New smartphone OS flags set to fly at Mobile World Congress
New phones based on Firefox OS and Ubuntu will be on display in Barcelona
IDG News Service - The newer smartphone OS entrants competing to chip away at the dominance of Android and iOS are heading to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, and facing a landscape that has changed since last year's show.
Mozilla, Canonical and Jolla are still aimed squarely at Android, but Tizen, backed by Intel and Samsung, faces a more uncertain future, according to analysts.
Last year, phones were shown running all four OSes. Since then, the first phones running Firefox OS and Sailfish from Finnish company Jolla have gone on sale, while Canonical and the Tizen camp have suffered from delays.
Mozilla's Firefox OS has been the most successful, but only about 390,000 Firefox OS phones shipped last year, according to IDC, which expects that figure to rise to 2.5 million this year. That will give Firefox OS a 0.2 percent share of the total smartphone market, IDC said.
For Firefox OS to become a serious contender, it needs more brand awareness, backing from more operators as well as products with improved hardware and software, which is something Mozilla could have in store for an event on Sunday. ZTE has also said it will launch a Firefox OS smartphone, the Open C, at this year's show.
"I believe Firefox could have a chance, because Mozilla has been consistent in its strategy to develop products for the entry-level segment where there are still opportunities. It isn't as crowded as the high-end," said Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI Research.
The Tizen OS, on the other hand, hasn't made much progress since last year, with operators Orange and NTT DoCoMo backing away. While Tizen is working very well technically on commercial-grade smartphones, the surrounding ecosystem of apps and services isn't strong enough for Orange to put out a device, a spokesman said via email earlier this month.
Samsung didn't want to comment on whether it will have a Tizen-based smartphone on display at Mobile World Congress.
"It seems like there has been a warming of the relationship between Google and Samsung with Google's plan to divest the Motorola handset business and the recent patent agreement. So I think Tizen is going to have a difficult show with regards to moving the platform forward," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.
A recent rumor is that Samsung plans to use Tizen on a future Galaxy Gear smartwatch. That may make more sense than using the platform on smartphones, because the competition isn't as fierce and the platform's reliance on HTML5 would be less of an issue with fewer and less advanced apps running on smartwatches.
- Secure smartphones are nice, but not enough
- STMicro could enable touchless gesture control of smartphones
- The 'Internet of things,' beyond the hype at Mobile World Congress
- 64-bit smartphones are coming, but Apple's iPhone 5s still stands alone
- New chipsets and devices lay groundwork for LTE-Advanced
- Management vendors show Windows Phone some love
- SAP, BMW research project to connect drivers with real-time offers and services
- Samsung debuts new Exynos chips, questions linger on 64-bit plans
- Motorola to release a smartwatch later this year
- Samsung beefs up Knox mobile management software
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts