Mobile operating system

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A mobile operating system, also referred to as mobile OS, is an operating system that operates a smartphone, tablet, PDA, or other mobile device. Modern mobile operating systems combine the features of a personal computer operating system with other features, including a touchscreen, cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS mobile navigation, camera, video camera, speech recognition, voice recorder, music player, near field communication and infrared blaster.

Mobile devices with mobile communications capabilities (e.g. smartphones) contain two mobile operating systems - the main user-facing software platform is supplemented by a second low-level proprietary real-time operating system which operates the radio and other hardware. Research has shown that these low-level systems may contain a range of security vulnerabilities permitting malicious base stations to gain high levels of control over the mobile device.[1]

History[edit]

Mobile operating system milestones mirror the development of mobile phones and smartphones:

Current software platforms[edit]

Android[edit]

(See for this: Android (operating system)

Android (based on the Linux Kernel) is from Google Inc..[5] It has the largest installed base worldwide on smartphones. Most of Android is free and open source,[6] but a large amount of software on Android devices (such as Play Store, Google Search, Google Play Services, Google Music, and so on) are proprietary and licensed.[7] Android's releases prior to 2.0 (1.0, 1.5, 1.6) were used exclusively on mobile phones. Android 2.x releases were mostly used for mobile phones but also some tablets. Android 3.0 was a tablet-oriented release and does not officially run on mobile phones. The current Android version is 4.4 Android's releases are nicknamed after sweets or dessert items like Cupcake (1.5), Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0), Frozen Yogurt ("Froyo") (2.2), Ginger Bread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), Jelly Bean (4.1), (4.2), (4.3) Kit Kat (4.4), and Lollipop (5.0). Most major mobile service providers carry an Android device. Since HTC Dream was introduced, there has been an explosion in the number of devices that carry Android OS. From second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010, Android's worldwide market share rose 850% from 1.8% to 17.2%. On November 15, 2011, Android reached 52.5% of the global smartphone market share.[8] On September 2014 Android's global market share rose to 85%.[9]

iOS[edit]

iOS is from Apple Inc..[5] It has second largest installed base worldwide on smartphones behind Android. It is closed source and proprietary and built on open source Darwin core OS. The Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and second-generation Apple TV all use an operating system called iOS, which is derived from Mac OS X. Native third party applications were not officially supported until the release of iOS 2.0 on July 11, 2008. Before this, "jailbreaking" allowed third party applications to be installed, and this method is still available. Currently all iOS devices are developed by Apple and manufactured by Foxconn or another of Apple's partners. As of September 2014, iOS global market share was 11%.[9]

Windows Phone[edit]

Windows Phone is from Microsoft. It is closed source and proprietary. It has third largest installed base on smartphones behind Android and iOS. On February 15, 2010, Microsoft unveiled its next-generation mobile OS, Windows Phone. The new mobile OS includes a completely new over-hauled UI inspired by Microsoft's "Metro Design Language". It includes full integration of Microsoft services such as OneDrive and Office, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Xbox Live games and Bing, but also integrates with many other non-Microsoft services such as Facebook and Google accounts. Windows Phone devices are made primarily by Nokia, along with HTC, Samsung. As of September 2014, Windows Phone market share was 3%.[9]

Firefox OS[edit]

Firefox OS[10] is from Mozilla. It is open source and uses Mozilla Public License. According to Ars Technica, "Mozilla says that B2G is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that the standards-based open Web has the potential to be a competitive alternative to the existing single-vendor application development stacks offered by the dominant mobile operating systems."[11]

Sailfish OS[edit]

Sailfish OS is from Jolla. It is partly open source and adopts GPL (core and middleware), however the user interface is closed source. After Nokia failed in 2011 with the MeeGo project most of the MeeGo team have left Nokia, and established Jolla as a company to use MeeGo and MER business opportunities. In 2012 Linux Sailfish OS based on MeeGo and using MER core distribution has been launched for public use. The first device, Jolla (mobile phone) was unveiled on 20 May 2013.

