Do we need another mobile OS?

Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry 10, Ubuntu mobile, Firefox OS, Jolla as well as Facebook Home and now Smartisan.

We live in a world where people enjoy choice and mobile OS developers are starting to offer this choice. Android alone has so many different variants from major manufacturers without even considering major forks such as Facebook Home and Smartisan. The question I pose: “Is there any need for another mobile OS?”

The business behind mobile makes a lot of sense to allow for multiple OS’s. According to some research by eMarketer mobile revenue is going to be in excess of $15 billion with over half that revenue going to Google. Of course Android’s adoption and their advertising platform help this but the “other” section are making a lot of money as well.



For a mobile OS developer, if they could start helping to likes of Google or Facebook to grow their revenues even further by sending a decent amount of traffic through their OS there’s a good chance of an acquisition or even a revenue cut.

It’s currently a land grab, one that makes a lot of sense for advertisers and the platforms but no one seemed to consider the group that suffers: the buyers of these smartphones.

Look at Windows Phone 8: It’s a very good platform but it completely lacks in the apps department. This is due to devs not seeing the money trail and who could blame them? It’s a tough industry to break into and nothing would be more disheartening to a new mobile dev than if their app being download a handful of times. So how do small OS’s hope to compete? I have no idea. End of the day: the people using the OS will be stuck without a decent app store collection.

If I were a dev the opportunity to create an app on a big platform and be acquired makes more sense than an entirely new OS. Why bother reinventing the wheel?

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