core OS technology
and including the author’s critical viewpoint. Verticalisation of technology supply
Consolidation of platform demand
The final chapter analyses the five key trends that will 2006: The turning point for Linux
overshadow the mobile software market in 2006-2009.
Firstly, software flexibility vs openness will be the Methodology
critical theme for successful operating systems.
To research the market and products analysed in this
Secondly, as the sale value line moves towards
paper, the author conducted interviews with A la Mobile,
middleware and upper software layers, so the core
Adobe, Microsoft, Mizi Research, MontaVista, Obigo,
operating system technology will commoditise. Thirdly,
Openwave, PalmSource, Qualcomm QIS, SavaJe,
technology verticalisation is gradually taking place, with
Symbian, Trolltech and UIQ. The views and information
vendors merging or partnering to offer out-of-the-box
presented in this paper as well as the product reviews
pre-integrated software stacks. In symmetry, the
are independent and in no way biased towards the
demand for software platforms is consolidating, with not
sponsor of this paper.
only manufacturers, but also enterprises and mobile
operators making a choice of platform.
Acknowledgements

We believe that 2006 marks a turning point in the The author would like express his gratitude to a number

history of Linux as a mobile phone platform, not only of individuals who assisted with information, and

due to Motorola’s recent commitment, but also the feedback on this paper, during the project research:

wealth of products and support services from a growing Hampus Jakobsson, Guy Agin, Philippe Silberzahn,

commercial community. Longer term, we believe Linux- Franck Lefevre, Matt Lewis, David Wood, Don Liberty,

based platforms will prevail over many of today’s Richard Kinder, Jeff Waugh, Bill Weinberg, Madeline

credible contestants, as will Microsoft’s Windows Duva, Juha Christensen, Mark Melling, Andy Tiller,

Mobile. Peter Whale and other individuals who wish to remain


anonymous
About VisionMobile
web: www.visionmobile.com
VisionMobile is a boutique firm delivering strategy
email: info@visionmobile.com
consulting, industry research and technology training in
address: 84 Kirkland Avenue, Clayhall,
the wireless sector. VisionMobile brings together
Ilford Essex IG5 0TN, UK
passionate people with industry and technology know-
phone: +44 (207) 099 3934
how and innovative thinking.

About the author


Dr. Andreas Constantinou, Director of VisionMobile, is
an analyst and consultant with eight years experience
in research, development and strategy in telecoms. His
areas of focus are mobile handsets, mobile software,
device management, operator strategy, wireless market
trends and disruptive technologies. Andreas has
worked on numerous product and marketing strategy
projects for companies including Orange, France
Telecom R&D, T-Mobile, Idem, and Red Bend, in
addition to authoring research reports and white papers
for analyst firms Informa and ARCchart. He is also the
Technology Editor and a monthly columnist for
telecoms magazines ‘InfoCom’ and ‘Mobile Telephony’
and is regularly invited at international telecoms
conferences as a speaker and chairman. Andreas
holds a Ph.D. in Image & Video Compression from the Disclaimers
University of Bristol, UK.
VisionMobile believes the statements contained in this
publication to be based upon information that we
consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is
accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon
as such. Opinions expressed are current opinions as of
the date appearing on this publication only and the
information, including the opinions contained herein,
are subject to change without notice.

Use of this publication by any third party for whatever


purpose should not, and does not, absolve such third
party from using due diligence in verifying the
publication’s contents. VisionMobile disclaims all
implied warranties, including, without limitation,
warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular
purpose. VisionMobile, its affiliates and representatives,
shall have no liability for any direct, incidental, special,
or consequential damages or lost profits, if any,
suffered by any third party as a result of decisions
made, or not made, or actions taken, or not taken,
based on this publication.

Cover image: Six Athletes Holding Batons at the


Starting Line of a Relay Race / Digital Vision / Getty
Images
Mobile Software Today:
A Open OSs, Linux and other Misperceptions

A.1 | The New Generation of Operating Systems

A conceptual model for software applications, but are not visible to the user.

Mobile phone software has come a long way in Examples are messaging and

the last few years. The industry of mobile communications engines, WAP/web page

software circa 2002-3 comprised of the so-called renderers, multimedia codecs, security

open operating systems for high-end handsets, subsystem and device management.

and the little known world of software vendors


 The application execution environment
for mainstream handsets that worked within
(AEE), an application manager and set
closed manufacturer circles.
application programming interfaces (APIs)

The software landscape in 2006 is greatly more which allow external developers or

complex. The boundary between software for manufacturers to develop handset

high-end and mainstream handsets has almost applications.

disappeared. Software products from tens of


 The user interface (UI) framework, a set
major vendors can be mixed and matched in
of graphics components (screens, buttons,
countless permutations. Understanding the roles,
lists, etc) and an interaction framework that
functionality, lines of partnership and competition
gives handset applications their look & feel.
across software products is a complex
endeavour, even for a seasoned industry
 The application suite, the set of core
observer.
handset applications such as the idle-
screen, dialler, application launcher or menu
To help the reader navigate along the complex
screen, contacts, calendar, inbox, browser
labyrinth of vendors and products, we present a
shell and settings screens that form the
conceptual model for the mobile phone software
interface that the phone user experiences
that makes up a typical mid-range or high-end
most of the time.
handset. Phone software can be visualised as a
software stack of functional layers, from bottom
Reusing a term from the Linux world, a
to top:
distribution is the complete, integrated stack of
software components, from top to bottom that
 The kernel, the core of the software which
powers a mobile handset. Within this
includes hardware drivers, memory,
conceptualisation of software, we take the term
filesystem and process management.
operating system to mean a pre-integrated

 The middleware layer, the set of peripheral software stack that includes the kernel and

software libraries which enable handset drivers. The depth of a software stack
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“represents a trade-off between completeness functionality corresponding to each layer; the
and flexibility, between time-to-market and room examples shown contain a degree of
to add visible value”, as notes OSDL’s Bill oversimplification as a product never neatly fits
Weinberg. into any single category.

An often-used term in describing software stacks From horizontal to vertical


is the value line, which we define as the point in The conceptual model of stacked horizontal
the software stack below which vendors are layers of functionality becomes in reality much
finding it difficult to demand per-unit royalties more complex. Each product typically has to use
from product sales. As the commoditisation of and integrate functionality from several different
the kernel and core OS increases, so the value layers and components; for example a Java AEE
line moves upwards towards the middleware and product has to integrate all the way from the
upper layers of the software stack. kernel to the UI framework.

The diagram on this page visualises the To tame this complexity and deliver ‘plug-and-
simplified handset software stack, and gives play’ components to handset manufacturers,
examples of vendors and products that deliver software vendors are expanding to deliver
functionality integrated across the stack.
Simplified software stack showing key building blocks Examples are Esmertec’s acquisition of Coretek
of a mobile phone (an applications developer), Tao’s evolution of
its Intent platform into an application
environment, Aplix’s product evolution to a
complete software stack and Flash Lite’s

Application Suite ongoing evolution to a full UI framework. This


e.g. Obigo, Jataayu, Access
verticalisation trend marks a full circle back to
third party
applications the status quo of the fully integrated software
stacks of the 1990s.
User Interface Framework
e.g. GTK+, miniGUI, Trolltech Qtopia, TAT, Digital
Airways, MSX

| Open OS: A defunct term


Application Execution Environment
e.g. Java, Adobe Flash Lite, Openwave MIDAS, Trolltech
Qtopia, Qualcomm BREW, .NET Compact Framework It is worth reflecting on how open operating
systems have evolved. In 2003, only three short
years ago, open OSs were a hot topic in industry
Middleware
e.g. Open Plug, SKY MobileMedia, Real, Gstreamer, circles. Back then, open OSs were seen as the
mFormation
answer to the increasing phone featuritis and
Software

considered a one-way street for most handset


Kernel and Hardware Drivers manufacturers. The stakes were high for who
e.g. Nucleus, MontaVista MobiLinux, Wind River,
Qualcomm AMSS/REX, Symbian OS, ENEA OSE was going to win the war of the OSs: Nokia (who
was behind Symbian), Microsoft or Palm OS?
The stakes seemed to reflect the common
Hardware

Hardware platform
e.g. TI, Marvel (Intel), Infineon, Qualcomm, Freescale, learnings from the war of desktop operating
Philips, Skyworks
systems, where only a single winner survives.

Fast forward three years. The market, far from


Source: VisionMobile consolidating around one or two of major
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operating systems, has seen the number of OS, paramount importance to the community of
user interfaces and application execution developers today is the AEEs’ degree of
environments actually increase and diversify. consistency across device models,
The mobile operating system story is no longer manufacturers, operators and regions, rather
about a war between Microsoft and Nokia. than their degree of openness (as application
execution environments are open by design).
Michael Mace, ex Chief Competitive Officer for
Palm, puts together a compelling justification for
the lack of a single winner in the OS war.
| The flexible OS
According to Mace, the desktop OS strategy
follows a virtuous circle: a richer platform leads
We believe that a new term for operating
to more applications, which leads to more
systems and needs to be coined, for which we
hardware sales and therefore more platform
propose the term ‘flexible’ operating system. The
sales. “The process feeds off itself, and pretty
flexibility stems from three very important
soon one OS has 90% of the market and the
qualities that a competitive and complete OS
other is called Macintosh”, Mace says. However
must possess today:
this virtuous circle does not apply to mobile
handsets. Whereas in the desktop world the OS Rapid UI prototyping tools
is what gives power to commoditised hardware,
Operators have gotten their way with
in the mobile world the purchase decision is
customising the handset iconography, the menu
driven by retail price, cosmetics and features,
order, preloaded content and settings. For
not software platforms.
operator-customised devices to truly differentiate,
a software stack needs to offer tools that
As we argue next, the term open OS has
facilitate rapid, but in-depth customisation of the
become defunct, a little known, but an
UI including the dialler and home-screen
increasingly important fact to understanding the
application, as well as the key applications such
mobile software landscape of today.
as browser and messaging that form part of the
Open OSes was a term coined to contrast the user journey. A flexible OS or software stack will
‘openness’ of operating systems for mobile offer designers (and their customers) greater,
phones such as Symbian OS and Windows cost-effective freedom at implementing radically
Mobile, to the closed nature of the manufacturer different user experiences.
home-grown operating systems, such as Nokia’s
A consistent application execution
NOS and EMP’s OPA. The openness stems
environment
from the ability for operators to customise the
look & feel of the handset and for software Not only are application execution environments

developers to develop and deploy applications diverse (examples include S60, UIQ, Qtopia,

on the handset. Java, BREW, Flash Lite and Openwave MIDAS)


but they are also fragmented, with Java
It is a widely known fact today that all operating environments showing incompatibilities across
systems, whether ‘open’ or ‘closed’ are routinely device models, manufacturers, operator variants
customised to operator requirements. In addition, and regional variants. A flexible OS or software
the openness of the platform to third party stack will stretch across platforms, devices and
developers has been shown to be of secondary manufacturers but not alter its characteristics.
importance. Plenty of ‘open’ application Equally importantly, AEEs are competing not
execution environments exist today, such as only on breadth of handset implementation, but
Java, Flash Lite, S60 and Qtopia. What is of
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on the depth of integration with native device case with BREW) or eventually morph into
APIs. complete top-half software stacks (as it the case
with Flash Lite).
Commercial, OS-independent AEEs are
attempting to grab an ever-greater share of the Portability across chipsets and reference
device market. The key contenders, BREW, designs
Flash Lite and Openwave MIDAS (in addition to A flexible OS should be easily portable to
commercial J2ME platform products) will be diverse chipsets and hardware reference
facing overweight problems; to deeply integrate designs. There are around 15-20 2G and 3G
with diverse handsets, AEEs have to cover or reference designs in the market today. Such a
even replicate more and more handset portability will offer ODMs and ODEs more
functionality. There are two avenues open: AEEs choice in selecting the reference design that
will either have to ensure manufacturers develop suits a particular customer project.
their handsets for the environment (as is the

A.2 | Linux: Myth and Reality

First things first. According to the homepage of Linux is unlike most other operating systems,
kernel.org, “Linux is a clone of the operating due to its community-driven nature and its steer
system Unix, written from scratch by Linus by Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator and father
Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit figure. This makes the operating system unique
team of hackers across the Net.” in several important ways, some positive and
some negative:
Linux today is one of the most popular operating
systems for web servers, consumer electronics  The Linux kernel supports more
and embedded devices. Linux software expands processors types than any other
across a wide range of market segments, such operating system. No other operating
as mp3 players, internet TVs, disk-on-chip system runs in everything from a mobile
media, network routers, bar-code readers, phone to a TiVo and a radio controlled
airplane entertainment systems and telephone helicopter to a network router, based on
exchanges. diverse processor families and computing
environments.
The Linux kernel (available from kernel.org)
forms the core of the operating system and  Linux is evolution, not intelligent design.
includes hardware drivers, memory, filesystem
There is no design plan, feature requests or
and process management, The kernel is
roadmap for the Linux kernel. New
supplemented with hundreds or thousands of
hardware and features are added on an ad
additional software components to form a
hoc basis. There are no fixed APIs and the
complete operating system, termed a
design of the kernel is in constant flux. This
distribution – in the case of desktop Linux,
enables developers to ruthlessly optimise
there are hundreds of distributions available
and evolve code without worrying about
such as those from Red Hat, Debian, Suse,
retaining backward compatibility – this
Novell and Ubuntu.
essentially amounts to faster evolution of
the operating system.
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 Linux kernel modifications are illegal and other manufacturers from adopting the platform,
unethical. Linux has been designed to while DoCoMo’s Symbian-based platform is
ensure that community contributions to the Japan-specific. Nucleus as a proprietary RTOS
Linux code are not abused; a vendor lacks the feature-sophistication often required for
providing modifications to the Linux kernel powering mainstream and high-end phones.
must share them back with the community. This leaves Linux-based software stacks as a
Closed kernel modifications are generally good choice for manufacturers looking for long-
regarded as either illegal or unethical. term investments into a software platform for
their mid-range and high-end handsets. At the
 Linux platforms (including mobile same time, Linux’s lack of a dominant vendor,
platforms) are differentiated too far down ensures that manufacturer risk from vendor lock-
the software stack. “The outcome of that is ins is minimized.
that when you look at the two dozen or so
As a result, most tier-1 manufacturers are today
Linux phones on the market, they're
investing in significant R&D efforts on Linux-
relatively un-related, in that they run Linux,
based OSes, while Motorola has adopted Linux
but they have little else in common.”,
for its high-end and mid-range devices. Similarly
according to Bill Weinberg, spokesperson
for major operators, in their strategic evaluation
for the OSDL, as quoted on
of software platforms for handset service
LinuxDevices.com in December 2005.
development and deployment, Linux appears

 Commercial distributions take out the rather favourable.

risk. Commercial vendors selectively


Taking Linux to mobile phones
integrate Linux code components to form a
product, and add predictability (in terms of The software that one can obtain from the

roadmaps), support, warranties, primary Linux download site, www.kernel.org, is

documentation, and can still be royalty-free. on average only 10% of the software needed to
power a mobile phone. For several historical
reasons, development of Linux software has
been focused on the desktop, enterprise and
| Linux for mobile handsets
lately in the embedded and consumer
electronics market.
Why Linux ?

For a manufacturer looking to invest in an The Linux kernel and other open source
operating system to support the increasing components are only a small part of the Linux
complexity of its current and future handsets, software distributions that ship in mobile phones;
there are five choices: BREW, Microsoft, a large number of closed source components
Symbian, Linux-based OSs and Nucleus-based and proprietary patches have to be added. By
stacks. BREW is largely a CDMA play, often far the most important (and complex) such
criticised for its high per-unit royalties. Microsoft, component is the telephony software
is mostly viewed an option for Tier-2 and Tier-3 responsible for call management and 2G/3G
manufacturers looking for a one-stop solution for data communication. Telephony stacks are
creating handsets targeted at the enterprise and notoriously difficult to stabilise and mature.
prosumer segments. Symbian is now of interest Furthermore, Linux-based distributions have to
only to Sony Ericsson, DoCoMo and Nokia; the be optimised for mobile phones to address
Finnish giant is practically in operational control issues such as power management, real-time
of the Symbian platform, which discourages
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performance, start-up time, in-place execution requirements, which amounts a long and
from memory, and compressed file systems. arduous process.