Tizen[edit]

Tizen is hosted by the Linux Foundation and support from the Tizen Association, guided by a Technical Steering Group composed of Intel and Samsung. Tizen is an operating system for devices including smartphones, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) devices, and smart TVs. It is an open source system that aims to offer a consistent user experience across devices. Tizen's main components are the Linux kernel and the WebKit runtime. According to Intel, Tizen “combines the best of LiMo and MeeGo." HTML5apps are emphasized, with MeeGo encouraging its members to transition to Tizen, stating that the "future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5." Tizen will be targeted at a variety of platforms such as handsets, tablets, smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment.[12][13] On May 17, 2013, Tizen released version 2.1, code-named Nectarine.[14]

Ubuntu Touch OS[edit]

Ubuntu Touch OS is from Canonical Ltd.. It is open source and uses GPL.

Blackberry[edit]

BlackBerry 10 (based on the QNX OS) is from BlackBerry. As a smart phone OS, it is closed source and proprietary. It is used mostly by Government employees. BlackBerry 10 is the next generation platform for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. All phones and tablets are manufactured by Blackberry itself. One of the dominant platforms in the world, it's global market share has been reduced to less than 1% in late 2014.[9]

Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit[edit]

Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit (based on Windows 8.1) is from Microsoft. As a laplet OS, it is open source and proprietary.

Google Android[edit]

Google Android is a combination of Android OS and Google.

Discontinued software platforms[edit]

Symbian[edit]

the Symbian platform was developed by Nokia for certain models of smartphones. It is proprietary software. The operating system was discontinued in 2012, although a slimmed down version for basic phones was still developed until July 2014. Microsoft officially shelved the platform in favor of Windows Phone after the acquisition of Nokia.[15]

Windows Mobile[edit]

Windows Mobile was from Microsoft.[5][16] It was closed source and proprietary. The Windows CE operating system and 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. It was criticized for having a user interface which is not optimized for touch input by fingers; instead, it is more usable with a stylus. However, unlike iOS, it supports both touch screen and physical keyboard configurations. Windows Mobile's market share sharply declined to just 5% in Q2 of 2010.[17] Microsoft phased out the Windows Mobile OS to focus on Windows Phone.

Palm OS[edit]

Palm OS/Garnet OS was from Access Co. It is closed source and proprietary. webOS was introduced by Palm in January 2009 as the successor to Palm OS with Web 2.0 technologies, open architecture and multitasking capabilities.

webOS[edit]

webOS was from LG, although some parts are open source. webOS is a proprietary mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel, initially developed by Palm, which launched with the Palm Pre. After being acquired by HP, two phones (the Veer and the Pre 3) and a tablet (the TouchPad) running webOS were introduced in 2011. On August 18, 2011, HP announced that webOS hardware was to be discontinued[18] but would continue to support and update webOS software and develop the webOS ecosystem.[19] HP released webOS as open source under the name Open webOS, and plans to update it with additional features.[20] On February 25, 2013 HP announced the sale of WebOS to LG Electronics, who planned to use the operating system for its "smart" or Internet-connected TVs. However HP retained patents underlying WebOS as well as cloud-based services such as the App Catalog.

Maemo[edit]

Maemo was a platform developed by Nokia for smartphones and Internet tablets. It is open source and GPL, based on Debian GNU/Linux and draws much of its GUI, frameworks and libraries from the GNOME project. It uses the Matchbox window manager and the GTK-based Hildon as its GUI and application framework.

