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Smartphones are absolutely everywhere these days, with lovers of technology keen to keep up with the latest models hitting the market. Smartphones are so prevalent that when someone (such as our own Justin Pot Why This Technology Blogger Does Not Own a Smartphone [Opinion] Why This Technology Blogger Does Not Own a Smartphone [Opinion] "Do you have a smartphone yet?" It's a question my friends ask often, and it's a reasonable one to ask. I make my entire living writing about technology, explaining how to use software and interviewing... Read More ) admits to not owning one, it’s newsworthy.

With so many people owning smartphones, and their constant desire to upgrade to a better model Where Do Smartphones Go From Here? [You Told Us] Where Do Smartphones Go From Here? [You Told Us] The smartphone revolution is in full swing, with these small (unless you're a Galaxy Note owner) handheld devices replacing the need for various other single-use products. While a swathe of the population still owns feature... Read More , it’s no wonder that more manufacturers are trying to get a foothold on the bottom rung of the ladder. But is it too late? Have Google and Apple pulled up that ladder behind them to ensure it’s a one-on-one fight for dominance rather than a free-for-all brawl?

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Besides Android & iPhone, Is There Room For Another Mobile OS? This question is extremely timely thanks to a confluence of news stories hitting at the same time. Which, when combined together, beg for the debate to be had.

First up are the latest smartphone market share figures, which show that Android is enjoying a remarkable lead over the competition. Google’s mobile OS has a 79.3 percent market share, with Apple’s iOS having a mere 13.2 percent market share. Windows Phone has just a 3.7 percent market share, while BlackBerry is down to just 2.9 percent.

Those figures, which are obviously for the global market, suggest that there really is only room for two competitors, and even then one is way out in front of the other. Microsoft isn’t going to give up on Windows Phone anytime soon, but the latest reports suggest BlackBerry is looking for a buyer.

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Meanwhile, the first Firefox OS handsets from ZTE will soon be sold worldwide via eBay. And a conceptual mobile device named Ubuntu Edge has been on crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, where its creators are hoping to raise $32 million to make the dual-booting Ubuntu and Android smartphone a reality.

Phew. Have you taken that little lot in? When you have done so then please return to the original question and tell us whether you think there is room for another contender in this market, or if you think that Android and iOS have it all sewn up between them.

Has Android got too much clout to let a young pretender compete for its crown? Would you ever consider buying a smartphone running something other than Android or iOS? Is there any way back for BlackBerry? Is Windows Phone capable of turning its modest growth into world-changing growth? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: NRKbeta

  1. Brandon B
    August 21, 2013 at 1:31 am

    I think it is possible for a third mobile OS, but it really just depends. I have a Windows Phone. If companies innovate enough then certainly there could be a third. People like Andriod because it is customizable. Others like iOS because it is simple and they are used to it. I like Windows Phone because it is different, unique and integrates well with my other Microsoft products. Everybody has a different reason for choosing which mobile OS they get. For that reason that there is room for another OS. It is simply a matter of companies innovating enough without changing it too much that it creates too much of a learning curve. I don't want to be restricted to just 2 options. I want to have many options.

  2. Christian C
    August 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Developing markets will decide this one, such as China where Nokia is ridiculously popular. Windows Phone also has an increasing number of good quality Xbox Live games appearing on it, which is a bonus.

    As much as I like the idea of Firefox OS, I don't think it is going to do any damage to Android or iOS - the biggest threats are from Windows Phone and Ubuntu, I think, and as the latter has several years of catching up to do, only a phase shift in how people want to use smartphones will see Ubuntu have any success.

    Incidentally, this is a shift that I feel Android and WP are equipped to deal with. Not sure iOS is, or if Apple even recognise it at this stage.

    (Speaking as an iPad owning Windows Phone user with an Android second phone and looking forward to an Ubuntu phone).

  3. ghassan alsaleh
    August 20, 2013 at 5:12 am

    IOS still powerful system but no art , android to many arts but not enough power.

  4. Petar
    August 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    There is actually a need for another Mobile OS, but it has to be different then Android or iOS.

    Many of us would like to see real OS for smartphones. When I say real OS I mean OS like we have on our PCs where you can control what your OS is doing (like you can do it with Linux distros), where you can delete an app without fear if system will collapse or work after that, where you can disable Google location services and the rest of the system still works.

    • Robert B
      August 20, 2013 at 5:54 am

      this has more to do with the commercial companies Google, Apple and every cell phone provider wanting to control everything on the phones. The only way to get rid of unwanted apps or to stop unwanted services is to root your Android device which will void your warranty as well as violate the ULA's we are forced to agree with if we want to use a cell phone. The little guy doesn't have a chance because there is no government out there that is standing up for consumer rights especially in the US. Any new mobile OS that comes around will be forced to concede these same freedoms if they expect their OS to be implemented.

  5. Harshit J
    August 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Absolutely, because iOS is too restrictive and Google still has not solved Android's lag problem. Windows Phone is on a fine line between the two and has the chances of becoming successful if Microsoft attracts the
    app developers and bring more features like proper multitasking, more customization and complete freedom for third party browser
    engines. Having only two OSes is bad for consumers as the companies will not be doing much innovation without any competition from alternative OSes. Windows Phone, BB10, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS and Ubuntu OS will bring experience different to those of Android and iOS and force them to do better for consumers. Summing up, there is a room for more mobile OSes.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Being included as standard when developers create apps is crucial for Microsoft, but it's not happening yet.

  6. Vicky B
    August 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Darn I wasn't finished - here's the rest: Best of Windows, Best of BlackBerry but of course - we would be stuck in legalities unless some one created something truly unique!

  7. Vicky B
    August 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Yes there always room for another. Just look at how many web browsers there are to choose from as an example. The only phone OSs I have used is Windows when I got a Samsung BlackJack II. Loved that phone except for screen size. Then I went to an LG Arena (which wasn't Windows or Android) love the screen, camera not so much rest of the phone. My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I considered Apple for a few minutes but I don't want to be boxed in. It irks me to no end though that some apps I would love to use are only available in iOS!! I think Blackberry +Windows combo would be interesting!

    Too bad I can't have a phone which has the best of Apple, Best of Android, B

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:42 am

      I think a lot of people like certain elements of both Android and iOS. The reasonable, non-biased people!

      It's interesting to compare it with the browser market, and there have certainly been regular changes in the runners and riders there.

  8. Bestgeek
    August 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I really like to see Firefox OS to grow. I know they've quite less chance to compete in actual OS war, but they're good in some areas, especially a phone totally served using HTML5. I know that PalmOS, but I'm a bit hopeful this time.

  9. B. Ross A
    August 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I wanted to stay with Symbian, but Nokia killed it. I
    would have liked to try Maemo, but they killed that too. I'll give any Linux-based FLOSS phone a chance.

  10. Robert B
    August 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    There is always room for competition, I just do not think that the alternatives that you mention will have a chance. As much as you may like Fire Fox, I wish them luck with developing a mobile OS. They cannot even make Fire Fox Web browser stable! Ever since they changed their release schedule a year or two ago where they issue a new release every few weeks or so has caused the end user to constantly be using software that if compared with other types of software is at best first release Beta, only good for beta testers but not yet ready for prime time. Ubuntu suffers from the same malady and I gave up on this Linux distro a few years ago after constantly battling with hardware that would not work from one update to the next. You mention openness, this is a great idea in theory however unfortunately in our corrupt corporate world this will never fly. A group like Fire Fox foundation or Ubuntu may develop an outstanding mobile OS but because their use would probably require openness by the companies using it will cause it to never be implemented. The Verizions and ATT's of this world will never allow the use of an open platform on their networks. Why do you think that Linux in general has not taken over in normal computing channels? it has everything to do with this OS's openness and this does not fit into the normal commercial mold.

    • dragonmouth
      August 20, 2013 at 12:33 am

      "They cannot even make Fire Fox Web browser stable!"
      Millions of users do not have any problems with FF stability. Did you ever think that it might be Ubuntu that was causing your FF instability? Fire Fox is very stable on other distros.

