The Competition Heats Up…
The OS competition definitely seems to be heating up since recent CES 2013 announcements with some big contenders coming in to try and compete with the BIG 2 (Android and IOS).
In terms of open source operating systems these are very exciting times with of course Jolla’s own Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Mobile OS, Firefox OS and Tizen finally showing some movement.
Jolla’s Sailfish OS is one of the newest of the pack and based on the popularity of predecessor MeeGo arguably the one with the most to prove. Jolla has in a very quick time indeed garnered support from many partners, communities and people across the globe. Can Jolla turn Sailfish into a top selling OS in such a short turnaround ? Based on this poll here: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/poll-phone-ubuntu-firefox-linu-103325#ViewPollResults there sure seems to be many who would agree they can and will. Sailfish = the peoples favourite = UNLIKE.
Like many of the other competition, Ubuntu Mobile OS has been in development for sometime and so has the edge when it comes to sheer man hours. The OS itself is built in keeping with the full Ubuntu PC OS which will appeal to the few million Ubuntu PC users out there but whether it will attract attention from the rest of the worlds MAC/Windows users remains to be seen.
The Firefox internet browser is now ranked as one of the favourite browsers out there which instigated Mozilla to look at developing a mobile OS (originally called boot to Gecko). The new Firefox OS which has also been in development for some time looks slick but will rely heavily on HTML web based apps which might put people off : ‘If you imagine a smartphone-sized computer that automatically loads Firefox after boot-up, and the only apps you can run are web apps, then that’s a fairly good analogy of Firefox OS.’ source
After INTEL split from Nokia on their MeeGo partnership, they partnered with Samsung to start working on a new OS called TIZEN which was to follow on from MeeGo. For well over a year there has been very little going on with the project until recently Samsung announced new TIZEN handsets are due for 2013. Source With the Korean giant Samsung behind the project, there is a good chance of success but personally TIZEN doesn’t fill me with any excitement whatsoever.
The two other (non opensource) contenders are of course Windows Phone which seems to have been gathering more traction recently with the Nokia Lumia series and also Blackberry with their long awaited BB10 to be officially announced at the end of January.
It seems Windows Phone may finally be getting some respect in the techworld largely due to the success of the new innovative Nokia Lumia series which have been gathering rave reviews and great customer feedback all round. Windows Phone has been around the longest of the competition and only now after many years of financial lifelines and false starts is starting to show a few signs that it may be coming of age. Could Windows Phone be the next competitor to rank close to IOS/Android ?
Blackberry’s BB10 has been in development for some time and has been getting many people excited with anticipation for an official announcement at the end of the month. As can be seen from the image above, the BB10 OS seems to take many leafs out of the MeeGo Harmattan book with very similar integrated notifications, multitasking panels and the apps screen all navigated by SWIPE (this is virtually identical to the N9 running MeeGo). Where they are trying to differentiate is a ‘work’ and ‘home’ section which may appeal to corporate customers who are looking to replace their old QWERTY blackberries (that is if they haven’t already moved to iPhone a long time ago). BB10 is a good contender but will rely heavily on early adoption to rescue the flailing Canadian company.
Other new kids on the block who recently came to the fore at CES 2013 are the Russian based Yotaphone who have designed their own swipe-based (no buttons) interface into their own design Android-Jellybean-driven handset which unusually has a second e-ink display on the reverse side. They plan on releasing their handset by 2013 Q3 and feel this new take on a smartphone will really stand out from the crowd what do you think?
So with the competition really at a high point just now, how will Jolla fare and what will they have to do to keep one step ahead?
It seems like the perfect time for Jolla to combine forces with a big manufacturer (like Nokia/Sony/HTC etc) and push out a unique handset in record time maybe? Or perhaps all the open source guys (inc. Mer/Nemo/Hildon) could combine forces and work together to come up with a super open source platform and handset to rival them all: UbuNemoMerSailFox ?
The main thing is Jolla are going to have to start attracting some more serious partnerships in the next few months to get products out there but I’m verrry confident by the fact they have been unusually quiet recently. :-)
All I can say, with a Jolla phone to be announced this quarter and available later this year, 2013 is definitely going to be UNLIKE any year we’ve had before. ;-)
What’s your view on all the latest OS developments and how do you feel Jolla will fare now that there are quite a few more players in the game ?