New research from the US suggests that the Linux open-source operating system could power almost a quarter of smartphones within the next 5 years.

Analyst firm ABI Research claims that 23% of the smartphones on the market by 2013 will use Linux, as opposed to competiting systems including Symbian and Windows Mobile.

According to Ars Technica, the boom will be driven by the fact that using an open source system "significantly reduces licensing and development costs and also provides higher flexibility".

The research claims that Linux will take second place behind the Symbian system.

ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw says: "...although LiMo (adopted last month by Verizon) and Android will take the lion's share of the market for Linux solutions, there will be opportunities for solutions such as Maemo which will be facilitated by the encroachment of the MID (Mobile Internet Device) form factor into the mobile devices landscape".

So lots of Linux-based MIDs and UMPCs on the cards then.