A Mobile operating system or Mobile OS is the operating system that controls a mobile device. The increasing importance of mobile devices have triggered a stiff competition among technology giants like Microsoft, Apple and Nokia. There are other players like Symbian, Palm and Research In Motion that are playing well in the smart phone market.
The figure below provides a quick view of the market share of Smart phone operating systems as of Q2/2009 that is owned by different Mobile OS in terms of sales.
Market Data by Canalys.
Here the top 10 operating systems that are used in Smart Phones.
1. Symbian OS
Symbian is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, accounting for over 50% of smartphone sales in the world. Symbian Software Limited was acquired by Nokia in 2008 to form a new independent non-profit organization called the Symbian Foundation with the objective of creating the Symbian platform as a royalty-free, open source software Mobile OS.
Image Source : http://www.forsymbian.org
The Symbian Foundation completed the open source release of the source code on 4-Feb-2010, for the world’s most widely-used smartphone platform. The Symbian platform, which has been developed over more than 10 years and has shipped in more than 330 million devices around the world, is now completely open and the source code is available for free. Releasing the entire Symbian platform under the Eclipse Public License (EPL) will encourage new contributors and accelerate the pace of innovation.
2. RIM BlackBerry operating
RIM BlackBerry operating system is the second popular operating system designed for business. It has a market share of around 20.9% and is mainly focused on easy operation for business purpose.
3. iPhone OS
Derived from Mac OS, the iPhone OS installed on iPhone have trendy followers who are swept by the excellent quality of UI and the apps available. In has a market share of 13.7% in the smart phone sales.
4. Windows Mobile
Windows Mobile from Microsoft, stands fourth with a market share of 9%. It has a low barrier for third-party developers to enter and write new applications for the platform. It has been criticized for having a user interface which is not optimized for touch input by fingers, instead, it is more usable with a stylus. However, in the next major release of Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft intends to make a dramatic come-back in the industry and become a much more aggressive force in the mobile space than it has been before in the past.
Andriod from Google Inc has a 2.8% Market Share of sales in smart phone. It is an Open Source, Linux-derived platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers like Intel, HTC, ARM etc. Though is very new, it already has a cult following among programmers who are eager to develop apps for its flexible, Open Source, back end. Android promises to give developers access to every aspect of the phone’s operation, something that every programmer wants to explore.
6. Linux operating system
Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo. Linux operating system is used as a basis for a number of different platforms developed by several vendors like Android, LiMo, Maemo, Openmoko and Qt Extended.
7. Palm webOS
Palm webOS from Palm Inc. is Palm’s next generation operating system.
Bada is an operating system from Samsung Electronics that is still under development. The hands are expected to available in second half of 2010.
Maemo is a software platform developed by Nokia. It is mainly targeted for smartphones and Internet Tablets. It is based on the Debian operating system and is mostly based on open source code. The OS has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects such as the Linux kernel, Debian and GNOME.
LiMo is developed by LiMo Foundation. It uses the Linux as its operating system and has a modular architecture. It providers SDK using which application developers can write browser apps for WebKit.