MeeGo[edit]

MeeGo was from non-profit organization The Linux Foundation. It is open source and GPL. At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia and Intel both unveiled 'MeeGo', a mobile operating system that combined Moblin and Maemo to create an open-sourced experience for users across all devices. In 2011 Nokia announced that it would no longer pursue MeeGo in favor of Windows Phone. Nokia announced the Nokia N9 on June 21, 2011 at the Nokia Connection event[21] in Singapore. LG announced its support for the platform.[22]

LiMo[edit]

LiMo was from the LiMo Foundation. LiMo Foundation launched LiMo 4 on February 14, 2011. LiMo 4 delivers middleware and application functionality, including a flexible user interface, extended widget libraries, 3D window effects, advanced multimedia, social networking and location-based service frameworks, sensor frameworks, multi-tasking and multi-touch capabilities. In addition, support for scalable screen resolution and consistent APIs means that the platform can deliver a consistent user experience across multiple device types and form factors.[23]

Customer satisfaction[edit]

According to a Readers' Choice Awards survey conducted by PC Magazine in 2013, Android and Windows Phone customers gave their phones a rating of 8.9 on a 0 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied) scale, an improvement of 0.3 and 0.6 points respectively. Android received an 8.9 (one of the highest ratings to date for an operating system) followed by iOS (7.3)

The biggest reasons given by readers when asked why they chose their mobile phones are as follow: operating system (72%) and 4G capability (51%) for Android, quality of email experience (83%) for Blackberry, availability of apps (63%) for iOS and operating system (48%) for Windows Phone (81%)

Market share[edit]

In 2006, Android, iOS and Windows Phone did not exist and just 64 million smartphones were sold.[24] In 2014, more than a billion smartphones were sold and global market share was 85% for Android, 11% for iOS, 3% for Windows Phone and remaining 1% for all other platforms. [25]

See table below for source data
See table below for source data
Gartner: World-Wide Smartphone Sales (Thousands of Units)
Quarter Windows Mobile[26] RIM Symbian[27] iOS Android[28] Bada Windows Phone[29] Other Total Smartphones Total Phones
2013 Q4[30] 1,807 50,224 219,613 8,534 1,994 282,171 490,342
2013 Q3[31] 4,401 458 30,330 205,023 633 8,912 475 250,232 455,642
2013 Q2[32] 6,180 631 31,900 177,898 838 7,408 472 225,326 435,158
