ALP is here (sorta), but does anyone care?


Screen_ss_launcherAfter much talk and even more screenshots, ACCESS indicates that their Linux-based mobile OS is ready to roll. Michael Gartenberg feels that the ALP effort is "too little, too late" and I’m inclined to agree. Matt, James and I have a little more discussion on this topic in the next podcast which should be live in less than 24 hours. Before you hear our thoughts, I’m curious what you think:

  • Given the quick and widespread growth of the iPhone combined with the recent Google Android launch, is there room in the market for another mobile OS? Don’t forget that Symbian, RIM, Windows Mobile and to a smaller degree, Palm are already entrenched in the game.
  • Is ALP better poised to be successful in the non-U.S. market?
  • Do you expect ALP to offer either an experience or functionality that the competitors simply can’t deliver?
  • What would it take for ALP to gain a sizable chunk of mobile handset market-share?

I just don’t see big things for ACCESS on this front. Had you asked me this question two years ago, my answer would have been completely different. Unfortunately, that was the time to cast off in this market and shake it up. That didn’t happen in any noticeable way and now I see ALP playing catch-up… if they even play in a measurable way at all.



If the handset was good size, the basic phone and PIM functions decent and syncable, and I could use a stylus or my fingers to enter data, I would very seriously consider it. I cannot type on my phone’s keyboard anywhere close to the speed I used to be able to attain with Grafitti 1 or 2 on my Palm devices.

Dave Zatz

ALP is Linux, Android is Linux. Android is backed by an open consortium and is free. ALP must be licensed. Guess who wins?

Ross Gohlke

Saying there is no more room in the market is like saying evolution stops at reptiles. Let’s wait until mammals arrive on the scene. Let’s not spread the marketing hype emanating from Cupertino and Mountain View that the game is over before it has begun – unless we are being paid to do so.


> What would it take for ALP to gain a
> sizable chunk of mobile handset market-share?

Eh… a cool handset?

There are still a number of successful devices being released with what seems to be completely proprietary operating systems (Sprint’s answer to the iPhone, the Instinct?). It can’t really be that cost effective for the hardware manufacturers to cook/maintain their own OS (in the computer market, no one other than Apple does it). So for those hardware vendors, this is an alternative… not to the iPhone (they can’t get that OS) but to Android. Might be too late (this is ALP 3.0… what happened to 1.0 and 2.0?), and maybe too expensive. Who knows.


I wouldn’t be so sure. Both platforms are relatively new in terms of software titles: something in the low thousands for iPhone, and certainly many less for Android.

Palmgear has over 32,000 titles that can be installed on ALP via it’s Palm OS Garnet compatibility layer. Add this to the many titles that might be ported over from the FOSS world.

Playing catch-up? Certainly. Too little, too late? Perhaps not.

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