Naturally, the handset application suite also has Manufacturers, led by Motorola, have created
to be developed – this is the idle-screen, dialler, internal Linux distributions for their handsets,
contacts, calendar, messaging, media starting with Motorola’s A760 launched in 2003.
management, browser and phone settings. Software from commercial vendors MontaVista,
Handset-specific middleware such as device Mizi and Trolltech has been featured on millions
management, firmware over the air (FOTA), of mobile phones to date, while open-source
Java, data synchronization, and graphics products such as GTK+ (a UI framework) and
engines must also be integrated into the Gstreamer (a multimedia framework) are
distribution. increasingly featured on commercial mobile
handsets.
Linux has never adopted one single UI. Its
architectural openness and vendor Taking the code to a product, the first
independence has spawned tens if not hundreds commercial mobile Linux distributions offering
of user interface frameworks for both desktop complete software stacks were announced in
and embedded products. There are few 1H06, from A la Mobile, Access Linux Platform,
commercial UI frameworks available today for Purple Labs and Aplix. The revenue model
Linux-based mobile phones, namely Trolltech’s adopted historically by commercial Linux
Qtopia family, Mizi’s Prizm and Digital Airways’ vendors has been a combination of per-unit
Kaleido – open source projects GTK+ and royalty fees and per-seat licensing of
MiniGUI have also been ported to mobile development tools, although royalty fees are
devices. A range of commercial application becoming increasingly disused.
execution environments are also available today
for Linux-based mobile phones. These include Linux phones today

Trolltechs’ Qtopia, Mizi’s Prizm, Openwave’s Motorola, NEC, Panasonic and Samsung have
MIDAS and Adobe’s Flash Lite. been the main device backers of Linux. There
are about two dozen handset models which
have shipped to date, including the Motorola
A768, E680i, E680, A760, A780, A910, A1200,
| The commercial reality
E895, Rokr E2, NEC N901iC, N700i, N900il,

From Linux code to handset N902i, N902iX, Panasonic P700i, P9201i and
P902i, Samsung SCH-i519, SCH-i819, SGH-
Creating a software distribution for handsets is a
i858, SGH-i878, BenQ-Siemens SXG75, Wistron
complex undertaking. The distribution has to
Neweb GW1 and the Vitelcom G500i.
source components from different architecture
source trees, and unify them. Mobile-specific OS
Linux shipments have been traditionally strong in
optimisations imply around 500 patches to the
China, where certification requirements are
kernel and the sourcing and integration of 10s of
loose and the government promotes Linux
additional middleware and application
developments. Linux has surprised most
components. Before being complete, a
observers with its strong growth in the Japanese
distribution has to be optimised for different
market. This has been as a Linux-based
processor architectures. Equally importantly, the
platform (MOAP-L) has been developed by
distribution has to be tested and verified for
DoCoMo in partnership with NEC and Panasonic,
compliance with both industry and operator
both strong brands in the local market.
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According to Gartner, nearly 12 million Linux which it purchased in early 2006, and is known
phones were sold globally by the end of 2005, to have been a bidder in the acquisition of
with 2006 sales expected to rise to nearly 18 PalmSource in mid 2005. Motorola is also
million phones. There were no sales of Linux- shipping phones using Windows Mobile and
based handsets in Western Europe and North Symbian/UIQ.
America by end 2005, primarily due to the
challenges involved with certifying Linux
handsets in these markets and garnering
| Benefits and Challenges of Linux
operator support. A recent sign of change is the
first Linux-based handset for European markets Linux’s open source, decentralised, and vendor-
launched by French MVNO Neuf – the handset independent operational model offers a number
supports GSM and WiFi, runs Qtopia and is of benefits for Linux-based phone product
manufactured by a Chinese ODM. development:

Motorola has been the most vocal advocate of


 Linux is designed to avoid single-vendor
Linux, with 5 million Linux-based handsets
domination, minimising the risk of vendor
shipped by early 2006, with most running Qtopia
lock-ins for device manufacturers.
Core (previously named Qt\Embedded) -based
software, according to Trolltech (see product  The Linux kernel has been ported to
review in Section C.14). As part of Motorola’s more than a dozen chipsets, making it the
long-term plan to consolidate handset software
most portable operating system to date in
development into fewer platforms, the
terms of application processors. Linux is
manufacturer has since 2000 developed two
also becoming the preferred ‘bring-up’
Linux platforms: EZX, an application suite built
platform for hardware reference platforms.
on top of Trolltech’s Qtopia Core (previously Qt/
Embedded) UI framework and a newer stack  Linux is cheap and open to innovation.

that replaces EZX, referred to as the ’Linux- Linux’s decentralised, volunteer-based

Java‘ platform. The Linux-Java platform is now community offers essential mobile software

in version 6, targeting mid and high-end components for free and is also a hotbed of

handsets, although it is not clear whether the innovation, as evidenced through its rapid

platform contains any actual Java code, rather proliferation and Linux’s ties to the

than just a virtual machine. According to several academic communities.

sources, Motorola is planning to replace its


 Linux’s widespread use in networked and
proprietary P2K OS used in the RAZR and other
embedded appliances, makes Linux-based
handsets with Linux. Greg Besio, Software VP
distributions both technically competent
for Motorola, confirmed the manufacturer’s
and cost-effective for converged devices.
commitment to Linux in his keynote at
LinuxWorld in August 2006, saying that Linux  Several governments, most notably China,
will power more than half of Motorola’s phones support Linux and have been promoting or
within the next two years. Motorola has also funding Linux projects.
open sourced parts of its software stack for the
A1200, A780, E680, Rokr E2 as well as its
MIDP3 implementation for Linux. At the same time, mobile Linux development
faces several challenges:
It’s worth noting that Motorola is also using
TTPCom’s Ajar for mid- and low- end handsets,
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 The Linux kernel is optimised for GTK+ have been licensed under the Lesser
desktop and embedded computing General Public License (LGPL) that is more
environments, but not mobile handsets. permissive of derivative works. Other
Linux distributions have to supplement the vendors such as Trolltech and Sleepycat
kernel with telephony stacks, real-time have adopted dual licensing models.
support, optimised power management,
New developments in Linux productisation
Flash filesystem, memory management and
graphics support to name just a few. A number of vendors have announced complete
technology productisation and support services
 Mobile Linux distributions lack the feature
for Linux handsets. These are essentially mobile
set requested by network operators in
Linux distributions that integrate an entire
Europe and the US. In addition, mobile software stack for phones and provide essential
operators are unfamiliar with the services such as software customisation,
opportunities and idiosynchrasies of Linux interoperability testing and certification, such as
and are hesitating to adopt Linux as a FCC and GCF. A la Mobile, Purple Labs, Aplix’s
reliable operating system, with the notable BTO offering and Access Linux Platform, all
exception of Vodafone. announced in 1H06, are the first commercial

 There is no consensus on Linux’s APIs. vendors offering productisation services. In

This implies firstly that integration of parallel, Vodafone and DoCoMo’s partnership to

software components within a distribution is develop a complete mobile Linux reference

time-consuming and secondly that Linux implementation is another operator-orchestrated

applications do not readily port across Linux move in the same direction. In Japan, NEC and

handsets. Panasonic have long used a common version of


Linux software stack, which has reduced costs.
 A major operational and strategic challenge
A second evolution is brewing. Until recently, the
is mitigating legal challenges. Use of the
Linux developer community has had no stable
Linux kernel and numerous additional
and standardised phone hardware platform to
components is governed by the GPL license
test mobile Linux on, as has been the case with
(currently in version 2), which dictates that
Microsoft’s early release of Compal AR9
software works derived from GPL’ed code
platform and SavaJe’s Jasper J20 handset. This
must come with complete source code,
is changing with Trolltech’s Greenphone
modifiable and redistributable by anyone
developer kits expected in September 2006 and
free of charge. This is a licensing model that
Nokia’s earlier giveaway of 500 units of 770
critics of GPL, notably Microsoft, describe
Internet tablets for $100.
as ‘viral’, due to arising IP contamination
concerns.
Vendors are using a range of measures to
allay legal concerns around GPL, copyright | Standardisation
and patent issues, such as insurance,
technical due diligence, legal due diligence There are several initiatives in the industry today

and vendor indemnification clauses. A attempting to define common APIs and

debate is in progress regarding whether the standards for mobile Linux.

Linux kernel will adopt the stricter GPL v3


LiPS (Linux Phone Standards) is an industry
license, currently in draft status and due to
forum working to define common APIs at the
be finalised in early 2007. Due to the
application level, including APIs to telephony,
concerns around GPL, components such as
user interface, device management, security,
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application security, and address book. It aims to and demonstrate product conformance to the
use existing components where possible, platform specification.
modifying them as needed, in cooperation with
existing maintainers. Its first specifications are This new group consists of companies with

expected in late 2006. Current LiPS members considerable experience in implementing Linux

include FranceTelecom/Orange, Telecom Italia for mobile phones. The Open Platform Initiative

Mobile, Cellon, Huawei, Purple Labs, Texas (OPI) is in early discussions and has not made

Instruments, Trolltech, ZTE, Access/PalmSource, any commitments as to the vendors it plans to

FSM Labs, Jaluna, Mizi, MontaVista, Open-Plug, endorse, if any. However, given that all four

Longcheer, Spreadtrum, A la Mobile, ARM, manufacturers involved maintain internal

Esmertec, McAfee, and Movial Oy. distributions including software products such as
Mobilinux, Qtopia Core (previously Qt/
OSDL (Open Source Developer Labs) is an Embedded) and GTK+ we expect the joint
industry body working to accelerate the use of distribution to mix and match existing tried &
Linux for enterprise computing. Its Mobile Linux tested components.
Initiative (MLI) was launched in October 2005 to
“identify and fill gaps in the Linux platform and in What is most interesting is that the OPI is led by

the ecosystem above and around it”. Members two major mobile operators. We believe

of the MLI include BT, Intel, Mizi, MontaVista, Vodafone’s goal is adopt a mature, complete

Motorola, PalmSource, BenQ Siemens, Trolltech and supported Linux-based platform for its

and Wind River. mobile phones, based on its a long-term strategy


of reducing the number of handset software
At the marketing level, MLI aims to promote platforms. DoCoMo already has a successful
mobile Linux, educate operators about Linux and MOAP software stack and is a shareholder in
clarify legal and regulatory issues. At the Access and its ALP platform – as such, the
technical level, the MLI is focused on operator’s move can be interpreted as a
standardising power management, profiling and software export strategy. We believe that
scalability, how codecs are built and deployed, DoCoMo’s end game in the OPI could be to
as well as making Bluetooth, WiFi stacks and create the software equivalent of the i-mode
telephony stacks readily available. alliance and leverage on Vodafone, Motorola
and Samsung to export (and perhaps license) a
A third industry effort comes from the Consumer MOAP-like platform to Europe, US/China and
Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) which has a Korea, respectively. However, it is not clear
subgroup working at defining various mobile whether (or which) MOAP-L components will be
phone profiles. part of the technology that will be defined by the
Vodafone-DoCoMo foundation.
The Vodafone and DoCoMo agenda

Perhaps of greatest interest is a commercial


foundation created between Vodafone, NTT
DoCoMo, NEC, Panasonic, Motorola and
Samsung, announced in June 2006. Named the
‘Open Platform Initiative’, the foundation plans to
define and develop a mobile Linux reference
distribution, comprising of both open source and
closed source (proprietary) components. The
foundation intends to publish APIs, architecture
and test suites aimed at helping adopters assess
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A.3 | Java: A False Start, But Efforts Continue

Java is an AEE technology and a programming voted against the introduction of this JSR, with
language. Introduced by Sun Microsystems in the comment, “JSR 258 is an attempt by Nokia
1999, Java 2 Mobile Edition was once the to take control of the UI customisation….we
mobile industry’s favourite buzzword, the believe Nokia's 258 is really an attempt to limit
application execution environment that would UI customisability rather than to provide it.”
standardise application development across all
mobile phones. Since then, Java has been On the other side of the Pacific, the Java story

widely deployed on handsets, with Sun has been much rosier. DoCoMo’s DoJa, a

estimating over 700 million Java-enabled modified version of the Sun-sanctioned Java

handsets in the market as of June 2005. Tens of MIDP profile has exposed consistently, richly

specifications have been drafted and finalised by implemented functionality to Java developers,

major manufacturers and operators at the Java creating a vibrant application ecosystem. The

Community Process (JCP), the Sun-led forum to success of DoJa has largely been due to

standardise Java. However, the promise of DoCoMo’s advanced DoJa specifications and

write-once-run-anywhere software for mobile the control of consistent implementation on

handsets has failed to materialise. handsets.

Today Java for phones is best described as a Despite the challenges plaguing Java, there is

point solution, suitable for games and light still continued investment in the platform, from

content rendering applications. There is no both big and small players. Games developers

single vendor or single agreed implementation of such as HandyGames and on-device portal

J2ME and related APIs. Lack of application products such as Opera Mini are successfully

portability, inconsistently implemented APIs utilising Java across a wide range of handsets.

(formally called Java Specification Requests, There is continued investment and industry effort

JSRs), and lack of access to important device towards deeper, broader and more consistent

features have plagued software developers. support of Java across handsets.