      " Why do you think that Linux in general has not taken over in normal computing channels?"
      What are those "normal computing channels" you are talking about?

      • Robert B
        August 20, 2013 at 5:46 am

        sorry that you got the impression that I run Ubuntu as it is obvious that you did not read what I had witten! it is the last distro I would run. I currently run Windows 7 64 Ultimate and Gentoo. My experience with FF on Windows is that I get either a crash or a UI lock up at least once per day, to me this is not stable. It ran much better before they went to their accelerated release schedule. As for normal computing channels Can you easily purchase a new laptop or desktop from the normal OEM's like Dell, HP, Levono, Asus etc with any linux pre installed? You can only find them at places like System 76 which is not a mainline OEM supplier. Also if Linux was in the normal computing channels you would be able to buy lots of games, and you could purchase Adobe CS6, or Corel Painter X3 and Blue ray players for this platform but you cannot. That is how I define normal computing channels, for the informed which is a small number percentage wise can easily obtain and use Linux. However the vast majority out there are only familiar with Windows and Mac.

  11. Tom S
    August 16, 2013 at 3:57 am

    For our benefit as consumers, competition IS the crucial necessity. In the cell phone market race, Android and IOS are the leaders and in marketing their own electronic bundle of wonderment and enjoyment, which I admire. Thus, these awesome giants will definitely trump any competition...but because something is less popular, doesn't mean it is a failure and not worth taking a gander...So the more in the "pot" of electronic goodness, the better the flavors or outcome for us! This article made me remember my my first cell phone...and never would I have imagined they were to do the all of the awesomeness they do today...My inner geek always looks forward to being amazed by technology and ingenuity...

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:22 am

      That is absolutely true, so I guess Android's market share has to be a little bit worrying for average consumers right now. Those rooting for the underdog should, I guess choose between iOS and Windows Phone.

  12. Rafael
    August 16, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I believe there's room for more OSs. There are billions of people out there to decide what platform they want, it isn't like market is heavily limited right now and people can even switch from one platform to another (see how Android conquered its position by ultimately swapping with iOS to become the #1 for example).

    There has to be differentiation though, so the OS is worth its existence.
    For example, while many contenders fall to the native app / APIs model, Firefox OS brings a new level of openness. If people care about it then we might see a successful platform right here...

    • Chinmay S
      August 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

      #1 position doesn't means that Android is better than iOS. Sometimes it happens. Android is as common as breathing. If someone asks somebody that which phone do you have, if he says iPhone the reply is "wow that's great" but if he says Android then the reply is "everyone has it so there is nothing new in that." Everyone sees iPhone from a professional point of view.

      • Dave Parrack
        August 20, 2013 at 12:08 am

        You keep making sweeping statements, Chinmay. There are a lot of people out there who would turn their nose up if someone said they had an iPhone, and conversely be excited that they had an Android.

  13. Slarty
    August 16, 2013 at 12:45 am

    I think I'm most excited for phones to finally to become like any other hardware. We can buy our own hardware and components, then install whatever damn OS we please.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Now, that would be good!

    • likefunbutnot
      August 20, 2013 at 3:12 am

      You can kind-of do that now. The underlying hardware hasn't changed all that much since widespread adoption of ARM CPUs (older mobile devices were frequently made with MIPS processors). It's entirely possible to take a phone that was sold with Windows Mobile 6.5 and install Jelly Bean in its place.

      The biggest stumbling blocks tend to be legal rather than technical, particularly since phone sold in the US are highly subsidized by carriers, calling in to obvious question the reality of who owns and particular handset and when.

  14. Slarty
    August 16, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Ubuntu Edge looks pretty nifty.

  15. Victor G
    August 16, 2013 at 12:42 am

    There is always room for new and improved operating systems. iOS and Android were once the newer kids on the block. Blackberry, unfortunately, is dying a slow death.

