Brace yourself. The mobile industry is about to get a whole lot more exciting in 2013. This year we are going to see a lot of new and interesting technology hit the marketplace and it’s going to start with new mobile operating systems. As of right now, there are really only three major smartphone operating systems: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. But now you can expect a few new names to be thrown into the mix.
The first name in the mix is Tizen, an Intel-backed Linux-based platform. Today, news around Tizen really heated up after Samsung came out saying that they plan to release a Tizen smartphone in 2013, “We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.”
This is a huge win for Tizen and could potentially be a huge blow to Android. After all, Samsung is the biggest smartphone seller in the world, led by its flagship Galaxy S III. While this announcement doesn’t really do much in the short term, it has huge long term implications.
If Samsung smartphones powered by Tizen are successful, it means Samsung has a great reason to dump Android and use Tizen exclusively, an operating system which they will have much more control over. Let’s be clear though, the transition from Android to Tizen will take some time to get right. Similar to the approach Amazon takes with the Kindle Fire line of products, Samsung will need to (potentially) develop its own App Stores and content distribution system.
Regardless of how far Samsung goes with Tizen, one thing is clear, they are exploring ways to move away from Android. We wondered back in 2011 if Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility would burn some bridges with smartphone manufacturers and it appears that the answer to the question is a resounding yes.
Don’t feel bad for Google though, apparently they are hard at work developing an iPhone killer codenamed the X Phone, which of course will be built by Motorola.
Canonical is another name that will be thrown into the mix. Yes, the makers of the popular desktop linux distribution, Ubuntu are getting into the mobile operating system market as well. In fact, we covered the Ubuntu Phone OS just yesterday. Currently, the Ubuntu Phone OS is currently in early testing stages and most likely won’t appear until late 2013 or early 2014.
The Ubuntu Phone OS is a completely gesture based mobile operating system. Now whether you think that’s a good idea or not, is your call. I think it has its potential downsides, but also seems like an interesting concept. Then again, I haven’t had any hands-on time with the Ubuntu Phone OS so it’s hard to say for sure at this point in time.
The other name I’m going to throw into the excitement is RIM. With the release of Blackberry OS 10 coming this month as well as a bunch of new devices, it’s hard not to at least include the former smartphone giant in the conversation. RIM really needs Blackberry OS 10 to be a success, and it’s going to take a lot of work to make it one, but they’re definitely worthy of a mention.
One thing is for certain though, both Tizen, Ubuntu Phone OS, and Blackberry OS 10 will provide additional alternatives to the same-old song and dance that we have become accustomed to in mobile, and that’s exciting. I like seeing competition in the tech industry, it keeps things interesting and fun. So buckle your seat belts, it’s just starting to get good.