Linux on the iPhone? Yep. I've just seen the video at gadget blog Gizmodo.
The geek in me is thrilled with this. How cool would it be to have Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android OS running side-by-side with the Mac OS on an iPhone? Get enough users interested and, suddenly, you have a new line of business for virtualization specialist VMware (NYSE: VMW ) . Maybe.
But, as an investor, I wonder if having Linux on the iPhone matters at all. Certainly not over the short term -- the iPhone has performed extremely well with OS X and Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iTunes App Store. (Which, TIME reports, now hosts more than 10,000 applications.) Who's clamoring for Linux on the iPhone?
No one, yet. But Linux isn't the story here. More interesting to me is how a team of developers spent time to reverse-engineer the iPhone to support a dual-boot system, as if it were a mini PC instead of just a phone. When's the last time you heard of a developer spending that much time to customize smarties from Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , or Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) ? It's been awhile, at least.
And yet there are hundreds more developers aspiring for iPhone glory. VentureBeat reports that the data-hosting provider for Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers accidentally leaked to the Web a file containing 588 proposals for new iPhone software, every one from a development team vying for a slice of the venture capital firm's $100 million iFund.
There's an Android stalking Steve Jobs? So be it. With this many developers writing for the iPhone, it won't be the last.
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