  16. Doc
    August 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Seeing as Samsung is readying Tizen, its own phone OS, we'll see. I predict, however, that iOS will take a downturn once people realize that iOS 7 is nothing more than a cosmetic overhaul to flatten the UI; iPhone sales are already slipping, as everybody who wants one is likely to have one already; Android phones and tablets are already outselling iOS devices, seeing as there are a great many devices, making it easier to get just the one you can afford/is powerful enough/has the right size screen, compared to iOS's "you get what we want to make" attitude. (Jobs didn't even want to make an iPad Mini!)

    • Chinmay S
      August 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

      "iOS will take a downturn once people realize that iOS 7 is nothing more than a cosmetic overhaul to flatten the UI"
      Which people are you talking about? Everyone likes iOS 7. Maybe you are talking about aliens.

      "Android phones and tablets are already outselling iOS devices, seeing as there are a great many devices"
      Tell me any one great device.

      • Dave Parrack
        August 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

        You cannot claim that everybody likes iOS 7. Apple fans seem to be liking it, but it's not going to appeal to most Android users.

      • likefunbutnot
        August 20, 2013 at 3:04 am

        I cannot tolerate iOS's lack of customization and god-awful security model. I find iOS unusable to the point that I've given away every iPad that's come into my possession.

        Speaking to the question of device greatness, I think one central point is recognition that Android devices come in a huge array of form factors, something at Apple has only recently come to recognize. My all-time favorite Android tablet is a Galaxy 8.9, primarily because its weight is approximately the same as a 7" tablet while sporting the screen resolution of a (three year old) 10" tablet. To me, that's been such a winning combination that I choose to carry that device from day to day over and above much newer and theoretically nicer devices including a current-generation iPad, Transformer Infinity and a Surface Pro.

        At the same time, yes I do think the Surface Pro is an amazing device. It's certainly a miracle of industrial design with a full HD screen and extremely fast mainstream x86 CPU.

        The 2013 Nexus 7 also deserves some props for the combination of size and full HD screen and I think a case should be made that the Kobo Aura - a 7" e-Reader with modern hardware specs and a high definition e-Ink screen - might be the best dedicated reading device on the market today.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Everybody who wants an iPhone may have one, but as another commenter mentioned Apple fans tend to be rabid in their desire to upgrade hardware at all opportunities. So Apple certainly doesn't have anything to worry about quite yet.

  17. likefunbutnot
    August 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Alternatives will and should exist. I personally can't stand iOS in any form and I can understand objecting to the level of personal disclosure to use Google services. I suspect that Android will ultimately fork off in a form that minimizes information sharing along with a more easily managed and tightly controlled Google-approved version.

    Mozilla and Ubuntu are both building on the ideas of openness and privacy as alternatives to current mobile ecosystems, and I think that's a good thing. Ubuntu has an additional goal of building a functional all-platforms user interface. I can only hope that some of the ideas it generates eventually make it to Android and iOS, because I suspect that it will be a largely stillborn project. The market for these products is basically going to be low end consumer devices and that's probably fine. It seems a little bit silly that there are two major open software-type initiatives, but at the same time, these are the platforms where major experiments with interfaces, management and security models are going to happen, so it's worth our time to keep up with them even if we're not using them ourselves.

    Blackberry is going to be sold to some investment group or other and its assets will be parceled out to other players. Maybe there will be a BBM Application Service Provider or its features will be rolled up in Windows Mobile and Exchange. Whatever.

    Windows Mobile/Windows RT needs to exist. Not just because Microsoft needs to work with mobile devices, but because ARM is becoming a mainstream computing platform. You can get an ARM-based server to use in a datacenter now, and ARM mini-boxes will eventually be an appealing alternative to desktops for some kinds of businesses. Microsoft presumably also wants to give a path for Windows developers to work in those ARM computing environments without giving up familiar development environments and systems; the less those guys need Microsoft, the more those guys will move on to work on other platforms. Windows Mobile isn't going anywhere.

