Could Samsung charge for Linux on Galaxy smartphones?

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Samsung made tech headlines late last year when it announced plans to bring Linux to its DeX dock (review) and Galaxy flagship phones.

The move would mean that consumers have a full desktop operating system on their smartphone, enabled by popping the phone into the dock.

“Installed as an app, Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices,” Samsung explained at the time of the announcement. “Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment.”

Now, the company has issued a survey for Linux on DeX, revealing a few potential plans in the process.

Samsung’s survey for Linux on Galaxy phones queries whether users would want to pay to use Linux

Aside from the usual questions (e.g. “Have you used Linux before?” or “Would you buy a Galaxy phone if it had Linux support?”), we also see a few other intriguing questions.

Samsung’s survey asks respondents about their currently used Linux distribution (namely Ubuntu, RedHat, SuSe, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, Arch or other), as well as which apps respondents use most on Linux (Openoffice/Libreoffice, Audacity, GIMP, Android Studio, Eclipse, internet browser, video editing, Blender).

But the most interesting question sees Samsung asking users whether they’d be willing to pay for Linux on DeX. A follow-up question asks whether users would be willing to pay US$0 to US$10, US$10 to US$50, US$50 to US$100 or over US$100.

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It’s unclear when Linux will launch on Galaxy devices, but the email (notifying users of the survey) suggests that it’s very early days yet.

“In order to determine how to best design the product to meet your needs, we ask for a moment of your time to complete this Linux on Galaxy Survey,” an excerpt of the email reads.

In other words, it’s looking highly unlikely that the company will launch the service at MWC.



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