There are many reasons why mobile Linux makes good sense.
Cost is one. Control is another. A stable platform on which to build applications is a third.
But in referencing the recent announcement by NTT Docomo of a common Linux platform for mobiles (NEC and Panasonic helped, and Fujitsu helped with a Symbian port) someone at Smartmobs came up with this:
By developing a common platform, which is open source, software developers will be able to develop applications (such as games) even before the handsets themselves are developed. >
st sort of blew me away. I don't know why I hadn't fully considered it.
Open source could become the only force that can compete with what I call "the carrier imperative" -- a desire by carriers to control the business and technical environment. That's because application development is going to move from phones to operating systems, and OS vendors are thus going to have some say in how phones are designed. Because phones aren't going to be phones anymore -- they're going to be computers.