  18. likefunbutnot
    August 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Alternatives will and should exist. I personally can't stand iOS in any form and I can understand objecting to the level of personal disclosure to use Google services. I suspect that Android will ultimately fork off in a form that minimizes information sharing along with a more easily managed and tightly controlled Google-approved version.

    Mozilla and Ubuntu are both building on the ideas of openness and privacy as alternatives to current mobile ecosystems, and I think that's a good thing. Ubuntu has an additional goal of building a functional all-platforms user interface. I can only hope that some of the ideas it generates eventually make it to Android and iOS, because I suspect that it will be a largely stillborn project. The market for these products is basically going to be low end consumer devices and that's probably fine. It seems a little bit silly that there are two major open software-type initiatives, but at the same time, these are the platforms where major experiments with interfaces, management and security models are going to happen, so it's worth our time to keep up with them even if we're not using them ourselves.

    Blackberry is going to be sold to some investment group or other and its assets will be parceled out to other players. Maybe there will be a BBM Application Service Provider or its features will be rolled up in Windows Mobile and Exchange. Whatever.

    Windows Mobile/Windows RT needs to exist. Not just because Microsoft needs to work with mobile devices, but because ARM is becoming a mainstream computing platform. You can get an ARM-based server to use in a datacenter now, and ARM mini-boxes will eventually be an appealing alternative to desktops for some kinds of businesses. Microsoft presumably also wants to give a path for Windows developers to work in those ARM computing environments without giving up familiar development environments and systems; the less those guys need Microsoft, the more those guys will move on to work on other platforms. Windows Mobile isn't going anywhere.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Which smartphone OS do you use at the moment? If you don't mind me asking.

      • likefunbutnot
        August 20, 2013 at 2:26 am

        I'm an Android person. I like the Galaxy S4 from hardware and form factor perspectives. I'm not entirely enthusiastic about disclosing my entire life to Google data mining, but I maintain separate e-mail accounts outside the Google application ecosystem and use encryption software for anything I really want to be both mobile and personal.

    • dragonmouth
      August 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

      "Windows Mobile/Windows RT needs to exist."
      On what stone tablets is that written? The market will determine who exists and who doesn't.

      "because ARM is becoming a mainstream computing platform. "
      ARM can run other O/Ss, there is no law that says it MUST run Windows or an MS product.

      "Microsoft presumably also wants "
      Microsoft wants a lot of things - control of the desktop, control of the mobile platform, control of the Internet. They just want total control. Unfortunately, MS is becoming more and more irrelevant by the day. Other, more nimble and innovative companies, are eating Microsoft's lunch AND dinner. Unless there are some fundamental changes at MS, they are going to become a third-rate company.

      "Windows Mobile isn’t going anywhere."
      On that we agree. Windows Mobile is dead-man walking.

      • likefunbutnot
        August 20, 2013 at 2:46 am

        The original comment contains the justification you were asking for. Windows on ARM needs to exist so that developers who are familiar with the Windows development model can extend their skills into mobile, set-top and low-power server platforms. Yes, you can use Visual Studio to build Android or iOS apps, but somebody who already speaks VB.NET is probably going to be more productive with that than with Objective C.

        Embedded editions of Windows have been reincarnated or re-branded over and over since the mid-90s; I was developing for Windows CE in 1997 and I suspect that the code I wrote back then is still being used. No, It's never been a huge success in the market, but it's well supported and it has always represented a good option for operations that already have Windows developers in-house. Part of the ongoing relationship between Microsoft and Windows application developers is that their ongoing investment in learning to work with Microsoft's tools is that there will be great documentation and support, and an ability to use those skills across as wide an array of platforms as possible. Embedded versions of Windows need to be part of that arrangement or Microsoft is going to lose one of the big drivers for purchases of Microsoft-centric platforms. That would be bad for business. For as little credit as you seem to be giving, the folks running the show are aware of the ramifications of giving up on it.

  19. Ed
    August 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I see room for 4-5 mobile OSs. This would involve three strategies within the low-end, traditional, and ultra-high end markets.

