A level playing field tilts east

A level playing field tilts east

Summary: One impact of open source is it reduces the advantage of copyright held by western companies. Here is Exhibit A.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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One impact of open source is it reduces the advantage of copyright held by western companies.

Here is Exhibit A. China is using Linux to mass-produce some very high-end mobile phones, due for launch next year.

As you can see from the picture (right, from LinuxDevices) this is a brick-type phone that looks like a cross between a Nokia and a Sony-Ericsson. But it's designed to run on a China-proprietary 3G network, it's got a camera that can do video, and there's a media player in there, too.

There's still some Western know-how in it. It runs on a TI chip, and the embedded Linux is Otopia, from Trolltech, which is based in Oslo. It will also run the Opera Web browser.

But here's the point. This is a Chinese design that's as good or better than anything an American company can come up with.

Linux offers a clean slate on which manufacturing efficiencies can be built without heavy payments for older software copyright. At that point victory goes to the most efficient engineering, and while I may be wrong it looks from here that our lead in that area is now gone.

But what is your view?

Topic: Mobility

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