Large software houses have to create over 100


The most notable effort is MSA (Mobile
different variations of a single Java game to
Service Architecture), a Nokia- and Vodafone-
address all handset variants. Porting a Java
led initiative within the JCP that was launched in
application across device models requires
late 2004 to consolidate and align JSR
significant efforts (typically 15-20% of the
specifications. MSA consolidates existing JSRs
original development effort, per device).
into CDLC and CDC architectures, provides
Furthermore, Java implementations lack access
additional clarifications to reduce ambiguity and
to important device functionality, including the
fragmentation, specifies additional requirements
user interface, idle screen and ability to perform
(e.g. security and hardware) and provides
background processing.
compliancy testing tools. The first MSA-

The politics at play within the JCP are also to compliant devices are expected by 1Q07. In

blame. An indication of the controversies parallel, there are roughly 20 new JSRs being

between JCP members appears in the minutes standardized (including MIDP3), covering

of the discussions held during the introduction of functionality in the areas of UI customization,

JSR 258. In December 2004, Vodafone Group


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11
telephony, hardware sensors and device respectively. In parallel, Sun announced its
management. plans to take J2ME open source. This could
allow established companies with a strong Java
In mid 2006 J2ME is at crossroads. In 1H06 agenda - such as Vodafone and Nokia - to
Esmertec and Aplix, two of the main J2ME define and promulgate their own J2ME
product vendors, have gone through a radical implementations as de-facto standards.
change of management and product strategy,

A.4 | Nokia against Symbian

Nokia’s devaluation strategy towards Symbian is S60’s licensing strategy. With Symbian
a commonly known truth in industry circles, but software being highly dependent on Nokia,
one that has rarely seen press coverage. several manufacturers, including BenQ Siemens
and Panasonic, have painstakingly developed
Nokia is Symbian’s biggest licensee, with the S60-based handsets, only to withdraw as a
Finnish manufacturer shipping over 70% of licensee later. We argue that Symbian has
Symbian-based handsets in the last two years. become a software house for Nokia, albeit an
At the same time, Nokia’s S60 platform is not expensive one, given that Nokia does have
only a user interface layer and application suite, extensive Symbian OS expertise in-house which
but also an application execution environment could in-source OS development.
and middleware that contains all essential
application and service components. Nokia S60 S60 on Linux ?
handsets routinely contain features that then A common hypothesis among industry analysts
make it into the Symbian OS, such as the FOTA is that S60 will at some point complement
and WiFi middleware which appeared in Symbian with a Linux operating system. There is
Symbian OS 9.3, following its introduction in S60 plenty of anecdotal information to support this,
rd
3 Edition Feature Pack 1. This is an unusual but it mostly suffices to entertain a hypothesis,
relationship between a licensee and its licensor rather than to build a business case.
that essentially pushes the value line continually
lower down the software stack, in favour of the According to a senior figure close to Symbian,
licensee. porting S60 to run on top of Linux would be a
very expensive project, costing in the order of
As a licensee shipping around 35 million $100 million. However, this figure is comparable
handsets a year, Nokia has to pay Symbian in to Nokia’s annual cost of maintaining Symbian
the order of $100 million a year. As a OS and is also comparable to the cost of
shareholder with 47.9% ownership, Nokia developing a state-of-the-art handset (with
recoups most of that value. However, as analyst development of new Japanese handset models
firm Nomura points out, with Nokia’s share of costing $85 to $170 million according to the
ownership and share of shipments in imbalance, publication Nihon Keizai Shimbun).
Nokia has demanded reduced per-unit royalties,
most likely against the financial interests of other Nokia has also developed Maemo, a Linux
shareholders. platform for PDAs which does include a port of
Hildon, a defunct Symbian user interface, but
We believe that this strategy has not only which lacks the essential telephony stacks.
devalued Symbian, but has also marred
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12
Our hypothesis is that Nokia will begin to none”, given that there are 38 Symbian handsets
gradually use Linux-based open source in Japan shipped by Fujitsu and Mitsubishi,
components as it grows the reach of S60 lower Sharp and Sony Ericsson in volumes of around
down the stack. Based on this hypothesis, we one million a month. MOAP-S is a rich UI
expect to see high-value software components framework and middleware layer with DoJa
port from Maemo onto S60, on top of a Linux support and comes in two flavours of user
compatibility layer. interfaces, one shared by Fujitsu and Mitsubishi
and one by Sony Ericsson and Sharp handsets.
S60 vs MOAP MOAP-S is the evolution of Fujitsu’s in-house UI,
S60 is not the most successful user interface and is based currently on Symbian 8.1, with a
layer for Symbian to date. MOAP-S (Mobile plan to move to 9.x at the end of 2007. MOAP-S
Oriented Applications Platform for Symbian), is a can cater to wildly different user interfaces from
little known S60-replacement for Symbian OS – an advanced 3G phone UI to a 3-line B/W LCD
based phones that has been co-developed by screen as seen on the Raku Raku 3 handset.
DoCoMo, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Motorola.
DoCoMo invested a total of about 37 billion yen MOAP-L is the Linux-based sister platform for

(approx. $300 million) over two years (fiscal DoCoMo’s 3G handsets that includes

2004 and fiscal 2005) in six manufacturers which middleware, the DoJa application execution

resulted in the development of MOAP-S and environment and a GTK+ based UI Framework.

MOAP-L software layers for the operators’ 3G NEC and Panasonic have shipped at least

FOMA handsets. seven handsets based on MOAP-S as of mid


2006, accounting for the majority of worldwide
MOAP-S, in the words of a Symbian VP, is “by shipments of Linux-based handsets.
far the most successful smartphone platform bar

A.5 | Conclusions and Market Trends

Based on the analysis presented here, we also enterprises and mobile operators making a
outline five key trends that will shape the mobile choice of platform.
software market through 2006-2009.
We believe that 2006 marks a turning point in
Firstly, software flexibility, rather than openness the history of Linux as a mobile phone platform,
will be the critical theme for successful operating not only due to Motorola’s recent commitment,
systems. Secondly, as the sale value line moves but the wealth products and support services
upwards towards middleware and upper from a growing commercial community. Longer
software layers, so the core operating system term, we believe Linux-based platforms will out-
technology will commoditise. Thirdly, technology survive many of today’s credible contestants, as
verticalisation is gradually taking place, with will Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.
vendors merging or partnering to offer out-of-
the-box pre-integrated software stacks. In These five trends are further analysed in

symmetry, the demand for software platforms is Chapter D.

consolidating, with not only manufacturers, but


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Making Sense of Operating Systems, UI


B Frameworks and Application Environments

The landscape of mobile software today is In this chapter we shed light on the functionality
exceedingly complex. Hundreds of products delivered by each product and compare metrics
form part of the software stacks shipping in low- of positioning and market penetration for each.
end to high-end handsets. The functionality of The product functionality chart shown on the
each product spans a number of areas, and is next page shows the type of functionality
typically described in the vendor’s own delivered by each software product, based on
marketing language; this has resulted in what the conceptual model for handset software that
one could call Babel of software products, where we presented in Section A.1.
understanding the roles, functionality and lines
of partnership or competition across software For each software product, the Customers &

products is a complex endeavour. Licensees chart shows the manufacturers who


have announced mobile phones based on
In exploring the mobile software landscape we selected software products. Finally, the market
have selected 16 software products including penetration chart shows a metric of the
major operating systems, application effectiveness of the licensing strategy for each
environments and user interface frameworks, software product; this can be observed by
that we compare and contrast next. These plotting the age of the software product (in years
products are A la Mobile platform, Access Linux since launch), against the number of mobile
Platform, Adobe Flash Lite, GTK+, MiniGUI, Mizi phones that have been announced to carry that
Prizm, MontaVista Mobilinux, Nokia S60, Obigo product.
Suite, Openwave MIDAS, Qualcomm BREW,
SavaJe, Symbian OS, Trolltech Qtopia, UIQ and Each of the 16 vendors compared here are

Windows Mobile. further reviewed in Chapter C.


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Product Functionality. Classification of selected software products and the functionality they delivered based on a simplified handset software stack

ALA ALP FL GTK mGUI MIZI MV S60 OBG OPWV BREW SVJE SYMB QTOP UIQ WIN NUCL SKY PURP DAW TAT

Application Suite
     
User Interface Framework
      
Application Execution Environment
    
Middleware  
Kernel and Hardware Drivers     
Key: ALA = A la Mobile Adobe, ALP = Access Linux Platform, FL = Adobe Flash Lite, GTK = GTK+, Mizi = Mizi Prizm, MV = MontaVista Mobilinux, S60 = Nokia
S60, OBG = Obigo, OPWV = Openwave MIDAS, BREW = Qualcomm BREW, SVJE = SavaJe OS, SYMB = Symbian OS, QTOP = Trolltech Qtopia, UIQ = UIQ,
WIN = Windows Mobile, NUCL = Nucleus, SKY = SKY-MAP, PURP = Purple Labs Linux, DAW = Digital Airways Kaleido, TAT = TAT’s UI Foundation

* full / semi circle denotes full / semi-complete functionality, respectively

Source: VisionMobile Research


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Customers & Licensees. Manufacturers who have announced mobile phones based on selected software products.

Pantech & Curitel


Group Sense Ltd
BenQ Siemens

Sony Ericsson
Longcheer

Panasonic
IXI mobile

Mitsubishi

Samsung
Eastcom

Motorola

Vitelcom
Kyocera

Toshiba
Compal

Wistron
Huawei

Lenovo

Sagem
Hitachi
Fujitsu
Cellon

Sanyo

Sharp
Arima

Nokia
Mitac

Palm
NEC
HTC

TCL

ZTE
Bird

Mio
LG
A la Mobile

Access Linux Platform

Adobe Flash Lite               

GTK+   

MiniGUI

Mizi Prizm 

MontaVista Mobilinux   

Nokia S60    

Obigo Suite                

Openwave                

Qualcomm BREW                   

SavaJe OS   

Symbian OS            

Trolltech Qtopia    

UIQ    

Windows Mobile       

* Not all customers or licensees are shown.


Source: vendor data
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Market penetration. Age of software platform vs number of commercial mobile phone models announced carrying the software platform

1000

Mobile phone models announced (logarithmic scale)


Fast market
Obigo Suite
penetration

Adobe Flash Lite


Qualcomm BREW Symbian OS
100

MontaVista Nokia S60


Mobilinux
Windows Mobile
UIQ
Openwave Phone GTK+
10
Suite V7 Trolltech Qtopia
(basis for MIDAS)

Mizi Prizm
Slow market
penetration
SavaJe OS
1
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Age of platform (years s ince date of launch)

Source: vendor data


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C Product Reviews

In this section we present reviews for 16 major mobile software products, listed below. These products
have been selected to include major representatives across operating system, application execution
environment and UI framework categories. The page number, key metrics and functionality for each
product reviewed are summarised next (for definitions see example below).

key product metrics product functionality areas


page launched licensees models base APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
A la Mobile 18 2H06 0 0 0     
Access Linux Platform 20 1H07 0 0 0     
Adobe Flash Lite 22 2003 13 140 77M 
GTK+ 24 1997 3 8 ~5M 
MiniGUI 26 1998 1 0 0 
Mizi Prizm 28 2003 1 3 N/A    
MontaVista Mobilinux 30 2003 3 25 25M  
Nokia S60 32 2001 4 39 ~60M    
Obigo Suite 34 2001 25 400 300M  
Openwave MIDAS 36 1H06 N/A 0 0    
Qualcomm BREW 38 2001 44 170+ ~150M  
SavaJe 40 2004 3 0 0     
Symbian OS 42 1998 12 100+ 82M   
Trolltech Qtopia 44 2000 40 11 4M    
UIQ 46 1999 4 13 N/A    
Windows Mobile 48 2002 7 22 ~5M     

The metrics for each product are included in a summary table at the top of each review, as in the example
below.

Vendor and product name Functionality areas: APPS = application suite, UIF = user interface framework, AEE
= application execution environment, MIDW = middleware, KRNL = kernel

Adobe Flash Lite APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL


Launched: 2003 Licensees: 13 Models: 140 Base: 77M

Year of product launch # of mobile phone models announced


number of total manufacturer licensees installed base (reported or estimated ~) of mobile phones

Each product review is structured into background, positioning, products, technology and strategy
subsections. Each review concludes with the author’s viewpoint on that product.
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C.1 | A la Mobile A la Mobile APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL


Launched: 2H06 Licensees: 0 Models: 0 Base: 0

Background processor and in 1Q07 with single processor

A la Mobile is a start-up founded in June 2005, architectures.

which came out of stealth mode in June 2006 to


Product
announce its Convergent Linux platform.
Convergent Linux, planned for availability in
The company was founded by Pauline Alker, an September 2006, is made up of a complete
entrepreneur-in-residence working at Venrock software stack, including Linux kernel 2.6, FOTA
Associates, who secured $3.5 million to launch a agent from Red Bend, Qtopia application
technology-oriented mobile company. Alker execution environment and user interface layer,
recruited senior figures from Sun and Openwave browser, messenger and multimedia framework
and grew A la Mobile into a team of 20 based in components from Obigo AB, Flash Lite player
San Ramone, California. The company is from Adobe and J2ME virtual machine. The
keeping software development in house, but distribution specifically excludes radio stacks,
outsourcing business development and sales to which are proprietary to the underlying hardware,
regional ‘consulting boutiques’. A la Mobile will although the company is pre-testing its product
be looking to close a series B round of funding in with Hellosoft stacks.
2H06, likely to be in the $10 million range.
A la Mobile claims to provide a complete set of
Positioning tools for building the distribution and configuring

Convergent Linux can best be described as the the platform as well as tools for product testing

‘Red Hat’ of mobile, in other words a complete and QA.

Linux distribution for mobile phones. A la Mobile


Technology
is addressing an important gap in mobile Linux
offerings: the productisation of a complete A la Mobile’s technology portfolio is made up of

software stack that is stable, integrated, two components, the hardware mobility engine

customised, tested, verified and supported, (HME) and the network mobility engine (NME).

much like ALP’s proposed positioning.


The HME is a low-level porting technology that

Unlike most other Linux vendors, a la Mobile is allows the binary image of a complete operating

less about technology and more about a service system to be reused across hardware reference

proposition. The company is intending to provide designs. The HME is a set of hardware drivers

a complete mobile Linux distribution and offer a (which are normally part of the kernel) that

choice of components to customers. The abstract the idiosyncrasies of the underlying

Convergent Linux business model emphasises hardware components from the operating

on delivering a complete and differentiated system. A la Mobile plans to produce a different

software stack for mobile devices, to compete HME for each supported mobile phone

with Symbian/S60 and Microsoft. applications processor, with support for ARM9
and ARM 11 architectures initially. Each HME
A la Mobile plans to address both feature and version will present the same uniform API to the
smart phone segments, initially with dual OS above it. This will enable HME-compliant
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19
binary images to run without modification, particular attention to mobile operators, although
recompilation or re-testing on top of any no customer details have yet been announced.
supported chipset, as reported by
LinuxDevices.com. A la Mobile has two patents Viewpoint

pending on the technology and is investigating A la Mobile has, alongside Access Linux
legal implications of separating hardware drivers Platform, Purple Labs and Aplix’s BTO product,
away from the GPL’d kernel. launched a new breed of solutions bringing
productisation to mobile Linux.
The Network Mobility Engine (NME) provides a
policy-based framework for handover of IP- Aside from competition from similar solutions
based services (voice, data and video) between announced in 1H06, A la Mobile will face several
network transports (e.g. 2G, 3G and WiFi) challenges. The company is planning to offer
without requiring any modification in the network tailored distributions to diverse customers, a
infrastructure or the IP applications. It also promising but risky proposition which will require
allows for automatic selection of appropriate considerable funding. We believe that apart from
network transport when service is acquired or choosing its partners and customers carefully, A
lost. la Mobile will have to develop state-of-the-art
tools that will allow its engineers and its
Strategy customers’ engineers to rapidly customise,
A la Mobile is plugging a hole in today’s mobile integrate, test and verify Convergent Linux to
Linux software landscape by offering a complete, diverse needs.
tested and verified distribution. The software
distribution is tailored to the customer, not only We also believe that A la Mobile needs to more

in terms of middleware, but also in terms of the effectively communicate its value proposition to

user interface. the industry, not only due to lack of industry


education on Linux, but also the uniqueness of
A la Mobile plans to provide a tailored the company’s positioning.
distribution to each customer and is paying
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C.2 | Access Linux Platform Access Linux Platform APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Launched: 1H07 Licensees: 0 Models: 0 Base: 0

Background Development of the ALP software is out of

The Access Linux Platform (ALP) was PalmSource’s California offices, where Access

announced in February 2006, as the US also moved. According to internal sources,

amalgamation of Palm OS’s execution the environment within ALP office resembles a

environment and UI, China MobileSoft’s Linux start-up with roadmaps and development

kernel and Access’s application and middleware milestones in flux.

suite.
Positioning

ALP marks the meeting point of the three very The Access Linux platform is intended to provide
different companies. Tokyo-based Access was a complete software stack, encompassing kernel,
founded in 1984 and is traded on the Tokyo middleware, Palm- and Linux- based application
Stock Exchange with a capitalisation of $3-$4 execution environments, UI framework and
billion. Access develops the Netfront browser application suite. The company hopes to begin
and middleware suite that the company claims licensing the ALP platform to hardware and
has been embedded on 200 million devices. software developers by the end of 2006, and
Access outbid several potential acquirers expects to see devices based on it reach
including Motorola, to acquire PalmSource in consumers in late 2007.
September 2005 paying an 83% premium on its
ordinary stock price. As a complete operating system, ALP is
competing with Symbian and Windows Mobile.
PalmSource was created as an operating To challenge the incumbent players, ALP plans
subsidiary of Palm, Inc. during 2001 and to develop new software components at the
subsequently spun out of its parent as a kernel and UI framework layers, while leveraging
separate business in November 2003. PalmOS from the open source community and existing
has been particularly successful as an OS for Access and PalmSource technology. ALP will
PDAs in the US, but has suffered from repeat certainly benefit from the existing 400,000
execution blunders and the loss of both registered members of the Palm OS developer
committed licensees, Sony and Palm. program and the 25,000 reported application
titles. The company launched a new Developer
PalmSource acquired China MobileSoft (CMS) Network programme to transition these
in February 2005 in an effort to shift its developers and applications to the ALP platform,
development focus above the value line. CMS a task that won’t be easy due to lack of handsets
products comprise of a Linux kernel (mLinux), a and the need for application porting.
complete handset operating system (mFone)
and an application suite. CMS products have There are yet no announcements as to the
already shipped in more than a million phones, manufacturers that will be releasing ALP-based
according to the company, while it counts some handsets, although they are likely to be vendors
eleven different phone manufacturers among its already using Access software.
customers.
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21
Product build a full Linux distribution. Access’s strategic