    We need something to capture the low end market for inexpensive smartphones. This is where Firefox OS may work as feature phones should disappear and make way towards low priced smart/feature phones (especially for no-contract phones). As long as Mozilla can provide the core apps (Browser, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Email, file viewers for docs-images-etc, music player and video player, and a few popular games initially), the rest should take care of itself over time. If they focus on countries and smaller developing markets not focused on by the big guys, they should do fine before coming to bigger markets.

    The "traditional OSs" like Android and iOS will dominate the regular and high-end markets, while Windows Phone will carry third place and continue to rise over the years. MS is in it for the long haul. Their primary revenue comes from business services now. They used to be in last place in gaming. They stuck it out over the long haul and are now first in gaming. They will never drop out of the mobile market and will rise little by little using a very long term strategy.

    Lastly, I see an "ultra-high end market", if you will. This market should focus on convergence and provide a strategy for converging mobile with desktop. A phone that presents a mobile OS even when paired with a wireless keyboard and pointing device, but no external monitor. It will mirror its mobile-view screen to an external monitor when no keyboard or pointing device is attached. Lastly, it will give the user the option of offering a desktop-like interface when keyboard/mouse/external monitor are connected to the phone. A tablet would give the option of a desktop-like interface as soon as an external keyboard/mouse is detected, the same when keyboard/mouse/ external monitor is detected. The "mobile" apps could be used windowed or full-screen while in desktop-mode. This convergence using Android could have an Ubuntu-for-Android type approach or could be a Chrome OS approach where Chrome OS would be the desktop environment, the Android widgets would display on the Chrome desktop, and Android apps would open as the Chrome OS stand-alone apps do or within tabs under the Chrome browser. The convergence on iOS should consider providing some sort of emulation for some key Mac-OS apps of Apple's choosing when in desktop mode. MS should do the same for its phone strategy. MS should also consider making Windows RT a large-screen version of Windows Phone just as iOS is on the iPad and ONLY enable an optional desktop interface when external hardware is detected on the tablet(but provide this desktop interface with x86 emulation). The design of the MS desktop interface in this convergence strategy should be more integrated with the Modern (Metro) design, but allow windowing.

    Wow, that was a mouthful!

    • Dave Parrack
      August 20, 2013 at 12:01 am

      A mouthful perhaps, but your effort wasn't wasted. You make some really great points, especially in regards to how there will be different tiers of OSes. What do you think will happen with Apple's attempt at entering the budget market with the next iPhone?

      • Ed
        August 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        Hard to say. I always considered the previous model to their current generation to be their "budget" model, as at least the previous generation remains available at a reduced price.

        If priced right, their budget, color models may become a hit in the no-contract sector and may help t-mobile gain more momentum with their "uncarrier" campaign. I also see the colored iPhones becoming quite popular with teens.

        I'm certainly no market analyst; just my 2 cents.

  20. RehabEng
    August 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    If you are old enough to recall back about 10 years you might remember WinCe and Palm, QNX, Symbian, and some other phone OS's? Technology is constantly changing. Despite the RDF effects, Apple did not invent the smartphone - it just replaced a few less capable predecessor. And that will happen again. If they are smart (Google, Apple, MS, etc) they will try to keep adding features and innovations or guaranteed their market share will fade and they might disappear. (Blackberry anyone?)

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      I personally think that's why Android has made gains while Apple has faltered. iOS seems to have stalled in terms of innovation, while Android continues to improve version after version.

  21. Tinkicker
    August 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I believe that people who treasure the experience of using and adapting and enjoying the many details of a given system will always welcome new OS's. The challenge of learning something new is where it's at for me...I'd try any of them. I'm always in favor of something I perceive to be better.
    Definitely NOT a fanboy of any architecture, though I'm an Android guy right now.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      That's an interesting way of looking at it. One which explains why you're with Android at the moment!

  22. Vishal S
    August 15, 2013 at 8:29 am

    For me, I'd definitely like to give Ubuntu Phone OS a try. However, buying a Google Nexus phone or the Ubuntu Edge to do so is impossible for me as a student. I believe Android is awesome, whereas iOS needs some good hardware to run on. Other than that, Windows Phone sucks, and I've never given Chrome OS or Firefox OS a try.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      What don't you like about Windows Phone?

