Remember those simpler times when no one particularly cared about which OS they were using? You could walk into a phone shop and simply pick up a phone without being aware of which OS it ran.
We had plenty of choice – in no particular order: Bada, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Qt, Nokia S40, Symbian, WebOS, Windows CE, PalmOS, Brew, MeeGo, Windows Phone and cross-platform e.g. PhoneGap, Marmalade etc.
But now, thanks to the boom of apps and increased access to multimedia, we’re seeing a convergence. People no longer choose a phone because it looks nice, has a good quality camera or is the latest high fashion. We’re seeing discerning customers who are more educated in the differences between mobile operating systems.
People will now purchase a handset that runs their favourite OS.
Over the last few years we have witnessed the rise and fall of many operating systems… and now we’re coming into 2013 we can expect four main parties to rule:
Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone and RIM’s BlackBerry.
Irrespective of current market share, these four primary platforms will be our operating systems of choice.
Apple and Google certainly have the upper hand going into 2013; with a staggering market share; strong install bases and most notably, large user loyalty if not a rivalry.
However, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, released in 2010 as Windows Phone 7 and recently updated to Windows Phone 8, is twinned with Nokia and HTC and is becoming (albeit slowly) a more significant player in the market.
You may also scoff at the listing for BlackBerry – but don’t! It may be losing market share, but it’s all relative. Its user base is growing and its users are notoriously loyal! With the new QNX powered BlackBerry10 devices due for public release Jan 30th it is yet to secure itself in the market. But watch this space!