Access has published a detailed plan for the priority is deploy ALP on home and converged

make-up of the ALP platform. ALP comprises of consumer devices.

the full software stack, starting with Linux Kernel


Viewpoint
2.6.12 (replaceable by the manufacturer). At the
middleware level ALP features a full telephony Access does have an ambitious plan for creating

framework and a messaging framework a single product out of three very different

supporting SMS, MMS, email and IM, as well as product suites. This is a daunting task – creating

a Java virtual machine (a choice between a new operating system is an arduous and risky

PalmSource’s IBM-licensed JVM and Access’ project and one that PalmSource failed in their

Sun-licensed JVM). An SQLlite database is used last attempt with Cobalt OS. PalmSource’s

for storing common user data such as contacts, disappointing track record with execution with an

calendar, profiles and filesystem and making outdated OS and limited support for hardware, is

them easily accessible to application developers. a concern with ALP. According to an SEC filling
by Palm Inc, PalmSource has already missed
At the UI framework level, ALP features MAX, an
some of the deadlines set out in its agreement
adaptation of PalmSource’s Rome technology,
with the manufacturer in codeveloping the
supporting multitasking, and both keypad and
PalmOS operating system. A source close to
touch-screen interfaces; MAX is founded on an
Palm said summarising the challenges for ALP:
optimised version of GTK+. ALP includes a
“it’s not enough to have the right ingredients, you
MAX-based application suite and the Access
have to bake the cake”.
Netfront browser. ALP is designed to run legacy
PalmOS as well as Java and Linux applications. With ALP, Access is addressing an important
need, the development of a complete,
Technology
production-ready Linux-based software stack.
It is yet not known how ALP will allow Access’s plan trades off the limited choice in the
customisation of the user interface and whether software stack make-up with the stability and
rapid prototyping tools will be provided. Access reliability offered by pre-integrating specific
has also made no statements as to the chipsets components.
that will be supported. What is known is that ALP
will aim to support the existing pool of PalmOS A further challenge for Access would be to
applications through the Ghost forward revive the PalmOS community, especially when
compatibility engine, although we expect such applications will most likely have to be re-written,
applications to have to be modified to run on and engage the Linux community.
ALP.
Finally, a puzzling question relating to Access is
Strategy what is the end-game for DoCoMo (who owns

We believe Access’s strategy is to provide a 11% of Access) since the operator already uses

complete software stack based on Linux for the the MOAP layer (see Section A.4). It is therefore

Chinese and European markets. Alongside A la likely that ALP will be aimed at markets outside

Mobile, ALP is one of the first Linux vendors to Japan.


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C.3 | Adobe Flash Lite Adobe Flash Lite APPS


Launched: 2003 Licensees: 13
UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Models: 140 Base: 77M

Flash Lite boasts deployments by operators NTT


Background
DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile (formerly
Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash Lite is an Vodafone K.K), and manufacturers Fujitsu,
application execution environment and vector Hitachi, Kyocera, LG, Mitsubishi, Motorola, NEC,
graphics framework for mobile handset Nokia, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, Samsung,
applications. The Flash Lite engine is the mobile BenQ Siemens, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba.
version of the Flash player which, in the PC The platform is enjoying success across Japan,
world, has become the de facto rich graphic Korea, as well as Europe (through Nokia’s S60
application environment for websites. and S40) and North America through a joint
marketing push with Verizon Wireless on BREW
DoCoMo, the company which prompted
devices.
Macromedia to develop a mobile version of
Flash, has been bundling Flash Lite on every i- Flash Lite is licensed to manufacturers on a per-
mode handset since the 505i series in early unit royalty basis, which according to several
2003, as well as its MOAP-based 3G handsets. sources ranges from $2 down to $0.5 depending
In the last two years, Flash Lite has been on volume.
featured on Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson,
Windows Mobile and BREW phones. According Adobe boasts a one-million-strong developer
to Adobe, as of July 2006, 13 manufacturers base for Flash content which notably includes
have shipped more than 77 million devices with not only programmers, but also creative
Flash Lite on over 140 device models. designers.
Interestingly, this makes Flash Lite more
ubiquitous than Symbian. Product

Flash Lite 1.1 has been criticised for suffering


Positioning from high processing requirements, limited
Flash Lite is an application execution programmability and lack of essential APIs.
environment for graphically-rich, interactive Flash Lite 2.0, released to manufacturers in late
applications such as games and on-device 2005, is based on the Flash 7 profile, and
portals. Over time, the platform has been significantly increases the breadth of
evolving to a platform not only for third party functionality available and the depth of device
applications, but also manufacturer applications; integration. Version 2 upgrades the scripting
the Samsung G900 uses Flash Lite to render the support to the richer ActionScript 2, and enables
idle screen and dialler applications. local data storage, easier loading of external
data and embedded video playback.
Flash Lite has been deployed on a range of
platforms and number of mobile devices that few The Flash Lite player can be integrated on a
other software products can boast. The list mobile device as an engine for third party
includes MOAP, Nokia S60, S40, Windows applications, as a graphics framework for
Mobile, BREW, GTK+ and MontaVista, as well implementing manufacturer applications such as
as further, unannounced platforms. the idle screen and dialler, or as a browser plug-
in. DoCoMo for example has chosen to integrate
VisionMobile research
23
the player deeply within its handsets so that Flex development and Flash execution
Flash Lite contents can be played from the environments. We expect Adobe to announce a
browser, idle screen, and in some cases from complete user interface framework by mid 2007,
the call make/receive and email send/receive as an evolution of its Flash Lite platform.
screens.
One of the biggest technical challenges for
Technology Adobe is transitioning the software runtime

According to Adobe, Flash Lite is light enough to environment from being primarily aimed at

run on most mass-market phones with ARM7 animations to being aimed at applications,

class processors, although it is today mostly according to David Lynch, Chief Software

available on high-end feature phones and Architect for Adobe, interviewed by

smartphones. Flash Lite can integrate with the Knowledge@Wharton in July 2006.

device to monitor battery life, signal strength,


Viewpoint
identify the device model, send SMS messages,
invoke the browser or initiate a voice call. Macromedia has managed to execute very well

However, as in the case of Java integration, it is in deploying Flash Lite across over 70 million

essentially down to the manufacturer to choose devices, given that its royalty pricing is

how deeply Flash Lite will be integrated, and substantial and competing SVG vendors have

which intrinsic device functionality it will have been offering their client for free.

access to, which can create subtle platform


Flash Lite has began to make headway outside
incompatibilities across device models.
Japan and Korea with Macromedia’s

Strategy collaboration with Verizon Wireless that will see


the platform shipped on Samsung A950, LG
Following the acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe
VX9800 and the Motorola RAZR v3C. In Europe,
has been pursuing a long-term strategy that will
Flash Lite has been shipped on several S60
see the PDF and Flash platforms merge into a
devices and four S40 devices, further cementing
single product and span across desktop and
Adobe’s product as a prevalent AEE for third
mobile environments. Codenamed Apollo, the
party applications and increasingly manufacturer
initial incarnation of Adobe’s strategy is a cross-
applications.
operating system runtime which allows
developers to build and deploy rich online and
Adobe has ambitions to compete with Microsoft
offline applications. Apollo has been announced
on a next-generation application execution
for desktop environments, where it will be
environment for rich Internet applications
competing head-to-head with Microsoft’s
combining the power and ubiquity of PDF and
Windows Presentation Framework.
Flash formats. On the mobile arena, Flash Lite
has been positioned as a complementary
According to internal sources, the mobile version
technology to most software platforms, including
of Apollo is 2-3 years away from reaching the
S60, MOAP, Windows Mobile and BREW,
market and will closely follow the roadmap of the
however Adobe will need to play its cards
Apollo desktop product. Adobe is also known to
carefully with software vendors as it develops
be working on a full user interface framework
Flash to a full UI framework and AEE for
codenamed Flip that combines Macromedia’s
manufacturer applications.
VisionMobile research
24

C.4 | GTK+ GTK+ APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL


Launched: 1997 Licensees: 3 Models: 8 Base: ~5M

As a Linux-based UI framework, GTK+


Background
competes with Trolltech’s Qtopia and Mizi’s
GTK+ is a software framework for creating Prizm, with a key point of differentiation being
graphical user interfaces, across desktop and GTK’s royalty-free, LGPL licensing model and
embedded environments. The GTK+ project multi-vendor support.
started life in 1997 as a toolkit for a raster
graphics editor called the GNU Image Product
Manipulation Program (GIMP), and has come to GTK+ is a full UI framework comprising of a
be known as GIMP ToolKit, abbreviated to GTK+. widget set (e.g. buttons, lists), an event handling
mechanism and extends to an accessibility
Positioning
toolkit and internationalisation framework for
GTK+ is a high profile open source project with a rendering complex scripts.
large, active development community. GTK+ is
royalty free and licensed under LGPL, a lighter GTK+ offers a complete set of widgets, making it
version of the GPL license that allows vendors to suitable for projects ranging from small one-off
build proprietary applications on top of GTK+; tools (such as GIMP) to complete application
only modifications to the GTK+ code itself must suites for mobile handsets. GTK+ lacks a
be disclosed rather than application source code. windowing system, or drivers providing the low-
level interface to the screen. The latest version
Commercially, GTK+ is used as the basis of the of GTK+ 2,0 comprises of more than 600,000
GNOME Linux-based desktop environment, as lines of code, more than double the size of its
well as the One Laptop Per Child project and the predecessor, GTK+ 1.2.
VMware workstation and server products.
Technology
There is no single vendor or owner behind GTK+,
GTK+ is accessible to developers via a C API
while a number of companies have been using
and (via bindings) to Python, C#, Java, Perl,
GTK+ on embedded projects, including Nokia,
Ruby –based applications. GTK+ also features
PalmSource, Garmin, OpenedHand, Imendio,
an XML API for rapidly creating custom screen
KernelConcepts, BlueMug and Movial.
layouts and describing interactions, although
that feature has not yet been productised in a
It is worth noting that GTK+ has been integrated
handset environment. GNOME’s recent work on
within Nokia’s Maemo platform (powering the
adding JavaScript programmability to GTK+
Nokia 770 Internet Tablet) and is featured within
should spawn the creation of rapid UI
the Access Linux Platform software stack. It is
customisation tools based on GTK+, similar to
understood that NEC and Panasonic devices
Digital Airways’ Kaleido.
designed for DoCoMo’s FOMA 3G network also
feature a port of GTK+ for mobile handsets. This
Development of GTK+ based software is
alone implies that GTK+ UI framework has been
supported by open source tools such as Glade.
featured on millions of Linux-based handsets to
date. Porting GTK+ to embedded handsets is a
relatively low-resource effort according to Jeff
VisionMobile research
25
Waugh, Director of the GNOME foundation. handset manufacturers due to the product’s
Porting involves removing unnecessary widgets, completeness as a UI framework, its flexibility as
adapting widget rendering, adding font an open source project, its royalty-free use and
management and a window manager, according its permissive LGPL licensing.
to Blue Mug, an embedded software company
who ported GTK+ to PDA hardware in 5 Its use in NEC and Panasonic handsets makes

engineer-months. GTK+ one of the most prominent software


stacks in terms of handset shipments.
Viewpoint

The popularity of GTK+ has been steadily


growing amongst mobile software vendors and
VisionMobile research
26

C.5 | MiniGUI
MiniGUI APPS UIF AEE MDW KRNL
Launched: 1998 Licensees: 1 Models: 0 Base: 0

Product
Background
According to Feynman Software, MiniGUI is
MiniGUI is a user interface framework optimised
optimized for applications with tight resource and
for embedded devices. MiniGUI started life in
real-time performance constraints. It provides
December 1998, through the work of software
multi-windowing and messaging mechanisms
developer Wei Yongming. In 2002, the core
and supports enhanced graphics APIs. The
developers of MiniGUI founded Beijing-based
product further supports skins that open the
Feynman Software to market and commercialise
platform to both provider-centric customisation
MiniGUI. The UI framework is offered today in
and user-centric personalisation.
both free (GPL licensed) and commercial (non-
GPL) forms. MiniGUI provides a comprehensive suite of
widgets and supports popular image file types,
Positioning
Windows resource files, multiple character sets,
MiniGUI aims to provide a compact, fast, stable, font types, and keyboard layouts. The product
lightweight, and cross-operating system UI also supports multiple keyboard layouts, and
support system, which is especially fit for real- Simplified Chinese input method.
time embedded systems.
Technology
The MiniGUI UI framework can be used on not
MiniGUI boasts support for an impressive array
only mainstream mobile phones and WiFi
of core operating systems including
phones, but also portable media players, set-top
Linux/uClinux, eCos, VxWorks, pSOS, ThreadX,
boxes and industrial meters. The product
Nucleus, and recently ENEA’s OSE. Feynman
includes support for Nucleus, and ENEA’s OSE
Software claims that the product has been
and Linux, some of the most popular operating
tested on hardware platforms that include Intel
systems for mainstream mobile handsets. As a
x86, ARM (ARM7/ARM9/StrongARM/xScale),
UI framework, MiniGUI competes with GTK+ and
PowerPC, MIPS, and M68k
Trolltech’s Qtopia.
(DragonBall/ColdFire). The company offers an
SDK on the Win32 (PC) platform that facilitates
MiniGUI is supported on DaTang Mobile’s TD-
the development and debugging of embedded
SCDMA 3G hardware reference design,
MiniGUI-based software.
although there are no known shipments of
MiniGUI-based handsets. According to Feynman
Feynman Software claims that MiniGUI is
Software, manufacturer Huawei has also
capable of running on a low-end system with 30
employed MiniGUI as the UI platform for an
MHz CPU and 4MB RAM, with superior
IPTV set-top box product.
performance to most UI frameworks.

Feynman develops, markets and supports


Strategy
MiniGUI, while offering additional software
MiniGUI is one of the most portable UI
including an HTML browser, embedded GIS
frameworks across operating systems and
software and an application suite for embedded
supports the most popular OSs in use on mobile
products.
VisionMobile research
27
handsets today. In August 2006 Feynman licensing model of Feynman Software, its parent
Software announced MiniGUI support for company, enables a variety of business uses,
ENEA’s OSE real-time operating system (RTOS), from full-GPL and academic use to own- and
which is featured on Sony Ericsson 3G handsets. commercial- use. The product’s traction with
handset manufacturers is limited to China,
Viewpoint although the port to ENEA’s OSE operating
MiniGUI enjoys portability across a wide range system is likely to open doors towards Sony
of embedded platforms and RTOSs. The dual Ericsson and other European manufacturers.
VisionMobile research
28

C.6 | Mizi Prizm Mizi Prizm APPS


Launched: 2003 Licensees: 1
UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Models: 3 Base: N/A

Linux phone development, close collaboration


Background
with top OEMs and the Korean know-how in
Founded in 1997, Mizi Research is a Korean handsets for foreign markets.
company which today develops embedded Linux
platforms for a variety of devices including Product
mobile phones, vehicle telematics systems, and Prizm is a family of mobile application platforms
videophones. based on Linux designed to power a wide variety
of devices such as mobile phones, personal
Mizi is a company of 55 people based in Seoul,
media players, vehicle telematics systems and
Korea. The company maintains a network of
videophones. First released in 2003, Prizm
technical and sales partners in UK, China and
Mobile is the mobile application platform
Japan. Mizi, a privately held company, saw $5
(currently in version 2.5) and comprises of an
million in 2005 revenues, which they expect to
application execution environment, graphics
rise to $6 million in 2006.
engine and application suite.