  23. Nafizal N
    August 15, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I'm waiting for Jolla

  24. Phantom P
    August 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

    there is always room. whatever good now does not means it will last forever. something better will come eventually.

  25. Migi Domingo
    August 15, 2013 at 3:52 am

    I believe there's room for another OS. There's no telling which OS will gain major marketshare but Microsoft does have the upperhand out of all the existing ones to gain the most. They will need to rethink the way they package their OS and the possible acquisition of Blackberry could go well for them if they play their cards right.

    In terms of market share, Apple's not likely to lose much market share considering their user base is arguably the most emotionally attached to their devices (and they wouldn't have it any other way). Android has the dominant market share but they stand to lose the most should a smaller player (in the mobile OS game) like Microsoft make a strong and united push for more users. Considering that the Android front is not close to as united as that of Apple's, they stand at the risk of losing the most marketshare also because of all the many manufacturers involved and each manufacturer's respective agenda.

    Android will remain the market leader but there is space for an OS to steal 10% (or even more) of the Android marketshare. Only time will tell which OS that will be.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Microsoft certainly has both the will and the financial muscle to gain a healthier dose of the market share. I guess it is easier to see it being eaten from Android rather than iOS.

      • dragonmouth
        August 20, 2013 at 12:05 am

        "Microsoft certainly has both the will and the financial muscle to gain a healthier dose of the market share"

        MS is more than a day and a dollar short with their Windows Phone. The market has passed them by. Too bad MS can't contractually force all the phone manufacturers to install only Windows O/S like it forced the PC manufacturers.

  26. leemeade77
    August 15, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Hard to see another OS coming along that offers something not already covered by iOS and Android. Microsoft could do it with Windows Mobile. But it will take biting the bullet on short term profits, and Ballmer not about to go down that road.
    Had hopes for something coming out of China, but there are large trust issues right now, and they seem to be happy rolling their own versions of Android anyway.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      It would need someone to gamble that people aren't actually happy with the choices they have open to them right now, and are instead just making do. That would take some vision, and I'm not sure there's a company CEO out there with such vision right now.

  27. Abraham Navarro
    August 15, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I do believe there is room for another OS, just that it has to be someone who is new to the game of mobile devices but built confidence to the world also. I'm suggesting Mozilla Firefox OS which is out now globally. We need more options in our mobile systems

  28. Scott B
    August 15, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Ubuntu edge has a chance

  29. dragonmouth
    August 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    There is always room for more mobile O/Ss just as there always is room for more desktop O/Ss. HOWEVER, any new O/S needs to bring something unique to the table and not just be a knock-off or a wannabe. The other thing that needs to happen for a new O/S to succeed is for the tech press and pundits to approach it with an open mind and give it a chance.

    Already some pundits, speaking about Ubuntu Edge, have stated categorically that there is no need for any more mobile phones and mobile O/Ss. In fact, according to the same pundits, if Microsoft and Blackberry had any decency they would cease making their phones and leave the field to Android and iOS.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Unfortunately most tech journos and bloggers have chosen sides and are sticking to it. Part of that is being able to learn an OS inside and out and gaining a reputation for doing so (MG Siegler and Jon Gruber being two examples).

      Microsoft tried to bring something a little different to the table and saw Windows Phone ridiculed by a section of the press, so I'm not sure what avenue a company has left open to them.

      • dragonmouth
        August 19, 2013 at 11:58 pm

        "Microsoft tried to bring something a little different to the table and saw Windows Phone ridiculed by a section of the press"

        Maybe what MS tried to bring to the table, the consumers did not want to eat? Just because it comes from MS does not mean it is great, viz. BOB

        • likefunbutnot
          August 20, 2013 at 4:38 am

          Microsoft shot itself in the foot. Its market wasn't and hasn't been "consumers" but business customers. Microsoft fails at consumer products with astonishing regularity.