2013 Q1[33] 6,219 1,349 38,332 156,186 1,371 5,989 600 210,046 425,822
2012 Q4[34] 7,333 2,569 43,457 144,720 2,684 6,186 713 207,662 472,076
2012 Q3[35] 8,947 4,405 23,550 122,480 5,055 4,058 684 169,179 427,730
2012 Q2[36] 7,991 9,072 28,935 98,529 4,209 4,087 863 153,686 419,008
2012 Q1[37] 9,939 12,467 33,121 81,067 3,842 2,713 1,243 144,392 419,108
2011 Q4[38] 13,185 17,458 35,456 75,906 3,111 2,759 1,167 149,042 476,555
2011 Q3[39] 12,701 19,500 17,295 60,490 2,479 1,702 1,018 115,185 440,502
2011 Q2[40] 12,652 23,853 19,629 46,776 2,056 1,724 1,051 107,740 428,661
2011 Q1[37][41] 982 13,004 27,599 16,883 36,350 1,862 1,600 1,495 99,775 427,846
2010 Q4[38] 3,419 14,762 32,642 16,011 30,801 2,027 0 1,488 101,150 452,037
2010 Q3[39] 2,204 12,508 29,480 13,484 20,544 921 1,991 81,133 417,086
2010 Q2[40] 3,059 11,629 25,387 8,743 10,653 577 2,011 62,058 367,987
2010 Q1[41] 3,696 10,753 24,068 8,360 5,227 2,403 54,506 359,605
2009 Q4[42] 4,203 10,508 23,857 8,676 4,043 2,517 53,804 347,103
2009 Q3[43] 3,260 8,523 18,315 7,040 1,425 2,531 41,093 308,895
2009 Q2[44] 3,830 7,782 20,881 5,325 756 2,398 40,972 286,122
2009 Q1[45] 3,739 7,534 17,825 3,848 575 2,986 36,507 269,120
2008 Q4[46] 4,714 7,443 17,949 4,079 639 3,319 38,143 314,708
2008 Q3[47] 4,053 5,800 18,179 4,720 0 3,763 36,515 308,532
2008 Q2[48] 3,874 5,594 18,405 893 3,456 32,221 304,722
2008 Q1[46] 3,858 4,312 18,400 1,726 4,113 32,408 294,283
2007 Q4[46] 4,374 4,025 22,903 1,928 3,536 36,766 330,055
2007 Q3[47] 4,180 3,192 20,664 1,104 3,612 32,752 291,142
2007 Q2[48] 3,212 2,471 18,273 270 3,628 27,855 272,604
2007 Q1[46] 2,931 2,080 15,844 4,087 24,943 259,039
Gartner: World-Wide Smartphone Sales (% of Smartphones / % of All phones)
Year Windows Mobile RIM Symbian iOS Android Bada Windows Phone Other Smartphones Total Smartphones
2013 1.9% / 1.0% 15.6% / 8.3% 78.4% / 42.0% 3.2% / 1.7% 0.9% / 0.5% 100.0% / 57.6%
2012 5.1% / 2.0% 4.2% / 1.6% 19.1% / 7.4% 66.2% / 25.7% 2.3% / 0.9% 2.5% / 1.0% 0.5% / 0.2% 100.0% / 38.8%
2011 0.2% / 0.1% 10.9% / 2.9% 18.7% / 5.0% 18.9% / 5.0% 46.5% / 12.4% 2.0% / 0.5% 1.7% / 0.4% 1.0% / 0.3% 100.0% / 26.6%
2010 4.1% / 0.8% 16.6% / 3.1% 37.3% / 7.0% 15.6% / 2.9% 22.5% / 4.2% 1.2% / 0.2% 0.0% / 0.0% 2.6% / 0.5% 100.0% / 18.7%
2009 8.7% / 1.2% 19.9% / 2.8% 46.9% / 6.7% 14.4% / 2.1% 3.9% / 0.6% 6.1% / 0.9% 100.0% / 14.2%
2008 11.8% / 1.3% 16.6% / 1.9% 52.4% / 6.0% 8.2% / 0.9% 0.0% / 0.0% 11.0% / 1.3% 100.0% / 11.4%
2007 12.0% / 1.3% 9.6% / 1.0% 63.5% / 6.7% 2.7% / 0.3% 12.2% / 1.3% 100.0% / 10.6%