Prizm is a suite of Linux-based software stacks


Prizm Mobile telephony components support
for mobile phones and converged devices which
CDMA, GSM/GPRS while WCDMA and HSDPA
the company first launched in 2001.
are in the process of implementation. Prizm
used to rely on Trolltech’s Qt 2.3.2 graphics
Positioning
engine, but has in the last two years replaced
Prizm is a software stack combining an
this with in-house software which now supports
application execution environment, UI framework
features such floating objects, transparencies,
and application suite. Prizm Mobile, the phone
vector widgets and fonts, as well as optionally
version of the product targets primarily handset
hosting Adobe’s Flash 6 or Flash Lite engines.
manufacturers and secondly mobile operators.
The Prizm UI enables both key-based and
Mizi regards phone software vendors such as
touch-screen input methods. The built-in
Kingsoft and Emtrace as third type of customer.
application manager features multitasking, while
the application suite includes file and media
Prizm Mobile has shipped in three Samsung
browsers and a full set of PIM apps. Mizi
devices; CDMA handsets SCH-i519 and SCH-
partners with independent software vendors for
i819 and GSM handset SGH-i858 for the
the WAP browser, office tools, voice recognition
Chinese market. Mizi regards Samsung as “a
and games applications.
valuable and important client”, while the
company has been recently engaged on two
Prizm offers a range of operator-targeted
customised device projects, one in Asia and one
customisation features, including idle-screen
in Europe. Besides mobile phones, Mizi software
widgets, fonts, icons and menu architecture. In
has powered a videophone sold by Telecom
addition to customising themes, users can
Italia in 2004.
personalise the idle-screen plug-ins. The Prizm
development tools allow scripting of the graphics
Mizi claims Prizm benefits from the company’s
technology leadership, in-depth know-how in
VisionMobile research
29
engine through not only C/C++, but also Python, Strategy
which simplifies development and maintenance. Mizi plans to work closer with operators on
customised handsets, a new business ground
The company also develops and distributes Mizi
for the company. Prizm 3.0, due by end 2006,
Linux, a software kernel for mobile phones. Mizi
plans to introduce advanced user interface
Linux includes optimisations to the open source
paradigms such as personalisable widget plug-
Linux kernel such as dynamic power
ins on the handset idle screen; the widgets can
management support through CPU scaling,
retrieve and display information from the internet
power management support and NAND/NOR
such as weather, appointments and stocks while
flash filesystem support. Prizm has been
interacting with phone events such as incoming
optimised for Mizi Linux, but can also be
messages and calls. The next version of Prizm
deployed on top of embedded RTOSs.
will also include optimisations in software
performance and responsiveness to user input.
Technology

The Mizi Linux stack includes a 2.4-series kernel, Viewpoint


along with features back-ported from the 2.6-
Mizi is the first Linux software vendor to
series kernel. Mizi Linux has been ported on
productise a complete distribution for mobile
Intel application processors as well as Samsung
phones, as far back as 2003. Mizi has shipped
S3C2410, 24A0 and 2440 processors.
on a relatively small number of handset models
Communications processors supported are
compared to Qt/Embedded and GTK+. The
Qualcomm’s MSM and TI chipsets while
company is likely to see competition from new
Renesas chipset support is in the process of
entrants such as Purple Labs and the Access
integration. Through its close working
Linux Platform who announced complete mobile
relationship with Samsung, Mizi has released a
Linux distributions in 1H06. However, given the
Linux board support package (BSP) and GPL
advanced technology environment in Korea and
source code for Samsung's S3C2410X
the company’s long-term relationship with
processor.
Samsung, Prizm will increasingly present a
credible competitor to Linux-based software
Mizi claims that Prizm runs comfortably on
stacks, not only in its native market, but also
ARM9 class processors clocked at 200MHz. The
China and Europe.
UI framework and application suites have been
optimised for QVGA size, while VGA support is
also in development.
VisionMobile research
30

C.7 | MontaVista Mobilinux MontaVista Mobilinux APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Launched: 2003 Licensees: 3 Models: 25 Base: 25M

expectations of Linux phone shipments. The


Background
company has greatly benefited from the use of
MontaVista was founded in 1999 by James F. MontaVista’s Linux on Motorola handsets as well
Ready, an embedded pioneer whose previous as NEC and Panasonic handsets; we
company, Ready Systems, created VRTX, the understand that the MOAP-L software stack co-
first commercially viable real-time operating developed between DoCoMo, NEC and
system. In June 2006 Thomas Kelly succeeded Panasonic sits on top of Montavista’s Linux.
Ready as president, CEO and chairman, while
the outgoing CEO Ready remains with Contrary to industry speculations, MontaVista’s
MontaVista as a CTO and member of the board. revenue model has not been based on per-unit
royalties, but rather on sales of developer seat
MontaVista employs more than 190 people licenses, professional services and support
worldwide with subsidiaries in Japan, UK, contracts. According to Paxton Cooper, Director
France, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, of Product Marketing at MontaVista, the
Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan and company did consider introducing per-unit
development centres in Santa Clara, Tempe, royalties in 2005, but eventually decided against
Dallas, and Tokyo. using this model.

A privately held company, MontaVista has raised Mobilinux’s value proposition is the
more than $75 million in several funding rounds. productisation of Linux software and optimisation
Investors include DoCoMo (with a $3M equity for mobile phone environments, which caters to
stake), Siemens Venture Capital, Samsung manufacturer requirements for a complete,
Ventures America, Infineon Ventures, China stable, reliable and supported, yet royalty-free
Development Industrial Bank, IBM core operating system.
Microelectronics, Intel Capital, Panasonic
(Matsushita), Sony, Toshiba America, Ericsson, Product
and Yamaha Corporation, as well as venture The company refers to Mobilinux as "the first
capital firms Alloy Ventures, RRE Ventures, US optimized OS for mobile and wireless devices
Venture Partners, and WR Hambrecht. that can scale from smartphones to feature-
phones". Mobilinux is based on a 2.6 kernel with
Positioning
around 500 patches (40% of which are
MontaVista claims to be a market leader in MontaVista features and enhancements) that
mobile Linux operating systems, having powered introduce power management improvements,
more than 25 handset models to date, including reduced footprint, faster system boot and hard-
Motorola A728, A760, A768, A780, A1200, real time capabilities among others. Mobilinux
E680i, E680, E895, A910, Rokr E2, NEC does not include radio stacks, which are sourced
N901iC, N700i, N900il, N902i, N902iX, or developed by the manufacturer. The core OS
Panasonic P700i, P901i and P902i. MontaVista is integrated with third party software such as
reports that its software has shipped in 25 million Openwave’s browser, Trolltech Qtopia Core,
handsets by mid 2006, a pleasantly surprising
figure compared to Gartner and Yankee analyst
VisionMobile research
31
GTK+ and Red Bend to complement the top- Mobilinux 4.0 claims to combine hard real time
half of the software stack. performance, advanced power management,
fast start-up times and small footprint. According
All MontaVista Mobilinux contributions to the to MontaVista, a typical Mobilinux phone is able
kernel (with the exception of power management to place calls within 10 seconds from power on,
components) are fed back to the open source with the kernel boot time reduced to under 0.5s.
community, according to Paxton Cooper. The company claims that the advanced real time
technology in Mobilinux can enable single core
MontaVista chose to give Mobilinux a ‘4.0’
designs to handle both baseband and
version number in its initial release announced in
application processing.
April 2005, due to the product's origins in
MontaVista's Linux Consumer Electronics Strategy
Edition 3.1. The company’s other products are
MontaVista continues building its Mobilinux
the Consumer Electronics Edition, aimed at
Open Framework initiative, a partner ecosystem
battery-powered devices, Carrier Grade Linux,
of pre-integrated third-party software
aimed at telecom, and Professional Edition, a
components. The current participants to the
general-purpose product for embedded devices.
Open Framework are Certicom, Jataayu, Red
Bend, EmbWiSe, Beep Science, SavaJe and
DevRocket is MontaVista’s Eclipse-based
Sun.. As part of the initiative, the company
development and debug environment.
strategy is to recruit best-of-breed mobile
DevRocket includes a platform image wizard
middleware vendors and facilitate their porting
and important features such as memory leak
efforts to Mobilinux..
detection, XIP application debug and execution
tracing.
Viewpoint

Technology MontaVista has been crucial in solving many


critical kernel and legal issues, with chipset
Mobilinux’s software stack extends from
vendors such as Texas Instruments, Intel, and
hardware drivers and kernel modifications to a
Freescale now offering board support packages
thin layer of middleware components. The stack
with optimised Linux kernels containing
does not include an application execution
MontaVista features. MontaVista has been
environment, a user interface framework or
extremely successful in penetrating the Linux
application suite. The Mobilinux platform has
mobile phone market, having been widely used
been ported to ARM9 and ARM11 -based
by Motorola, NEC and Panasonic the current
application processors from Intel, Freescale,
market leaders. The company is expected to
Texas Instruments and Samsung.
face competition from the entrance of Wind
Mobilinux 4.0 includes drivers for camera, frame River and must continue to innovate ahead of
buffer, IrDA, keypad, removable storage, touch the open source community and manufacturer
screen, USB, WiFi, support for XIP, TCP/IP efforts in Linux productisation in order to sustain
stacks and IPSec. A thin layer of middleware on its impressive track record in phone shipments.
top of the kernel features the graphics engine,
networking applications and system utilities.
VisionMobile research
32

C.8 | Nokia S60 Nokia S60 APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Launched: 2001 Licensees: 4 Models: 39 Base: ~60M

Nokia accounts for the vast majority of S60-


Background
based handsets sold to date. We believe that
Announced in 2001, S60 is a software stack this setback in Nokia’s licensing strategy has
developed and licensed by Nokia’s Technology risen due to the challenges in integrating the
Platforms division to manufacturers. S60 Symbian operating system, and the risks
contains a user interface layer, application suite associated with manufacturers sourcing a key
and middleware engines and has cumulatively software asset from a potent competitor.
shipped on 50 million devices by February 2006
according to Nokia. S60 runs on top of Symbian Product
OS with S60 devices accounting for over two S60 is a software platform containing all stack
thirds of worldwide Symbian-based device components above the core OS. Firstly, S60
shipments. includes a user interface framework that can be
superficially customised by operators and
Today, S60 is licensed to Nokia, Samsung,
manufacturers. Secondly, S60 contains an
Lenovo and LG. There are 39 S60-based device
application suite including voice and video
models which have launched as of August 2006,
telephony, messaging, contacts, calendar,
seven of which are non-Nokia, according to the
media gallery, RealPlayer, music player,
manufacturer’s website. Panasonic and BenQ
camcorder and browser applications. Thirdly, the
Siemens are no longer licensing the S60
product contains a number of application
platform.
execution environments, programmable via C++,
J2ME, Flash Lite and Python. Finally, S60
Positioning
includes key middleware engines such as SMS,
Nokia is currently the undisputed leader of the
MMS, email transports, SyncML, advanced
mobile device market, with a market share clear
device management including FOTA, DRM,
from the shadow of any single competing
Bluetooth and WiFi support. Per-unit royalty fees
manufacturer. Nokia S60 devices account for
for S60 run at $2-$3 according to Nomura
roughly one in eight devices shipped by the
estimates.
manufacturer. Canalys estimates that Nokia
shipped over 9 million Symbian-based smart rd
The latest version, S60 3 Edition Feature Pack
phones during 2Q06, more than 95% of which 1 runs on top of Symbian 9.2. Due to the
were S60 models. Symbian OS platform changes and several new
S60 features, applications written for previous
Unlike its S40 platform, S60 is not only designed
version of S60 require significant changes to
for Nokia devices, but also licensed to rd
adapt to S60 3 Edition.
competing manufacturers. We believe Nokia’s
S60 licensing strategy has been based on two Nokia works with so-called S60 Boutiques such
pillars: firstly, extending a UI and service as Electrobit and Teleca that can manage S60
platform to handsets beyond Nokia’s own and phone projects on behalf of the licensee,
secondly, influencing the roadmap of competing including design, adaptation, integration, testing
manufacturers. and maintenance.
VisionMobile research
33
Technology Vodafone, Nokia will be adapting S60 to the

S60 offers a broad but shallow range of operator’s requirements before passing on to

customisation possibilities for manufacturers and licensees, resulting in cost and time-to-market

operators. Aside from bitmaps, sounds, themes, savings. Customisation of the S60 user interface

fonts and hard keys, S60 includes a has been continually enhancing, with the

customisable Operator Menu, Active Idle, platform gradually featuring an XML-based UI

embedded download links in applications, and customisation framework over the next two

branded graphical softkey. years, aiming to offer in-depth rapid UI


prototyping.
Operator Menu is a set of XHTML pages can be
are persistently cached on the device. The Since 2005, Nokia has also been working closer

feature can be accessed from a customised with the open source community. According to

softkey from the idle screen or from a opensource.nokia.com, there are 15 software

customised logo within the application menu. components which Nokia has opened to the

Active Idle is a dynamic idle-screen community, including Maemo (the Linux-based

implementation that allows shortcuts to be PDA platform), Python for S60, S60’s browser

defined for most commonly used applications and Internet Radio for S60, as of July 2006.

while providing direct access to personal data


Viewpoint
and a news ticker technology.
S60 continues to be a useful testing ground for
S60 offers a wealth of application development Nokia for software features and components,
options, in the form of C++, J2ME, Python and before migrating to S40, as is the case with
Flash Lite. Nokia also provides Carbide, an Flash Lite. The S60 licensing strategy is
Eclipse-based C++ development environment, questionable given that the number of models
based on the acquired Metrowerks’s and shipments of Nokia S60 handsets literally
Codewarrior technology. dwarf those from S60 licensees, while
Panasonic and BenQ Siemens are no longer
The S60 user interface supports 176x208, licensing the platform. We therefore see limited
240x320 and 352x416 resolutions, with the financial potential for Nokia’s S60 licensing
ability to quickly switch the screen from portrait strategy, under current market conditions.
to landscape mode.

Strategy

With more operators customising S60 than


manufacturers, Nokia is continually improving
the appeal of its platform to operators. Following
a February 2006 joint announcement with
VisionMobile research
34

C.9 | Obigo Suite Obigo Suite APPS


Launched: 2001 Licensees: 25
UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Models: 400 Base: 300M

Background user interface widgets) and an application suite


including Imager, Messenger, Content Manager
Based in Lund, Sweden, Obigo AB is a wholly and Media Player applications, IMPS client and
owned subsidiary of Teleca. Obigo was created email client. Obigo’s offering includes an early-
as a standalone business unit in February 2003 stage application execution environment with a
and today employs nearly 300 people (almost scripting environment with access to key
one tenth the size of Teleca). Teleca is headed handset APIs – this is the subject of further
by René Svendsen-Tune (ex Nokia) and is commercial announcements expected within
traded in the Stockholm stock market. 2006.

