Thursday, October 2, 2008

Operating systems


The most common operating systems (OS) used in smartphones are:

Symbian OS from Symbian Ltd. (57.1% Market Share Sales Q2 2008 )
Symbian has the largest share in most markets worldwide, but lags behind other companies in the relatively small but highly visible North American market. This matches the success of its largest shareholder and customer, Nokia, in all markets except Japan. Nokia itself enjoys 52.9% of the smartphone market. In Japan Symbian is strong due to a relationship with NTT DoCoMo, with only one of the 44 Symbian handsets released in Japan coming from Nokia. It is used by many major handset manufacturers, including BenQ, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Various implementations of user interfaces on top of Symbian (most notable being UIQ and Nokia's own S60) are incompatible, which along with the requirement that applications running on mobile phones be signed is hindering the potential for a truly widely accepted mobile application platform. It has received some adverse press attention due to virus threats (actually trojan horses).

RIM BlackBerry operating system (17.4% Market Share Sales Q2 2008)
This OS is focused on easy operation and was originally designed for business. Recently it has seen a surge in third-party applications and has been improved to offer full multimedia support.

Windows Mobile from Microsoft (12.0% Market Share Sales Q2 2008)
Windows CE operating system along with Windows Mobile middleware are widely spread in Asia. The two improved variants of this operating system, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and Windows Mobile 6 Standard were unveiled in February 2007. Windows Mobile is enjoying great popularity because of the low barrier to entry for third-party developers to write new applications for the platform.

Linux operating system (7.3% Market Share Sales Q2 2008)
Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo. Rather than being a platform in its own right, Linux is used as a basis for a number of different platforms developed by several vendors, including Motorola and TrollTech, which are mostly incompatible. PalmSource (now Access) is moving towards an interface running on Linux. Another platform based on Linux is being developed by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone.

iPhone OS from Apple Inc. (2.8% Market Share Sales Q2 2008)
The iPhone (and iPod touch) use an operating system called iPhone OS, which is derived from Mac OS X. Third party applications were originally only made available for iPhone users through a web service that can be accessed via the included web browser; however, with the release of iPhone OS 2.0 on July 11th 2008, native applications are now available and can be downloaded through the iTunes App Store.
Palm OS developed by PalmSource (now a subsidiary of ACCESS) (2.3% Market Share Sales Q2 2008)

PalmSource traditionally used its own platform developed by Palm Inc. Access Linux Platform (ALP) is an improvement that was planned to be launched in the first half of 2007. It will use technical specifications from the Linux Phone Standards Forum. The Access Linux Platform will include an emulation layer to support applications developed for Palm-based devices.

Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW)
BREW was developed in the USA by Qualcomm, Inc and is popular in North America. BREW is a mobile application development platform and end-to-end content delivery ecosystem. BREW has recently gained a foothold in Europe via the Three Skypephone offered by network 3.

Market Share data from Canalys report "Worldwide smart mobile device market, Canalys Q4 2007


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Hi, I am Hua, a chinese expat residing in India excited about windows, linux and all things tech

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