          What embedded Windows brings to the table is ease of integration with other parts of the Microsoft software ecosystem, which means being able to deliver data straight from devices in to manager-friendly Excel spreadsheets or pumping everything directly in to a Dynamics line-of-business implementation. Or vice versa.

          I suspect that Microsoft is going to wind up owning a lot of what is presently Blackberry technology, if only to prevent that tech from showing up on Androids and iThings. That tech, from a consumer standpoint, is pretty boring and definitely not enough of a selling point. But it's a pretty easy sell in the business world and hopefully will lead to a product re-alignment that badly needs to happen.

  30. jamie
    August 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Only two will ever be relevant. People dont like more than two choices. Coke / pepsi. Ford / chevy. Honda / Toyota. Mercrdes / bmw.

    • dragonmouth
      August 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Maybe in your mind there are only two choices but other people like RC Cola, Dr. Pepper, Chrysler, Nissan, Subaru, Kia, Audi, even Tesla.

      • Jimmy
        August 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        Irn Bru will never die!
        I certainly hope that there can be a third phone; I don't think anyone is really happy with those we have now.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      There is some truth in this. There usually is just one or two market leaders, with everyone else playing catch-up. However, the pecking order can change, and very quickly.

  31. Jason
    August 14, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Windows phone is here to stay, only time will tell if it will go up to 2nd place over iOS as analyst had predicted in the past but Microsoft will find a way to stay on the podium. They (MSFT) might be a slow company but in the long run they will at least catch up as they did with Windows over any other computer OS. The fact that there are tons of money (MSFT) and one of the best phone manufacturers (if not the best - NOKIA) is enough for Windows Phone to be a safe bet. But it will take some time...

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      I like Windows Phone a lot, but the lack of apps is killing Microsoft's ability to grab market share. It doesn't help when developers virtually have to be begged to create a Windows Phone version of their apps.

  32. rek
    August 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Windows Phone is climbing. iOS is dying.

    • Chinmay S
      August 15, 2013 at 4:51 am

      iOS is the best OS ever and will remain forever.

      • Jason
        August 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm

        what a fanboy response...

      • Doc
        August 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Oh, so that's why Android phones are outselling iPhones...iOS is too good for people.

        • Chinmay S
          August 16, 2013 at 8:42 am

          You just tell me any Android phone which is better than iPhone.

        • Robert B
          August 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

          How about the Samsung Galaxy S3 and now the S4? Why you may ask did Apple sue Samsung over the S3? it is because they knew that they can not out compete with this handset in the market place. The S3 by itself is out selling the iPhone 5 world wide by a substantial margin and if you add all the android sales to this the iOS is getting trounced with respect to market share. It also is not all about what we as consumers see either. Apple has done some real bone headed things that caused a lot of developers to jump ship that now develop for other things by demanding that to make apps for their app store they have to develop using all Apple development tools and the use of translation layers would no longer be accepted. Well developers like developing in the language that they are comfortable with and not be forced by some idiot company that says you can only use our tools. Well a lot of the developers showed Apple their middle finger and now probably develop for Android. People fail to realize that Apple is not really a tech company they are a marketing company.

        • Bestgeek
          August 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

          Almost every current gen Android is better than iPhone, not because of that customization and all those stupid things but because of sheer powerful hardware they have.
          Even last gen Nexus 4 is way too powerful and smooth to use than iPhone 5.

        • Chinmay S
          August 17, 2013 at 6:48 am

          @Robert B
          I already own a Galaxy S4 so you needn't tell me anything about it. I also have an iPhone 5 so i am in a better position to judge the two. What about the overheating issue on S4?
          Who said you that developers are turning around Android? Every top developer first develops for iOS and then they move on to Android.
          And what about the simplicity of iOS?
          iPhone can be used by any age group. Even a person living in a remote area who has never seen a phone in his life and if he is given an iPhone, he would become familiar with it within few days.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Perhaps so, but Windows Phone is still a long way behind iOS for the moment.

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