Obigo delivers a software platform for feature The Obigo suite was launched in 2001 and
phones, at the centre of which is a browser targets low-end to high-end feature phones. The
component. According to the company, Obigo majority of Obigo’s software portfolio has been
has 25 mobile phone brands as direct customers, developed in-house. Q05a, the latest version of
including Arima, ASUS, TCL Alcatel, BenQ Obigo suite launched in December 2005, adds
Siemens, Bird, Cellon, DBTel, Eastcom, Huawei, Java support, push email, H.264 (Mobile TV)
IXI mobile, Lenovo, LG, Panasonic, codecs and SVG 1.2 Tiny support.
Pantech&Curitel, Samsung, Siemens VDO,
SonyEricsson, Toshiba and Vitelcom. Obigo’s product portfolio includes a suite of tools
for development, debugging and testing of Obigo
Positioning applications. The toolset allows manufacturers to
Obigo’s suite comprises of middleware customise native Obigo applications and test
components and applications including a them in an emulated environment.
browser, messaging and media applications.
Obigo makes source code for its suite available,
The Obigo suite is targeted at top-6 OEMs, although for some regions such as China the
although Obigo does cater to operators by vendor prefers to issue manufacturers with
customising software to operator requirements binaries.
before shipping. According to the company,
Obigo software has shipped on more than 400 In 1Q06, Teleca announced an agreement with

handset models and more than 300 million Trolltech to jointly develop a reference software

mobile phones as of July 2006. solution, based on Obigo and Qtopia and deliver
customisation services related to the solution.
Obigo’s revenue model comprises of an upfront
license fee, an annual support fee and a per- Technology

device royalty with an option to buy out. Obigo’s suite has been ported on reference
designs from EMP, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Intel,
Product TI and Freescale, as well as open platforms
In addition to the browser, Obigo delivers Windows Mobile, Symbian, Linux (including
middleware components (DRM and security, and Qtopia) and the Nucleus kernel.
VisionMobile research
35
Portability of the Obigo product suite is made screen. With the new version, Obigo suite is
possible by basing all components on a software expected to complete even closer with
layer called the Obigo Core. This layer is Openwave MIDAS, although its manufacturer-
responsible for access to the operating system centric positioning and its focus on an
and device resources, communication and user application suite are strong differentiating factors.
interface widgets. The Core also handles the
interactions between the Obigo components and Viewpoint

includes settings provisioning, and cell Obigo’s strength lies not only in its rich
broadcast support. application suite for mass-market handsets, but
also its organisational integration with Teleca
Strategy handset software and services group. As such,
Obigo plans to release a product update in 4Q06, Obigo is well positioned to deliver a complete
to support a greater breadth of reference top-half software stack, and combined with
designs. The update will also introduce Teleca’s in-house handset design group,
important new functionality such as the ability to develop complete handset products.
customise the user interface, including the idle-
VisionMobile research
36

C.10 | Openwave MIDAS Openwave MIDAS APPS UIF AEE MDW KRNL
Launched: 1H06 Licensees: N/A Models: 0 Base: 0

market handsets. In parallel, Openwave is


Background
developing an application suite including idle-
Openwave was founded in November 2000 as a screen, service advertisement client (PushCast),
result of the merger of Phone.com and a music download and playback client
Software.com. Headquartered in Redwood City, (Musiwave), a media store-front, a mobile
California, Openwave employs 1,300 people blogging and a photo-sharing client. This marks
across 26 countries. The company stock is a shift in the Openwave positioning, from serving
traded on NASDAQ. manufacturers with a browser component, to
serving operators with applications and a
Openwave is the leading handset browser
development environment to increase data
vendor with over 50% market share, and
service revenue. For manufacturers, MIDAS
browser shipments on one billion handsets by
promises to deliver a consistently customisable
end 2005, according to the company. The
look & feel across handsets and, essentially,
vendor is currently shipping browser software on
decouple the application development lifecycle
handsets from BenQ Siemens, Sanyo, Sharp,
from the device development lifecycle.
Sagem, Motorola, LG, and TCL Alcatel.

According to Openwave’s website, 288 mobile


Announced in April 2006, MIDAS is Openwave’s
phones have been publically announced by
application execution environment enabling the
operator and manufacturer licensees, as of June
development and deployment of operator-
2006. Of these, only five handsets carry
customised applications on mass-market
Openwave’s Phone Suite V7, which is a pre-
handsets. MIDAS (Mobile Integrated Dynamic
requisite for the deployment of MIDAS.
Application System) builds on top of the
company’s popular Phone Suite V7 which was Product
announced in February 2003. MIDAS is the
MIDAS consists of a content presentation engine,
result of a long-term strategy for Openwave that
an application manager and an ECMA-script
includes the acquisition of Nombas’ scripting
interpreter for the application logic. MIDAS has
technology in 2004 and Musiwave’s client-server
access to extended device functionality and
technology in 2005.
storage, enabling applications to offer next-
generation idle-screens and appealing media
Shipments of MIDAS on feature-phone handsets
store-fronts.
are not expected before 2007. Openwave is
trialing a ‘adaptive’ messaging client with O2 –
Openwave has been shipping a large number of
the client, supporting IP messaging, runs on top
variations of its Phone Suite, each one with
of MIDAS and is being trialled by O2 staff on
subtly different capabilities. In the past this
Windows Mobile handsets.
presented manufacturers with thorny integration
issues, since each Phone Suite framework
Positioning
requires deep integration with the operating
MIDAS is positioned as an application execution
system and therefore long development times.
environment on top of which operators can
As the overlying browser was dependent on the
easily develop and deploy applications on mass-
VisionMobile research
37
version on the Phone Suite installed on the Strategy
handset, upgrading the browser meant a Openwave claims to be trialing MIDAS with one
prohibitively long time-to-market. This design top-3 OEM and one top-10 OEM who are
practice hindered a major European operator planning to deploy the platform on commercial
from launching a branded version of the handsets by 1Q07. According to the company,
Openwave browser three years ago. MIDAS will also ship on Symbian phones by the
end of the year. Openwave is also developing
Since 2002, Openwave has designed and
improved user interfaces for the company’s
deployed Phone Suite V7 as a C++ forward
browser and messaging products based on
porting layer so that it can be easily upgraded
MIDAS advanced rendering and interactivity
with a MIDAS framework, in what can be likened
features. The company is also planning to build
to a Trojan Horse strategy. The latest versions of
user profiling, recommendation, and advertising
the Phone Suite bundle a version of MIDAS that
features into a MIDAS-based client-server
can be activated depending on the commercial
framework, based on technology acquired from
arrangement. The integration of MIDAS on
Musiwave.
handsets presents a relatively small effort for
manufacturers who have already deployed v7. Recognising that MIDAS is still some time away
from mass-market deployments, Openwave is
In August 2006, Openwave announced a joint
working in the interim on MIDAS-look-alike
agreement with Trolltech to port Openwave’s
applications through browser enhancements and
MIDAS and browser components on Qtopia
Java applications.
Phone Edition Series 4.

Viewpoint
Technology
Openwave is an entrenched, forward-looking
MIDAS is designed to support a variety of
and ambitious device software vendor. The
commercial platforms; the content presentation
company is moving from being a supplier of
engine can use different plug-ins, such as SVG-
handset components for manufacturers, to what
Tiny, Flash Lite or the browser engine (the same
we believe is a long-term service play for
engine as in version 7.2 of the mobile browser).
developing and deployment operator
The content layout language is proprietary and is
applications. However, Openwave’s Phone Suite
designed to achieve pixel-exact positioning. The
v7, a pre-requisite for MIDAS, has seen only a
application environment includes an
handful of deployments as of mid 2006, while
asynchronous data push and a DRM component.
the company’s stock price dropped to a third of
ECMA-Script extensions are used to allow the
its value between April and July 2006.
applications to access important device
functionality such as calendar, camera, Amidst shareholding and sales challenges,
messaging client, photo album, call handling, Openwave will have to carefully position MIDAS
and location engines. towards its manufacturer customers as a means
of adding value to their handset proposition,
The application environment has similar
while allaying customer fears that the technology
hardware requirements to the v7 framework,
might cede service control to operators.
with a modest increase of ROM storage
requirements.
VisionMobile research
38

C.11 | Qualcomm BREW


Qualcomm BREW APPS UIF AEE MDW KRNL
Launched: 2001 Licensees: 44 Models: 170+ Base: ~150M

capable handsets announced by 44


Background
manufacturers, including Compal, Huawei,
BREW is an application execution environment Kyocera, LGE, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic,
(AEE), a product of Qualcomm Internet Services Pantech&Curitel, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony
(QIS), a division of Qualcomm. The company Ericsson, TCL, Toshiba, Vitelcom and ZTE.
that started as seven people in 1985 is now a
$7B a year wireless heavyweight. Qualcomm is Product
headquartered in San Diego and employs First launched in 2001, BREW is essentially a
around 9,000 people with offices in 26 platform for buying, downloading, installing and
countries.In the fiscal quarter ended June 2006, running applications. BREW has not only been
Qualcomm announced revenues of $1.95 billion, the first solution in the market to fully address
up 44% year on year. Qualcomm has filed and end-to-end application creation and consumption,
been granted over 4,500 United States patents, but the most successful, by managing both ends
with its licensing business accounting for 33% of of the value chain, i.e. the hardware make-up
revenues. Qualcomm’s per-handset royalties are and the developer ecosystem.
running at over 5% of handset sales according
to the Korean AFP news source. Qualcomm’s uiOne is an optional UI
customisation component that can be likened to
Positioning an on-device portal, in that it provides an idle-
Qualcomm offers by far the most complete, screen replacement framework with store-front
vertically integrated solution in the wireless capabilities. uiOne is based on Trigenix
market. It encompasses a chipset business technology, following the company’s acquisition
shipping over 150 million chipsets a year, in October 2004. uiOne contains mShop, an
thousands of patents to technology, an operating enhancement to the BREW Application Manager
system, the BREW application execution store-front , which significantly enriches the
environment, a UI customisation platform, a usability of the product with idle-screen
content delivery platform, a vibrant developer replacement and skinning capabilities. uiOne
ecosystem and a business model connecting exploits close integration with the BREW
developers to operators. Qualcomm’s developer execution environment, although according to
ecosystem is particularly strong with the Qualcomm, it’s not dependent on the presence
company’s last conference attended by over of an MSM chipset.
2,500 developers, and reportedly over $700M
paid to developers and publishers of BREW Technology

applications to date. The latest version of the BREW execution


environment is 4.0. BREW development is
BREW is designed to run on a wide range of based on the C++ language, although BREW
handsets from voice-centric phones to has support for Java, Flash Lite, SVG and XML
smartphones and PDAs, but is almost entirely (through uiOne), lowering the barrier to
shipping on CDMA handsets. As of August developing BREW-based applications.
2006, Qualcomm reports over 170 BREW-
VisionMobile research
39
BREW has been designed to be able to run on quickly, it is also accused of charging high
different classes of handsets, from voice phones royalty rates and encouraging vendor lock-ins.
to feature phones. BREW sits on top of a
software stack called AMSS (Advanced Mobile In July 2006 Qualcomm announced a

Subscriber Software), the evolution of DMSS partnership with KDDI that will see BREW

(Dual-Mode Subscriber Software) that is bundled extend from an execution environment for third

with Qualcomm MSM (mobile station modem) party applications, to one for creating a

chipsets. The kernel shipping with the MSM manufacturer application suite and middleware

chipsets is called REX. BREW is known to run components. In essence the announcement

on top of TTPCom stacks and Texas signifies the creation of a common BREW-based

Instruments chipsets, although some analysts platform managed by Qualcomm and KDDI and

claim that BREW’s performance is sub-par when deployed uniformly on Toshiba and Sanyo

run on top of non-Qualcomm chipsets. handsets, similar to DoCoMo’s MOAP software


layer. The common platform is intended to
The BREW system is also protective of forward reduce the cost of creating new handset models
compatibility by not allowing applications to by more than two-thirds and reducing the time-
access the underlying OS functionality, a policy to-market for new handsets to less than a year.
that we expect is enforced with manufacturer
implementations of BREW, contrary to the In May 2006, Qualcomm announced a

practices of the Palm OS. QIS offers BREW collaboration with Microsoft that will enable the

environment binaries rather than source code to porting of the Windows Mobile operating system

the manufacturers, apart from very few to Qualcomm MSM chipsets. The Microsoft OS

components. will be ported on Qualcomm’s 7XXX-series


Convergence chipset with dual ARM core
uiOne offers extensive customisation of the idle architecture. Smartphones leveraging MSM
screen, main menu and handset theming with solutions with Windows Mobile are expected to
over the air updates enabled by the uiOne be available in 2007.
Delivery System.
Viewpoint
Strategy Given the company’s scale, financial muscle and
Qualcomm’s strategy is to tightly couple the R&D investments, Qualcomm will continue to
components of its vertical solution, so as the command the CDMA markets in America and
developer ecosystem will drive demand for APAC across both operators and manufacturers.
CDMA/WCDMA and MDM chipsets and visa- BREW is essentially Qualcomm’s Trojan Horse
versa. The close coupling of BREW with MSM (given that QIS is part of the Wireless & Internet
chipsets further encourages operators to specify division, which contributes only 9% of company
MSM chipsets. revenues) that has been successfully positioned
to grow the chipset and licensing business. We
BREW’s end-to-end strategy has made life believe that Qualcomm’s partnership with
easier for operators and developers, and has Microsoft is part of a longer-term plan to move
also made it easy for users to browse, buy, its chipset and licensing business into Europe,
install and run the applications. However, following previous unsuccessful attempts with
Qualcomm is BREW’s biggest advantage and its BREW.
biggest drawback at the same time. While
Qualcomm’s financial muscle and control of the
end-to-end solution enables operators,
manufacturers and developers to go to market
VisionMobile research
40

C.12 | SavaJe OS SavaJe OS APPS


Launched: 2004 Licensees: 3
UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Models: 0 Base: 0

According to the OS vendor, LG is now working


Background
on 3G phone with SavaJe which will be unveiled
SavaJe started life as a spin off from Lucent in in 2007.
2000. The company mission: to deliver a
complete mobile operating system written in The first SavaJe-powered handset, the Jasper
Java CDC and CDLC where applications could S20 was developed by Group Sense Ltd (GSL),
run at native speed. a Hong-Kong based ODM, and released to
developers at Sun’s JavaOne in June 2006 as a
The company has raised nearly $80 million to development platform. The handset sold for
date from operators Vodafone, T-Mobile and $199 with subsidy from Sun and SavaJe.
Orange as well as Investcorp’s Technology
Ventures Fund II, VantagePoint Venture GSL plans to launch the first SavaJe-powered
Partners, Ridgewood Capital and RRE Ventures. handsets in Hong Kong and six other countries
However the company is yet to see revenues in Asia in 3Q06 with further plans for 3G
coming in, with no SavaJe-based mobile phones handsets in 2007. SavaJe has also signed up
shipped in commercial quantities as of August Chinese manufacturer Longcheer as a licensee.
2006.
Product
In late 2005, the company went through a SavaJe has developed a complete operating
complete management overhaul with Gregory system, including drivers, kernel, middleware,
Koss at the helm who has shifted the company application execution environment, user
focus away from operators, and onto ODMs and interface framework and application suite.
OEMs. SavaJe has also hired high-profile mobile SavaJe refers to the product as a ‘Java OS’,
product designers such as Soudy Khan who given that it is a full software stack written in
wrote the original Rome user interface for Java based on Sun’s CDC profile, which is richer
PalmSource. than the traditional CDLC.

