SOURCE: Black Duck Software

February 25, 2009 09:04 ET

Black Duck Software Analysis Shows Dramatic Growth in Open Source Targeting Mobile Platforms

iPhone Leads Android in Winning Over Open Source Developers

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - The number of open source projects targeting mobile platforms is rising sharply, according to Black Duck Software, the leading global provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source software. Black Duck spiders the Internet collecting open source and other downloadable code into a repository it calls the Black Duck KnowledgeBase.

Black Duck reviewed over 185,000 projects collected from 4,000 Internet sites, compiling a list of open source projects that specifically target or declare support for mobile platforms. At just over 2,300, the number of mobile projects is a small percentage of the overall total of open source projects, but growth in code for mobile devices is dramatic. The amount of code released in projects targeting mobile platforms grew at over a 55 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the years 2005-2008. Developers have distributed more than 6,500 project releases that target or support mobile platforms.

Open source activity for certain device families was significantly higher than others. In ascertaining strength in open source activity, Black Duck looks at the number of releases in open source projects which specifically mention a particular mobile platform. Palm is by far the all time leader with 1,850 releases from all its associated projects since the very first release of "Caml Light for PalmOS" in 1997. However, more recently Palm has been surpassed by other platforms. Open source projects for the iPhone led the industry with 266 releases in the year 2008, followed by Android and Windows Mobile.

Platform          Total Project Releases     Project Releases in 2008
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Palm                                 1,850                        113
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
iPhone                                 391                        266
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Windows Mobile                         359                        174
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Symbian                                322                         64
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Android                                246                        191
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Rim/Blackberry                         237                         96
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
Maemo                                   56                         17
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------
LiMo                                    28                          6
--------------    ------------------------   ------------------------

"The growth in open source for mobile includes projects specifically targeted at mobile platforms, as well as existing projects that are now incorporating support for mobile devices," said Eran Strod, Director of Product Marketing, Black Duck Software. "It is interesting that iPhone has garnered enthusiasm within the open source world. Android project numbers are also significant, especially since the platform was released in October 2008. Although LiMo, Symbian, Palm and RIM ranked under the top three in our 2008 analysis, we are seeing signs of robust developer support for these platforms going forward."

Open source developers creating mobile apps showed a strong preference for certain source code repositories, with 74 percent of all project releases hosted on The site was a distant second with 12 percent of releases appearing on its site. CPAN was third with three percent of all releases. Educational institutions using the .edu domain hosted 37 releases.

For more information, visit
to listen to a podcast with Peter Vescuso, EVP of Marketing for Black Duck, who will discuss the growth in open source mobile application development as seen from the perspective of developments at the recent 3GSM Barcelona Mobile World Congress conference.

About Black Duck Software

Black Duck Software is the leading global provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source and third-party code. Black Duck™ enables companies to shorten time-to-market and reduce development and maintenance costs while mitigating the risks and challenges associated with open source reuse, including hidden license obligations, security vulnerabilities, unsupported open source and version proliferation. The company is headquartered near Boston and has offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam and Hong Kong, as well as distribution partners throughout the world. For more information, visit

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