Mobile
Commentary
7/15/2010
12:55 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Three Mobile OSes To Usurp Android or iOS

This fall, three mobile operating systems will be released (if you don't count what Android does, since they tend to release every few months). Windows Phone 7, Blackberry 6 and MeeGo are all due this holiday season. Will any of them make a dent in either iOSes or Android's share?

This fall, three mobile operating systems will be released (if you don't count what Android does, since they tend to release every few months). Windows Phone 7, Blackberry 6 and MeeGo are all due this holiday season. Will any of them make a dent in either iOSes or Android's share?There has been a ton of discussion on Windows Phone 7 since it was announced earlier this year, so I won't delve into that too much.

The current market leader in smartphones, Nokia, will be releasing MeeGo, which is Linux based and is the fruits of an Intel/Nokia partnership. It is open source and free for anyone who wants to license it. In that regard, it follows the Android model, which thus far has been very successful for Google. I've seen a video clip of MeeGo and at best, it looks like a "MeeTo" platform. To be a serious competitor, Nokia is going to have to step up its game. Symbian has been open source and has had little to no success in getting it to catch on with third parties. I don't see anything in MeeGo that will substantially change that, at least not with the current information available.

Blackberry 6.0 is also forthcoming. The UI is not that innovative either, but in RIM's case, I am not sure it has to be. RIM is already dominant in its market of supporting the enterprise. It's main goal right now should be to stop users from looking longingly at touch and swipe devices with great multimedia capabilities. BB6 seems to do that, while still retaining those features that only your IT manager could love. Boy Genius Report has a nice video of BB6 in action, though it is strangely disembodied from any actual hardware. While I think this will keep the Blackberry faithful happy, I am not too sure I see many iOS or Android users switching to a RIM device.

FierceWireless has done a deeper dive into each of the three operating systems and compares their features.

In my opinion, of the three, only Windows Phone 7 really has much chance in gaining traction with current iOS and Android users, but I still wouldn't go out on a limb and say that it will.

The best thing these three newbies have going for them is that Apple is faltering a bit with the iPhone 4, and the public-relations fiasco surrounding the loss of signal when you hold it like a phone. I know ... shocking that anyone would hold a phone like a, well, phone! Android still has the fragmentation issue to deal with, and Google is working on it. In the grand scheme of things, those are two relatively small issues in a landscape filled with geeky goodness, but when you are the underdog, you have to hold on to what you can.

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