Positioning Within the platform, SavaJe has integrated third


SavaJe promotes itself as a “complete, modular party applications and middleware engines from
and secure open operating system for mid and PacketVideo, Openwave, Sun and OZ. Full
high-tier handsets”, touting the deep source code of the SavaJe platform is available
customisability of the platform. It targets OEMs to manufacturers to assist in integration.
and ODMs who wish to develop media-centric
handsets. Royalties for the operating system run Technology

at $10 with the price dropping considerably for One of SavaJe’s unique selling points is that the
larger volumes. entire UI is based on Java, allowing
manufacturers and operators complete freedom
SavaJe first showcased a prototype LG handset to customise the UI (although this comes at a
in 2005, but failed to impress operators, which cost in terms of time and effort required). The
we understand was due to lack of stability, poor company provides a reference UI framework and
battery life and unattractive industrial design.
VisionMobile research
41
is working on developing a second one, to assist development of a Linux kernel will increase
manufacturers with the customisation process. hardware portability, one of the issues the
SavaJe OS is suffering from.
SavaJe OS also features a superficial UI
customisation framework, allowing menus, icons SavaJe also plan to deliver a complete reference
and colour schemes to be altered using XML. implementation of the operating system,
compliant to Vodafone Live! release 10
Applications can be developed using Java CDC requirements.
and CLDC profiles. This does offer richer
capabilities to applications, compared to most Viewpoint
Java handsets in the market. However, Java SavaJe’s initial strategy of targeting operator
applications will not necessarily run on SavaJe and not manufacturer customers is largely to
out of the box. Owing to the inconsistencies blame for lack of commercial traction; operators
across the 100s of Java platform variants have been willing to invest in the platform, but
deployed to date, a porting effort will be required unwilling to translate platform investments into
for most applications. device purchases. The renewed focus to OEMs
and ODMs will improve the stakes, but still
According to the company, the OS has been
SavaJe is suffering from issues that plague all
ported to TI and Intel dual-core chipsets with
premature operating systems.Power
porting underway onto ST Microlectronics and
management issues, radio stack stability and
Qualcomm chipsets. The platform requires a
software integration issues will require many
minimum hardware of ARM9-class processor
months and manufacturer know-how to resolve,
clocked at 150-200MHz with 32MB ROM and
particularly at a time when SavaJe is now
32MB RAM. Supported screen sizes are VGA
maintaining a second kernel. SavaJe also lacks
and QVGA.
a rapid UI prototyping framework such as these
productised by Digital Airways and TAT – a
Strategy
Java-based UI does offer full flexibility, but at a
Recognising the importance of a complete
considerable cost in terms of time-to-market.
product, SavaJe launched a partner program in
June 2006 with the intention to pre-integrate and The development of a Linux kernel will increase
pre-test third party components running on top of hardware portability, one of the issues the
the SavaJe platform – an effort similar to SavaJe OS is suffering from. However, SavaJe
MontaVista’s Mobilinux Open Framework. is now late in the market, and will face serious
competition from Linux software stacks such as
SavaJe is also developing a second kernel
ALP, A la Mobile, Purple Lab and Aplix, as well
based on Linux, although the company is not
as established vendors MontaVista And
discontinuing development of its own kernel. The
Trolltech.
VisionMobile research
42

C.13 | Symbian OS Symbian OS APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL


Launched: 1998 Licensees: 12 Models: 100+ Base: 82M

consecutive years, driven by two major


Background
manufacturer groups: Nokia, which is
Symbian was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from responsible for around 70% of Symbian OS
Psion Software Group and funded by several shipments and DoCoMo’s group of
device manufacturers with the aim to develop manufacturers in Japan, primarily Fujitsu. In
and license a software platform for mobile Japan, Symbian OS has shipped in over 10
devices. Today Symbian has over 1,300 million mobile phones, in the form of 38 device
employees and is headquartered in London with models from 6 handset vendors as of September
offices in the US, UK, Sweden (UIQ Technology 2006. Comparatively, there are 39 S60-based
AB), Israel, India, China, Korea and Japan. The device models (7 of which are non-Nokia) and
current shareholders are Nokia (47.9%), 13 UIQ-based devices which have been
Ericsson (15.6%), Sony Ericsson (13.1%), launched as of August 2006, according to
Panasonic (10.5%), Samsung (4.5%) and Symbian, S60 and UIQ websites.
Siemens (8.4%).
Symbian’s revenue model is based on handset
Revenues for the company were reported at £80 royalties at a minimum of $2.5 per unit at large
million for 1H06, with over 90% contributed by volumes, with average per-unit royalties
per-unit royalties. Symbian’s CEO, Nigel Clifford, standing at $5.5 (incl. UIQ fees) in 1H06. The
was appointed in May 2005 and comes from a price cut is likely to have come from Nokia who
telecoms operator background. pays Symbian around $100 million annually. As
Nomura research points out, Nokia’s
Positioning
disproportionate share of shipments (over 70%),
Symbian creates and licenses Symbian OS, compared to share of stock (47.9%), implies that
which the company describes as “an operating Nokia stands to lose on its investment as
system based on open standards for advanced Symbian becomes profitable.
mobile phones, also called ‘smartphones’”.
Symbian OS is the biggest-selling open Product
operating system, which has been deployed on Symbian OS began life in Psion in 1994, which
over 80 million handsets, and over 100 device developed EPOC Release 1 featured on the
models as of June 2006. Series 5 organisers. Following the spin off,
EPOC 5 was re-branded as Symbian OS 5.
Mobile phone manufacturers that license
Symbian OS are Arima, BenQ Siemens, Fujitsu, Today Symbian OS is a semi-complete
Lenovo, LGE, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Nokia, operating system providing hardware drivers,
Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony Ericsson. kernel and key middleware components. The OS
Symbian targets primarily tier-1 and tier-2 is offered with complete source code and is (with
manufacturers of high-end feature phones and few exceptions) modifiable by the manufacturer.
smartphones.
The Symbian OS kernel is believed to be one of
Year-on-year growth of Symbian OS-based the most advanced kernels for mobile handsets.
device shipments has been over 100% for four Above the kernel reside a number of libraries to
VisionMobile research
43
support graphics, memory, filesystems, for new features in S60 v3 and UIQ v3. Due to
telephony, networking and application the changed effected, OS 9.x breaks
management. The middleware layer of Symbian compatibility for existing Symbian applications
OS includes engines and protocol support for and raises the barrier for small application
applications, browser, messaging, base UI developers as applications for 9.x handsets have
libraries, multimedia codecs and Java support. to be certified. OS 8 has further introduced
support for single core architectures that can
The separation of the UI layer dates back to reduce the silicon BOM.
2001 and was made in the interest of greater
manufacturer differentiation. Today, the user Strategy
interface framework, several middleware Recognising manufacturer challenges, Symbian
components, application execution environment continues to extend the platform with capabilities
and application suites are provided by S60, UIQ that facilitate hardware and software integration.
or MOAP. S60 and UIQ are reviewed separately A parallel strategy for Symbian is to sustain the
in this paper. It is worth noting that Psion had operating system’s position ahead of the
developed yet another UI, codenamed Hildon competition in terms of technical excellence and
which is no longer maintained, but has been support for new hardware and software
ported on Nokia’s Maemo Linux platform. capabilities.

Development on Symbian OS is unified with S60 Viewpoint


and UIQ under Nokia’s Carbide C++
Despite its technical brilliance, Symbian is one of
development environment which is based on
the most politically complex companies in the
Eclipse.
mobile industry today. It’s biggest customer,
Nokia, is also a competitor since it continues
Technology
keeping Symbian’s contributions below the
Symbian OS requires a minimum of an ARM9
software ‘value line’, even though that has
processor with a memory management unit.
damaged its own S60 licensing strategy (see
Other hardware requirements are dictated
analysis in Section A.4). Despite being a
primarily by the UI and AEE layers. Symbian OS
platform company, Symbian has limited
has been ported on several architectures
influence over its developer strategy and
including Freescale, Texas Instruments and ST
operator strategy due to the platform’s
Microelectronics.
incompleteness and the control exercised by
Nokia. Furthermore, given that Panasonic and
Launched in early 2005, Symbian OS 9.x marks
BenQ Siemens have no devices shipping with
a major change in the OS release history. With
Symbian, we expect them to be looking to sell
9.x Symbian has introduced an advanced
their stock , which will cede the balance of power
application security model, a real-time kernel
into fewer manufacturer hands.
with predictable execution times and reduced
latency, DRM, firmware over-the-air and support
VisionMobile research
44

C.14 | Trolltech Qtopia Trolltech Qtopia family APPS


Launched: 2000 Licensees: 40
UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Models: 11 Base: 4M

customised. Many components of Qtopia are


Background
provided under a dual license scheme, either in
Founded in 1994, Trolltech is a Linux software GPL or a commercial royalty-based version. The
stack and tools vendor. The company has 170 commercial version is licensed with pricing
employees and is headquartered in Oslo, ranging from sub-dollar amounts to a few dollars,
Norway with offices in Beijing, Silicon Valley, depending on volume. Trolltech additionally has
Australia and Germany. The company has revenues from per-seat fees for developer tools
received funding from Index Ventures, Borland and increasingly from its professional services
and NorthZone and raised approx. $22 million business. The company sees Windows Mobile
through its July 2006 IPO on the Oslo Stock as the main competitor for Qtopia and Linux in
Exchange. The company reported 2Q06 general.
revenues of NOK40.6 million (approx. $6.4
million), corresponding to an operating loss of The company claims to be working with over 100
NOK13.74 million (approx. $2.2 million). manufacturers of whom 40 are building mobile
phones (other target appliances include media
First launched in 1994, the company’s core players, VoIP phones and medical devices).
product is Qt (pronounced ‘cute’) an application According to company reports, 11 mobile phone
execution environment and user interface models and 30 embedded devices have been
framework for Windows, Mac and Linux desktop released to date running the Qt or Qtopia
environments. platform. In total, Trolltech claims more than 4
million devices have shipped based on the
Qtopia is a family of products for mobile and
Qt/Embedded and Qtopia products as of July
embedded Linux that builds on Qt and includes
2006, with a significant portion of shipments
Qtopia Core (the embedded Linux port of Qt,
having been through Motorola’s Linux phones.
previously called Qt/ Embedded), the Qtopia
Platform (a superset of Core adding application Trolltech embedded products have been
management), Qtopia Phone Edition (a superset primarily shipping in China with design wins from
of Platform adding an application suite and Motorola and Chinese ODMs Cellon, ZTE and
optimisations for mobile handsets) and Qtopia Wistron (which launched in Europe with MVNO
PDA edition. Neuf), while the company has not yet made its
mark in Japan. Qtopia competes on Linux with
Positioning
Mizi Prizm, GTK+ and MiniGUI.
Trolltech touts openness and source code
availability among its key differentiators. Qtopia
also leverages on 12 years of user interface
development and a 100,000-strong application Product

developer community behind Qt. Qtopia Phone Edition (QPE) is a middleware


layer, application execution environment (AEE),
Qtopia targets consumer electronics user interface framework and application suite
manufacturers producing feature-rich handsets for Linux mobile phones. It is sits on top of
where the user interface can be completely commercial Linux OS distributions (e.g.
VisionMobile research
45
MontaVista or Wind River), and is available to Strategy
manufacturers in source code form. Following the IPO in July 2006, Trolltech is
planning to acquire key technologies to
Qtopia Phone Edition builds on Qt with a
complement its product. The company will
windowing system, application lifecycle
continue focusing on core competences,
management, database management, filesystem
particularly the richness of the application
support, the Helix multimedia framework,
platform, but also the user interface. Trolltech is
telephony integration and a range of applications
planning to grow its professional services
including PIM, messaging and a media player. It
business, although it intends to remain true to its
supports multitasking and enhanced graphical
IP licensing business model tradition.
features such as transparencies, watermarks,
and shadows. Qtopia Phone Edition has In an effort to grow the developer community
supported both touch-screens (popular in around Qtopia and its partners, Trolltech
technology-driven Asia) and keypad interfaces recently announced Greenphone, a complete
(popular in convenience-driven markets such as GSM/GPRS mobile phone. The candybar-
Europe and the US) since November 2004. shaped Linux-based phone is manufactured by
Chinese ODM Yahua Teltech, includes Qtopia
Trolltech’s core focus is on the AEE and UI
Phone Edition and key partner applications and
layers. The company has built an eco-system of
is expected to be available in September 2006
partners providing other elements of a complete
as part of a developer kit that includes source
mobile software stack, including Opera, Real,
code. The phone features a dual-core Marvell
Openwave, Teleca, Montavista, Wind River,
(formerly Intel) XScale processor clocked at
Beep Science, Taproot, Innvo and Zi.
312MHz and a QVGA touch-screen display.

Technology
Viewpoint
Qtopia allows manufacturers to deliver
Trolltech’s Qtopia Core (previously
substantially differentiated user interfaces by
Qt/Embedded) is one of the most widely
modifying the product’s C++ source code.
deployed Linux-based commercial software
Trolltech has also built an XML customisation
products. Qtopia enjoys continued success with
framework into the product that allows the idle
customer Motorola who in 2Q06 ordered an
screen, dialler and call screen to be easily
additional 200 developer licenses (in addition to
modified. Overall, customisation of the user
the 100 they already had); this should see
interface is accessible to engineers, but not
Qtopia being shipped in more handsets for Asia,
designers. Trolltech claims that around 100,000
US and European markets.
developers today are familiar with Qt and can
therefore develop applications on Qtopia and Infiltrating the Japan and Korea handset markets
customise the UI. remains a foremost challenge for Trolltech,
where it will face competition from GTK+ and
Qtopia requires a minimum ARM9 200MHz
MOAP-L. The Greenphone presents a
processor with 32MB ROM and 32MB RAM,
pioneering offering of a complete
which is the typical specification of today’s
software/hardware platform for open source
feature-rich phones. The Qtopia UI supports a
developers which we expect will considerably
minimum 176x208 resolution but can scale
boost the open source contributions to
arbitrarily using a dynamic layout algorithm.
embedded Linux, will grow the Linux phone
market, and probably Trolltech’s share of that
market, too.
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C.15 | UIQ
UIQ Technology’s UIQ APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Launched: 1999 Licensees: 4 Models: 13 Base: N/A

Arima U308, Motorola M1000, Motorola A1000,


Background
BenQ P30, Sony Ericsson P910, Sony Ericsson
An alternative to S60 and MOAP, UIQ is a P900, Motorola A925, Motorola A920, Sony
software stack comprising of a user interface Ericsson P800 and Arima U300. A slightly
framework, application suite and middleware modified version of BenQ P30, the P31 has
that runs on top of Symbian OS. The software is OEM’ed as the Nokia 6708 and released to Asia,
developed by UIQ Technology, a wholly owned according to several independent reports. UIQ
subsidiary of Symbian Ltd. since 1999. Technology does not disclose the number of
handsets that UIQ has shipped on.
UIQ Technologies promotes itself as a “world-
class provider of user interface platforms for According to company reports, approximately
media-rich mobile phones”. The company 1.5K applications are available for UIQ 2.x, as of
employs 180 people and is located in Ronneby, mid 2006.
southern Sweden. UIQ Technology develops
and licenses the UIQ software to handset Product
manufacturers and distributes SDKs to UIQ consists of a number of components. Firstly,
developers. the user interface framework which provides
layout managers and UI building blocks for
Positioning
applications. Secondly, the application suite,
Similar to S60, UIQ consists of the top-level which includes a telephony application, calendar,
software stack components, namely a user contacts, todo list, calculator, jotter, messaging
interface framework, application suite, (email, SMS, MMS), browser (HTML, WAP),
application execution environment and voice recorder and multimedia file viewers.
middleware engines. Symbian’s subsidiary Thirdly, middleware which includes device
positions UIQ as a “media-rich, flexible and management, SVG Tiny engine, DRM
customizable software platform, pre-integrated framework, and data synchronisation. Fourth, an
and tested with Symbian OS”. application execution environment accessible
through native C++ and Java MIDP 2. Per-unit
The third and latest version of UIQ enables
royalties for UIQ are estimated at $2.5 on
manufacturers to target a truly wide variety of
average. Full UIQ source code is available to
form factors and handset input methods,
handset manufacturers and select partners.
including any combination of display layout
(portrait/landscape) and screen size with Compared to S60, UIQ is more open and
different interaction methods (touch-screen, extensible by developers and manufacturers.
menu bar/ softkey bar and hardware keys). For example, UIQ provides a DRM framework,
but does not mandate the DRM agent to be used,
UIQ is licensed by Sony Ericsson, Motorola,
while it allows third party IM applications to
BenQ Siemens and Arima. As of August 2006,
access the contacts application.
UIQ has been featured on 13 commercial
handsets, namely the Sony Ericsson W950, UIQ 3 offers several unique and differentiating
Sony Ericsson M600, Sony Ericsson P990, features compared to S60 and other software
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stacks. Most importantly, this latest version UIQ requires a minimum of an ARM9 or ARM11
supports single-handed use through a highly processor at around 140 MHz and can be used
flexible framework that allows manufacturers to on both single-core and dual-core chipsets.
create any handset (with any combination of Minimum RAM and ROM requirement is 16 MB
parameters from display orientation, display size, and 24 MB.
touch-screen capability , hardware keys, softkey
bar and menu bar) from the same code base. Strategy

