Android is currently the mobile operating system with the largest market share. Previously, many manufacturers had tried to replace this platform but failed.
2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, and the end of the previous decade. One of the most interesting ways to expect the future, first is to look back on the past.
And today, we’ll take a look at some of the mobile operating systems that tried to usurp but eventually lost to Android (and iOS) in the past 10 years.
Some of these operating systems have cleared the Android we know today, inspiring some of the features and design languages that will later appear on Google’s platform. Others appear a little too late.
Blackberry 10 (BB10) launched in 2012 as a successor to the outdated Blackberry OS (BBOS). This operating system officially appears on the market on two devices Blackberry Z10 and Q10. BB10 has a few nice features, such as an intuitive gesture navigation system, and the extremely useful Blackberry Hub, which allows you to display all your notifications, calls, and messages into a single application.
Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion) continued to release a few more BB10 devices over the next few years, until it decided to change its direction. This new operating system has not been able to gain market share from Android and iOS. The last BB10 device – Blackberry Leap – was launched by Blackberry in 2015. In 2017, Blackberry announced BB10 officially went into “maintenance” mode until the end of 2019 and transferred the Blackberry brand to TCL Communication.
Over the next two years, many services, such as the Blackberry World app store, the Blackberry Travel website, and the Playbook video calling service were gradually discontinued, but Blackberry users were still guaranteed to use the services. and critical infrastructure until the end of 2019.
TCL’s first Blackberry-branded phone series opened with a Blackberry KeyOne running Android instead of BB10. Of course, this is not the first Blackberry to run Android – that “honor” belongs to the Blackberry Priv in 2015.
Although BB10 and BBOS are no longer supported, Blackberry’s features are maintained thanks to TCL’s Android phones with built-in Blackberry software, including the Blackberry Hub. After all, BB10 is a mobile operating system rated “okay”, but still inferior to Android and iOS. Despite its relatively short life span, many mobile computing fans around the world still retain beautiful memories of the old BB10 and Blackberry.
Firefox OS is probably the most disappointing alternative Android operating system on the list, launched in 2013 and only exists on commercial devices for about 2 to 3 years. Mozilla first launched Firefox OS as “Boot to Gecko”. Because the operating system focused on web applications, the company found it appropriate to name it after the Firefox browser engine – Gecko. Later, Mozilla renamed the operating system to Firefox OS, and the first devices were launched in Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Venezuela.
It was not until 2014 that Firefox OS devices appeared in the US, and by the end of the year, Mozilla said there were 14 Firefox OS smartphones sold by 14 carriers in nearly 30 countries. Just one year later, Mozilla announced it would no longer develop or sell Firefox OS devices. A few months later, Mozilla officially announced it would be terminating its project to focus on IoT – of course the new project won’t last long.
Unfortunately, Mozilla’s operating system is so simple, unstable, and the devices that use it are too weak. And because Mozilla is targeting developing markets, it doesn’t make much profit. The more bitter is that even in those areas, people still prefer Android. So, while Mozilla has done everything possible for Firefox OS, what can we expect from a nonprofit company that has never had experience developing mobile operating systems before?
One final consolation: because Firefox OS was developed as an open source project, it was later forked to create what we now know as KaiOS – a portable operating system. Dynamic for feature phones is quite successful.
The Linux Foundation first developed Tizen in 2011 as a replacement for MeeGo – at the time, a project jointly implemented by Intel and Nokia for a year. Samsung and Intel were initially the drivers of the Tizen development process. They not only want to target smartphones, but also other embedded platforms such as netbooks, tablets, smart TVs, and car entertainment systems.
After two years of development, Samsung announced that it will launch more Tizen phones in 2013, and that it will merge its Bada OS into Tizen. Since then, Samsung has put Tizen on virtually every smartwatch, a few smartphones, and other IoT devices.
While Samsung has had great success with Tizen on smartwatches and smart TVs, it’s the exact opposite of smartphones – at least not yet. In fact, Tizen was not supposed to appear on this list because it is still in the development stage for smartphones.
Samsung’s most recent Tizen-powered phone – the Samsung Z4 – came out in mid-2017, and it is likely that Samsung will continue to grow further, especially in the context that Huawei has been banned from using the Android by the United States. If Samsung were in a similar position, it would have a backup plan instead of tumbling “water to the ground.”
However, Tizen is still on the list, because whether it’s being developed or not, Samsung has seen it as an Android replacement over the past decade and hasn’t done it. But who knows, maybe by 2030, we’ll see Tizen’s name appear in an article about the leading mobile operating systems that have beaten Android and iOS over the past decade? Anything can happen!
Palm’s attempt to enter the mobile market began in 2007 with the launch of Palm OS. Two years later, Palm announced webOS – the company’s new mobile operating system – and the first device to use it was the Palm Pre.
Palm then went on to release a few more phones before it was acquired by HP in 2010, and everything has been stuck there ever since. HP wants to develop webOS for many devices, not every mobile device, because it believes the operating system can be successful on tablets and other IoT devices, but HP does not do much.
Finally, HP abandoned the Palm brand for smartphones before launching HP Veer and HP Pre 3. The company also launched a tablet called HP TouchPad in 2011, and launched a final update for devices. This is January 20, 2012.
Before HP released the final update, it released the webOS source code under an open source license. Thanks to this, the community can develop this operating system further. In 2013, LG acquired webOS from HP for use on smart TVs, and expanded webOS to other IoT devices. Although TCL later launched another Palm-branded smartphone, today there are no more mobile devices officially supported by webOS.
If you’ve never tried webOS before, you still have a little chance. A few years ago, this project was forked, and it still exists today as LuneOS. But LuneOS only supports a few devices, and installing it on your phone is not easy either.
Windows 10 Mobile
List of operating systems that replace iOS and Android are indispensable for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. The first version of Windows Phone was released in 2010; and then half a decade later, Windows 10 Mobile appeared, replacing Windows Phone.
Windows 10 Mobile has the same design and functionality as Windows Phone, but offers more in-depth integration with the desktop, and is more elaborate. Microsoft’s highlight for its mobile operating system is integration. The company believes that a smartphone can turn into a desktop PC is the future of mobile computing.
Unfortunately, the whole world doesn’t see the future as Microsoft sees it, and Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile never become popular. Just two years after birth, Microsoft was about to stop developing Windows 10 Mobile. The platform was officially gone in the last month of the previous decade.
However, Microsoft did not completely give up the mobile game. Recently, the company introduced the Surface Duo, a folding screen smartphone running Android, with the hardware and software quintessence from Microsoft. The price of this device, as well as its launch date, has not been announced. But once it hits the market, the Surface Duo will be in a new era for Microsoft’s mobile division. Hopefully this device will not go into the footsteps of its predecessors.
Microsoft’s mobile operating system is probably the product that makes the dual monopoly of Google and Apple most shaken. Unfortunately, like most other Android replacement operating systems, Windows 10 Mobile is just an old memory. If you’re still using a Windows 10 Mobile device, you should really consider switching to Android.