See table below for source data
IDC: World-Wide Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units ‖ % of Smartphones)
Quarter Android[28] Android iOS iOS Symbian[27] Symbian BlackBerry OS BlackBerry Linux[49] Linux Windows Phone Windows Phone Other Other Total
2014 Q2[50] 255.3 84.73% 35.2 11.68% - 0.00% 1.5 0.50% - 0.00% 7.4 2.46% 1.9 0.63% 301.3
2014 Q1[51] 233.4 83.06% 43.7 15.55% - 0.00% 1.4 0.50% - 0.00% 7.6 2.70% 1.7 0.60% 281.0
2013 Q4[52] 226.1 78.07% 51.0 17.61% - 0.00% 1.7 0.59% - 0.00% 8.8 3.04% 2.0 0.69% 289.6
2013 Q3[53] 211.6 81.04% 33.8 12.95% - 0.00% 4.5 1.72% - 0.00% 9.5 3.64% 1.7 0.65% 261.1
2013 Q2[54] 187.4 79.27% 31.2 13.20% 0.5 0.21% 6.8 2.88% 1.8 0.76% 8.7 3.68% 0.0 0.00% 236.4
2013 Q1[55] 162.1 74.98% 37.4 17.30% 1.2 0.56% 6.3 2.91% 2.1 0.97% 7.0 3.24% 0.1 0.05% 216.2
2012 Q4[56] 159.8 70.15% 47.8 20.98% 2.7 1.19% 7.4 3.25% 3.8 1.67% 6.0 2.63% 0.3 0.13% 227.8
2012 Q3[57] 136.0 75.10% 26.9 14.85% 4.1 2.26% 7.7 4.25% 2.8 1.55% 3.6 1.99% 0.0 0.00% 181.1
2012 Q2[58] 104.8 68.05% 26.0 16.88% 6.8 4.42% 7.4 4.81% 3.5 2.27% 5.4 3.51% 0.1 0.06% 154.0
2012 Q1[59] 89.9 59.03% 35.1 23.05% 10.4 6.83% 9.7 6.37% 3.5 2.30% 3.3 2.17% 0.4 0.26% 152.3
2011 Q4[56] 83.4 52.85% 36.3 23.00% 18.3 11.60% 12.8 8.11% 3.8 2.41% 2.4 1.52% 0.8 0.51% 157.8
2011 Q3[57] 67.7 57.32% 16.3 13.80% 17.3 14.65% 11.3 9.57% 3.9 3.30% 1.4 1.19% 0.1 0.08% 118.1
2011 Q2[58] 50.8 46.86% 20.4 18.82% 18.3 16.88% 12.5 11.53% 3.3 3.04% 2.5 2.31% 0.6 0.55% 108.4
2011 Q1[59] 36.7 36.12% 18.6 18.31% 26.4 25.98% 13.8 13.58% 3.2 3.15% 2.6 2.56% 0.3 0.30% 101.6
Kantar Worldpanel: ComTech Smartphone OS market share (% of smartphones)
Region USA EU5[60] China Australia
Quarter iOS Android RIM WP iOS Android RIM WP iOS Android RIM WP iOS Android RIM WP
2014 Q2[61] 31.5% 62.0% - 3.8% 15.3% 74.0% - 8.8% 12.8% 84.3% - 0.9% 25.5% 68.0% - 5.3%
2014 Q1[62] 35.9% 57.6% 0.7% 5.3% 19.2% 70.7% 1.1% 8.1% 17.9% 80.0% 0.1% 1.0% 33.1% 57.3% 1.0% 6.9%
2013 Q4[63] 43.9% 50.6% 0.4% 4.3% 18.5% 68.6% 1.5% 10.3% 19.0% 78.6% 0.1% 1.1% 35.2% 57.2% 0.8% 5.2%
2013 Q3[64] 35.9% 57.3% 1% 4.6% 14.6% 71.9% 2.3% 9.8% 13.8% 81.1% 0.1% 2.5% 32.9% 55.3% 1.3% 9.3%
2013 Q2[65] 42.5% 51.5% 1.1% 4% 18.5% 69.8% 2.2% 6.9% 24.7% 67.8% 0.1% 4.9% 27.6% 64.6% 0.3% 5.3%
2013 Q1[66] 43.7% 49.3% 0.9% 5.6% 19.4% 68.8% 2.7% 6.5% 24.6% 69.4% 0.3% 2% 31% 61.7% 0.5% 4.1%
2012 Q4[67] 51.2% 44.2% 1.1% 2.6% 25.6% 61.1% 4% 5.4% 21.9% 72.5% 0% 0.9% 38.4% 55.8% 0.5% 2.8%
2012 Q4[68] 35.7% 57.5% 2.1% 2.9% 16.5% 67.1% 5.9% 4.9% 18.6% 65.2% 0.1% 5.7% 23.2% 67.1% 0.6% 4.9%
2012 Q2[65] 39.2% 52.6% 4% 2.9% 16.2% 64.5% 7% 4.7% 26.7% 60.7% 0% 6.2% 27.5% 60.8% 1.3% 5.2%
2012 Q1[66] 44.6% 47.9% 2.6% 3.7% 20.4% 58.1% 8.1% 4.1% 33.8% 52.9% 0.8% 3.3%

Mobile internet traffic share[edit]

As of November 2013, mobile data usage showed 55.17% of mobile data traffic to be from iOS, 33.89% from Android, 4.49% from Java ME (Nokia S40), 4.12% from Symbian, 1.65% from Windows Phone and 1% from BlackBerry.[69] Internet Explorer Mobile can be switched to “Desktop view” by users, which identifies devices as Internet Explorer 9.0 on Windows 7, causing case mobile usage to be excluded in these statistics.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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