UIQ Technology has focused extensively on the


UIQ 3 also offers an Operator Configuration scalability of its platform across different handset
Package (OCP) which offers a range of form factors and input methods, as well as the
elements customisable by manufacturers and customisability by both operators and
operators. UIQ was earlier only available for manufacturers (although the company has no
phones supporting touch screens and pen- plans to provide rapid UI customisation tools).
based input, but is now also available for one- The company is also planning to complete the
handed use with softkeys. UIQ software stack by adding more non-
differentiating components to the product.
By combining the display layout
Improving the tools technology is another
(portrait/landscape) and size with different
strategic priority for UIQ.
interaction methods (touch-screen, menu bar/
softkey bar and hardware keys), several different Viewpoint
types of phones can be created. UIQ
Compared to Nokia’s S60, UIQ’s licensing
Technology provide five pre-defined
strategy appears to be bearing more fruit. There
configurations, having optimised their own
are 13 commercial device models featuring UIQ
application suite for two reference configurations,
to date, compared to only 7 non-Nokia S60
Pen Style and Softkey Style.
devices. UIQ offers a wealth of user experience
customisation options and presents a much
Technology
greater degree of freedom to the manufacturer in
The Operator Configuration Package (OCP)
terms of handset form factors and input methods.
presents a broad but shallow range of user
interface customisation options for Sony Ericsson has been the main backer of UIQ,
manufacturers and operators. This includes which has announced impressive consumer-
themes (images, sounds and colours), key oriented and music-oriented designs following its
animations and sounds (at start-up, shut-down, P9xx line of prosumer-oriented PDA phones. We
and at network events), pre-loaded content, pre- believe that with v3, UIQ is offering a mature and
loaded settings, and links embedded in menus. flexible top-half stack for manufacturers, but one
The licensee can lock some of these items or whose success will be influenced by Nokia’s
allow the end user to change them. operational control on Symbian’s product
roadmap.
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C.16 | Windows Mobile


Windows Mobile APPS UIF AEE MIDW KRNL
Launched: 2002 Licensees: 7 Models: 22 Base: ~5M

from 115 operators in 55 countries (most of them


Background
in EMEA). Windows Mobile for Smartphone
The world’s largest software company was slow licensees include HTC (the primary force behind
to jump on the mobile bandwagon but made a phone based on Windows Mobile), Chi Mei,
stormy entrance into the mobile handset market Compal, Mitac, Motorola, Samsung and Palm;
in 2002. Based on a strategy of addressing Microsoft reports 47 device maker partners,
mobile operator and enterprise needs such as although the vast majority are producing PDAs
branding, device management, synchronisation rather than mobile phones. Of particular
and security, Windows Mobile has importance has been the announcement that
accomplished design wins not only from HTC, DoCoMo, an ex-Microsoft rival would sell
but also Motorola, Palm and Samsung. Windows Mobile devices, apparently lured by
the appeal of Microsoft devices to corporate
Revenue for the Mobile and Embedded Devices
customers.
division in the nine months ending 31 March
2006 was $264 million with an operating income Product
of $4 million, a considerable improvement over
Both the Smartphone and PocketPC variants of
the division’s accounts in the previous two years.
Windows Mobile are based on Windows
CE.NET. It is estimated as much as 80-90% of
Positioning
code and features are shared between the two
Windows Mobile is positioned as a one-stop-
variants, with the difference being in the
solution for operators, manufacturers and
application suite and parts of the user interface
software developers, in a similar fashion to
framework
Qualcomm’s BREW (albeit without the
application shopping infrastructure). Both variants are developed by the same
organisational division within Microsoft. We
Windows Mobile is targeted to ODMs and OEMs
believe that the bias of Windows Mobile towards
who wish to deliver data-rich, multimedia
business users and prosumers is largely a result
devices, either voice-centric handsets or data-
of this structure and the archetypal design
centric smartphones. Based on a common
principles that stem from the Windows heritage.
platform, Windows Mobile is available in two
editions, Smartphone and Pocket PC. The The latest Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 was
revenue model is based on per-unit royalties released to manufacturers in May 2005. It is a
(which analyst Nomura estimates to $6), and major new release for Microsoft, focusing on
developer seat licenses. extending the power of the platform to
developers, providing tighter integration to
Shipments of Windows Mobile powered
Microsoft properties (MSN, Hotmail, Windows
smartphones were over 2.1 million in 2005
Media Player and Windows Media DRM), better
according to Gartner, or 4.7% of the smartphone
connectivity to business applications and
market. Microsoft reports over 50 Windows
support for 3G and WiFi networks.
Mobile converged devices (including an
estimated 22 mobile phone models) available
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Windows Mobile provides a complete software Strategy
stack that spans from the kernel and middleware In brief, Windows Mobile strategy is to tightly
to the application execution environment control the makeup of the software stack and the
(supporting both native C++ and the .NET device look & feel, while focusing continually on
Compact Framework) and the application suite. opening the platform to developers.
The .NET Compact Framework is an interpreted
environment that simplifies application We believe that Microsoft’s endgame is not to
development (much like Java) and is integrated sell Windows Mobile licenses. Even if Microsoft
in all Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile were to secure 5% of the total handset market
5.0 devices. Microsoft’s product portfolio by 2009, the license fees would account for less
includes Mobile2Market, a certification and than 1% of the company’s revenues today.
marketing programme for mobile applications, Instead, we believe Windows Mobile aims to
similar to BREW’s software catalog. The drive sales of Microsoft’s server, office and
programme speeds up time-to-market for increasingly, media services.
applications by acting as the conduit between
market channels (typically operators) and Microsoft’s OS has been particularly successful

software developers. in the enterprise and prosumer segment, not


only because of reliable PIM synchronisation
Technology with Outlook and Exchange, but also because of

The first version of Windows Mobile was ahead easy application development and extensive

of the competition in terms of offering extensive device management capabilities. Microsoft’s

skinning and branding opportunities on the licensing of the ActiveSync PIM synchronisation

handset. The product has since been slow to protocol to its competitors in 2005 was likely due

evolve in terms of UI customisability, lagging to pressure from the server group who were

behind most other software stack solutions, eager to see sales of server software instigated

including BREW. On the contrary, Microsoft has by connected device sales.

faired extremely well in opening the platform to


Viewpoint
developers, with the company reporting more
than 18,000 commercial Windows Mobile According to an industry commentator, Windows

applications available as of mid 2006. Mobile’s strategy towards manufacturers is


“WWHISWYG” (“What We Have IS What You
Windows Mobile technology has also included Get”), contrary to the common software industry
operator-friendly features from the outset, such practice. At the same time, the company has
as device management, application security and been very successful at luring more than 100
PIM synchronisation.. operators (a primary customer type for
Microsoft) with converged, brand-able device
Windows Mobile has been ported onto TI, Intel propositions. In 2006, Windows Mobile made
and Samsung reference designs. Judging by significant advancements with licensees Palm,
HTC’s immature first two handset model Samsung and the support of DoCoMo. Moving
iterations, bringing a first Windows Mobile forward, the challenge for Windows Mobile is to
handset to market is an endeavour that takes extend from the enterprise territory, which it has
roughly two years. largely claimed, onto penetrating the consumer
mass market.
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D Trends in the Mobile Software Market

We conclude this paper by summarising the key A new generation of flexible operating systems
observations from this study and outline the will be emerging to offer these qualities; Purple
trends that will be shaping this market in the next Labs, and Applix’s BTO model are an early
three years. confirmation of that trend. Linux will feature in
most ‘flexible OS’ products, due firstly to the
platform’s flexibility, secondly its backing by an
TREND #1 innovative open source community and thirdly its
backing by a growing commercial support
Open OSes are out; Flexible OSs are in
community.
Open operating systems such as Windows
Mobile and Symbian OS were once in the
industry limelight, as they were able to offer TREND #2

ease of development and ease of deployment


Commoditisation of the core OS technology
for operator applications and services. As we
argued in Section A.1, ease of development and In the first few years of the decade, operating
deployment is no longer the issue. Application systems powering mobile phones were
execution environments like Java, Flash Lite, struggling to keep up with the increased features
S60, Qtopia and Openwave MIDAS do provide and customisability they had to support. Fast
for openness; what is of paramount importance forward to 2006, and most scalability, multimedia
though is the degree of platform availability and feature and radio interface challenges have
consistency across device models, been resolved. Software that can power a
manufacturers, operators and regions. mainstream mobile handset is now widely
rd
available through proprietary 3 party (e.g.
What is in demand today is flexible OSs. As Nucleus, VxWorks), proprietary internal (e.g.
argued in Section A.1, the operating systems (or rd
NOS, OSE) or open 3 party (e.g. Mobilinux,
software stacks, to use a more technically Symbian) products. In economics terms, there is
accurate term) of today need to offer flexibility in greater supply than demand and barriers to
terms of: market entry are at an all-time low with the rise
a) rapid prototyping tools for UI customisation of a commercial Linux community for mobile
b) an application execution environment with phones.
broad, consistent implementation across a broad
range of devices and ability to support The ‘use value’ of the core OS (to borrow a term
development of complete application suites and coined by Eric S. Raymond) has definitely not
c) flexibility in supporting a wide range of decreased; the kernel and hardware drivers of
chipsets and hardware reference platforms. the software stack are absolutely essential to
support tomorrow’s advanced mainstream
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handsets. However, the sale value of a core OS manufacturers through outsourced technology
is constantly reducing. In other words, vendors and services. This trend is in line with the regular
are finding it difficult to demand per-unit royalties shifts between the horizontal and vertical
from core OS sales, when a wealth of supply structure that occur in most other industries, as
exists. However, the upper layers of the software modelled by Charles H. Fine’s Double Helix, a
stack are still able to command high royalties, as seminal management theory.
is the case with Flash Lite, BREW and
application suite vendors. As a result, the sale In this consolidation of supply, we believe that

value line is slowly but predictably moving incumbent vendors such as MontaVista,

upwards through the software stack. Trolltech, Microsoft, Nokia (S60), Adobe (Flash
Lite), Obigo and Openwave with mature
technology and broad market penetration will
TREND #3 maintain an advantage over the current plethora
of software vendors.
Verticalisation of technology supply

A third market trend that is now clear is the


TREND #4
verticalisation of the software technology market,
i.e. the product consolidation on the supply side Consolidation of platform demand
of the equation.
For the first time in mobile software history, we
From the in-house-developed operating systems are witnessing a consolidation of mobile
of the 90s, to the specialisation and software software platforms from the demand side of the
component outsourcing trends of the first half of equation, which is in symmetry with the previous
the decade, we believe that the market is slowly trend. Not only manufacturers, but also
coming full circle to see vendors and products enterprises and mobile operators are making a
merge to form complete, productised software choice of software platform.
stacks in the next three years. There are several
examples today of the verticalisation of software The reason for the consolidation of demand is

technology: Esmertec’s acquisition of Coretek that the choice of software platform has

(an applications developer), Tao’s evolution of significant and long-term repercussions to the

its Intent platform into an application total cost of ownership (TCO), a fact that applies

environment, Aplix’s product evolution to a equally to manufacturers, enterprises and mobile

complete software stack, and the introduction of operators.

pre-integrated, productised Linux-based


Platform TCO has traditionally concerned
software stacks from A la Mobile, Access Linux
handset manufacturers, as platform
Platform, and Purple Labs in 1H06.
development, testing and maintenance costs are

A form of technology verticalisation is also severely platform- and tools- dependent.

evident in the ecosystem programmes run by Motorola’s consolidation of the tens of internal

Trolltech, MontaVista and SavaJe which pre- development efforts into few common platforms,
rd
test and pre-integrate complementary 3 party has led to the manufacturer’s endorsement of

components into complete solutions. Linux-based software for the majority of phone
shipments in the next two years, as Motorola’s
The move to vertically integrated software VP of Software confirmed in August 2006.
technology comes not only to address the
fragmentation challenges in the market, but also Enterprises with mobility needs are also making

to lower the platform development cost for a platform choice. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile
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has been very well placed and proactively basis for a reference platform, that among
designed to form an integral part of the fulfilling other goals we believe forms a platform
enterprise’s IT infrastructure. The rich-data export strategy for DoCoMo.
capabilities, synchronisation to back-office email
systems, advanced device management The first half of 2006 saw the Linux commercial

features and extensive security framework of community growing quickly with the entrance of

Windows Mobile –based devices, have all Wind River (a major proprietary RTOS vendor)

contributed to the selection of Windows Mobile in the Linux phone scene, along with numerous

as the lowest common denominator for software vendors, including Digital Airways,

enterprise handset purchase decisions. Purple Labs, A la Mobile, Access and Aplix. In
parallel, the first two Linux-based devices
There are also signs that mobile operators are shipped in Europe, the Qtopia-based Wistron
moving towards making a platform choice. The Neweb GW1 and the Purple Labs-based
number of software platforms shipping on Vitelcom G500i, demonstrating that Asia and
operator-customised handsets has a direct Japan were not a regional limit. Equally
impact on the operator cost of customisation, importantly, the industry including Western
time-to-market and content adaptation. Since mobile operators is becoming increasingly
1H05, Vodafone has managed to cap the growth familiar with Linux, and overcoming the fear,
of software platforms shipping on its handsets; uncertainty and doubt circulating the otherwise
with the Open Platform Initiative co-led with little-known platform.
DoCoMo and four other handset manufacturers,
the operator plans to develop a single Linux- Looking three years into the future, we believe

based reference OS. Operator Orange has long Linux will grow substantially as a preferred OS

used Windows Mobile as the (initial) basis of its for a greater share of manufacturers and device

‘Signature’ handsets, partly due to the product’s models. Furthermore, in the backdrop of

customisability. Taking a lesson from DoCoMo, consolidation, we believe that Symbian’s viability

KDDI has in the last two years elevated the role will be challenged, given that Nokia pays $100M

of BREW into an AEE for supporting its for development of an OS which it could easily

customised application suite. We believe other in-source (see Section A. 4). In parallel, we

major operators will be selecting single software believe Qualcomm’s commitment to BREW will

platforms in the next two years, which will lead to be questioned. The QIS division which develops

consolidation in software supply. BREW is part of the Qualcomm Wireless &


Internet division, which brought in less than 9%
of Qualcomm revenues for the first nine months
TREND #5 of fiscal 2006, a dramatic drop from 12% a year
earlier. This drop occurs at a time when the
2006: The turning point for Linux
company has demonstrated willingness to rely

Within this backdrop of market trends, 2006 on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform to

marks a turning point for Linux. penetrate the European market (an Achilles heal
for Qualcomm) in return for chipset and IP-
Motorola’s pledge in August 2006 to use Linux based revenues, which together contribute over
for powering more that half of the manufacturer’s 90% of Qualcomm’s $7B annual revenues.
handsets in the next two years is only the tip of
the iceberg. The Open Platform Initiative, In this light, the future for Linux and Microsoft on

established by DoCoMo, Vodafone and four mobile devices is looking particularly rosy.

major manufacturers, plans to use Linux as the Perhaps the war of the OSs has yet to be played
out.
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