Morgan Stanley predicts Apple mobile phone

Morgan Stanley expects iPod and Mac market share to climb and an Apple mobile phone will ship in 2006.

You very well know that I don’t comment on stupid rumors, but I have more than 3 clues regarding such a project inside Apple. (Yes, simple clues at the moment, no direct quotes from anyone.)

My guess and some of my clues point to that they are using Symbian OS 9.1 and UIQ 3.0 (which is extremely customizable). To be honest, if this is true, it’s going to backfire back to Apple. If the phone becomes too popular –like iPods did–, Nokia won’t like it. And Nokia owns both Symbian and UIQ. This is the whole reason why Palm went with WindowsMobile for the Treo 700w and not with Symbian, according to its CEO.

IMHO, a Linux-based solution would have been more wise here (in terms of long term strategy). The problem with Linux is that it requires a LOT more work to make it as mobile-capable and battery-friendly as Symbian or PalmOS and WinMobile are. And it also requires a lot more work to re-write the graphics layer and widgets on top of the kernel, because the current ODM toolkit offering, Trolltech’s Qt, is very slow on ARM (e.g. 312 Mhz). I have Motorola’s Linux phone here (you already know that, I curse on it every day) which uses Qt Embedded, and the UI is just slow. Additionally, it would require ALL applications to be re-written from scratch, while UIQ already offers some with its package and has a popular and much used API.

In other words, Linux requires years worth of work to make it as good as Apple needs it to be on an embedded device (years that Apple as a business doesn’t have the luxury of waiting), PalmOS is dead, Windows Mobile is out of the question, Series60 is Nokia’s-only game, and so that leaves only UIQ as the only realistic solution for a *smartphone*. Sony Ericsson uses a modified UIQ too for its upcoming P990 release and their UI looks pretty good.

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