R&D costs could force mobile OS consolidation

The significant research and development costs associated with creating new mobile operating systems and their accompanying ecosystems could result in consolidation for the smartphone OS market according to a new study issued by research firm Strategy Analytics, which forecasts that smartphone platforms with strong consumer focus and deep R&D budget--i.e., iPhone, Android and Symbian--will ultimately win out.

"Strategy Analytics estimates that smartphone OS vendors currently spend $100-$200 million on R&D on average," analyst Sravan Kundojjala said in a prepared statement. "This, along with the arduous work involved in creating an ecosystem around the OS, could potentially force handset vendors to consolidate their efforts around one or two third-party licensable operating systems." At the same time, the report states the door remains open for new OS entrants, predicting that Nokia's Linux-based Maemo platform is a strong contender to feature in future smartphones.

For more on the Strategy Analytics report:
- read this release

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