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Jim Zemlin Pitches Linux App Stores For Telcos 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the eventually-your-toaster-will-have-an-app-store dept.
angry tapir writes "Mobile carriers may start giving away netbooks for free, and Linux-based application stores could help them profit by doing so, the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin argued at a recent forum in Beijing. 'Selling discounted netbooks to users who buy a mobile data subscription would extend a sales strategy widely used for mobile phones. Carriers often sell phones for below retail price and let a user's subscription fees make up for the loss. AT&T already sells subsidized 3G netbooks in the US, and China Mobile has announced similar plans. Carriers worldwide are likely considering the option, which lets them charge for added services like downloads of music, videos and software, said [analyst Jack Gold]. Those downloads could come from platforms like the iPhone App Store that target mainly mobile phones today. Competition could push netbook prices down as more carriers subsidize them, which would make putting Linux on the laptops an attractive way to cut costs, said Zemlin.'"
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Jim Zemlin Pitches Linux App Stores For Telcos

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  • by ruin20 (1242396) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:11AM (#28542697)
    Isn't an "app store" just a shiny package management system for small programs? 99% of linux distros have this already. What, we need to skin it prettier and put it on the web? That should be easy enough. I don't know why we need to copy something from apple when the idea creating a repository for programs and working out interdependence started in the *nix environments. Getting useful usable programs onto the computer is the main barrier for adoption. Cost has nothing to do with it, they'll put out the cheapest item that will sell. If linux won't sell netbooks, then they won't use it.
  • A bad trend (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:16AM (#28542753)

    This is exactly the opposite of what would be good for consumers. Mobile providers should get out of the hardware business entirely. They should be selling a service, and providing something like a SIM card which consumers could put into whatever phone or netbook they like.

    The benefits for consumers are clear. They could use any hardware they like with any provider. They could reuse their hardware devices for new contracts. There would be a good market to buy/sell used cell phones. And best of all, mobile providers would be forced to compete on service and price rather than competing on who has the shiniest phone.

    This will only happen with legislation, but unfortunately our legislators are more likely to be working for the phone companies rather than working for the people.

  • Re:Great.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:27AM (#28542915)

    ...a netbook with Verizon vCast OS.

    Exactly. for most folks, and atleast initially, the netbook will be the "second computer" and really more like the "third computer" if they use one at work as well. Why would I deliberately choose an OS that was different than my other OS, especially if I were to be transferring documents and presentations I wrote on the airplane back to my main computer. For most people one of those other computers is going to be a windows computer because the OS came pre-installed on it.

    Moreover, even if my other computer was a linux computer it would probably not be a vcast or moblin linux computer. So again I have two different looks and feel to deal with.

    A perhaps more enticing bussiness model would be for MS to give away the OS and sell microsoft Office in Two-packs (one for the home computer and one for the netbook).

  • Re:A bad trend (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:59AM (#28544787)

    The cell phone industry has such a huge barrier to entry that it's cost prohibitive for any new company to "come along" and shake things up. The existing companies have no desire to make this change because they're making huge profits under the status quo.

    Even if a company did come along and adopt this model, it wouldn't be a big benefit to consumers unless other companies also adopted it. What good is having hardware that is theoretically able to use multiple providers if only one provider actually supports it?

    This is a case where market forces aren't going to direct us to the way things should be, and so we need legislation to make it happen.

  • by JumpDrive (1437895) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:27PM (#28546589)
    Not necessarily. I would be out in a heart beat to buy one of these for my Mom, who currently only needs email, web browser and an office suite. I'm currently looking for a phone which will easily connect into a computer and give her internet access. And when I say easy, I mean absolute minimal problems.

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