If you’re in the market for a smartphone then chances are you feel like the decision comes down to Android or iOS. These operating systems seem to be everywhere—in fact they are. A recent study from IDC states that for the first quarter of 2013, Android and iOS have combined to ship 92.3% of the smartphones in the market.
That’s incredible, but it certainly isn’t 100%. So what kind of smartphones does the other 7% consist of? Well, this article is going to explain the alternatives to Android, iOS and Windows smartphones as well as the benefits of owning them.
What are the Alternatives?
• BlackBerry Q10 – Many in the business world continue to use BlackBerry. With its distinctive QWERTY keyboard, creating messages is easy and feels natural. Now with a proper keyboard taking up a third of the phone, naturally the screen size is going to be smaller than phones that don’t have a keyboard. While the 3.1-inch AMOLED screen isn’t going to wow those who’ve gotten accustomed to 5-inch 1080p displays, it still offers a very sharp and crisp resolution (720p); and with AMOLED technology, the colors are vibrant and dynamic. The Q10 uses a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, has 16 GB of internal storage, and has a 2 megapixel camera in the front and an 8 megapixel camera in the back.
This phone comes with the new proprietary OS from BlackBerry, called BlackBerry 10. It includes all of the features that make BlackBerry the choice for business—the ability to sync with E-Mail servers and to instant message with BlackBerry Messenger—with the additions of other features, such as video chatting, syncing with computers, and multi-tasking.
• The Others – There haven’t been many competitors outside of Android, iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry, but in the near future (probably later this year) the following open-source mobile operating systems are going to be released:
o FireFox OS – FireFox, like Google, are creating a system that utilizes HTML5 functions to produce an operating system that is extremely customizable and doesn’t rely on hardware nearly as much as any of the other phones.
o Ubuntu – The popular distributor of Linux is hitting the mobile scene. Utilizing nothing but gestures, this system is designed so that you never need a button. Not only does it not need any physical keys, but it has also rid itself of the unlock feature.
o Tizen – Samsung, the popular maker of Android phones, and Intel, the chip maker, are joining forces to create the Tizen OS. It like all of the other open-source operating systems is based off of Linux. The strength in Tizen is in its ability to utilize other services besides Google.
If you’re having a tough time finding phones that don’t include the big 3—Android, iOS, and Windows—the reason is that they are virtually non-existent. The only actual alternative at this time seems to be BlackBerry; although Symbian and Palm are out there, it is more likely that they are on their way out; but if you wait to the end of the year the inclusion of several new entrants into the market should provide the market with some much needed freshness.