May 23rd, 2009

Android... garunteed winner in the netbook ARMs race

Who's going to be the big winner in the ARM based netbook market which is going to show up later this year?  Android will be.. its pretty much a fargone conclusion.  Don't believe me? Here let me quote a Canonical employee.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/ARMBeijingSeminar2009Report

"Although there is no Google guys to talk about Android, Freescale, Mavell and Thundersoft demoed Android. I have to admit Android caught more eyes than us. People asked about our ARM netbook product/solution and business models. Because of some hardware issue of Freescale babbage rev1.0 board, the performance of Ubuntu on Babbage (compared to Android on Babbage) is not very good. Android demos runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon/8xxx, TI OMAP3, Freescale Babbage and Marvell PXA3xx. "

"Customers are very interested in Android and Android has better performance than Ubuntu on Freescale Babbage "

"Ubuntu can only support Freescale Babbage, we have to support more platform"

With the ARM chip manufacturers like Freescale and Marvell demoing Android on Google's behalf without Google sending anyone to that conference  to do the salespitch...that speaks volumes as to where the entire ARM OEM landscape is headed..

Okay "garunteed" may not be strictly true, but clearly Canonical has an uphill battle with ARM netbooks against Android even though they have a track record with intel netbooks.  More importantly, Canonical actually recognizes this as a problem.. they clearly don't smoke the stuff they've been handing out to the laypress...which is a good thing to see. It's always bad for business when you are hooked on the same drugs you're peddling.

The burning question is, will there be enough of a market leftover to pay Canonical to do the necessary  work to bring the ARM port of Ubuntu up to par with Android as an competitive option?  Or is Android going to win the ARMs race simply by out performing everyone else at the starting gun? 

-jef"I fully expect that wiki page to be removed from public view as soon as Canonical realizes that I'm using it to question the sustainability of their business model"spaleta