Can Ubuntu Mobile OS beat Android or iOS?

Android was a joke compared to iOS when it started out back in 2007, but later on through several iterations of development and innovation (lets say with some inspiration from iOS), it caught up. Today, the latest android, Jelly bean is arguably the best Mobile OS(atleast in terms of Market share) on the market. But for the sake of avoiding igniting unstoppable flames, it’s safe to say the two are on the same level (in terms of functionality) occupying the top two slots of mobile OS market share according to the latest stats from IDC.

However, following recent developments, an unprecedented storm seems to be brewing from a rather unlikely source that’s more than determined to unseat the two Mobile OS giants from their prestigious, jealously guarded thrones — the Ubuntu OS for phones.

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But will it?

Developers are everything, and Ubuntu has them on its side

Ubuntu already enjoys lots of love from the developers (except for the recent annoying with Unity interface in Ubuntu 12.0) and it will built on that relationship to convince them to build apps or integrate existing ones on its mobile OS. Its desktop OS is used by a number of developers to develop software for Ubuntu itself and other platform like Android, Java Mobile, Symbian and Windows.

Both iOS and Android have very mature ecosystems that Ubuntu OS has to build (and it can ask Microsoft on how daunting that task is) almost from scratch. The Google play has over 500,000 Apps and the App store has about 750,000 that are ready to run on solid, tested hardware like the Nexus4, S3 and the iPhone5.

You wish it was just about Apps!

It’s not. It’s also about services that come along with partnership with various content owners and publishers who usually won’t let go of control of their own ecosystems unless you’re convincing enough that what you’re offering them is good enough for them to adopt.  For instance, Apple had to tussle it out with book and magazine publishers(and continues to do so) when launching its iBook store. Canonical — the company behind Ubuntu OS also has an uphill battle to conquer,  like Apple and Google,  when it comes to bringing content publishers on-board its platform.

Stephen Musoke, a re-known software developer and an ardent reader of the TechPost bets that Ubuntu Mobile OS has chances to beat Blackbery and Windows Phone but NOT Android or iOS.

The battle is on for #3, Microsoft and RIM both have established bases, are already in the market and will jostle back and forth. However they cannot be counted down and out. I have watched Microsoft with lots of enthusiasm over my tech years and they seem to fight best as an underdog, so lets see what cards they have for 2013. While I am a fan of Linux, the amount of fragmentation is daunting, so it will probably be a niche market OS with specialized uses but may not pickup lots of mainstream. Stephen

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How about hardware?

Canonical has a history of partnership with OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Dell and HP with its desktop version who unfortunately, haven’t yet made a mark on the mobile industry. Unlike Apple which fully manages its hardware division and Google which has big players like Motorolla, HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony among others, Canonical with its current hardware partners will have to change its playing cards if it hopes to match-up against iOS and Android which both run on solid proven hardware.

It’s yet to be seen how and what the Ubuntu mobile OS will bring to the mobile market that’s now almost saturated with well over 7 different Mobile OS vendors. Ubuntu which is popular among developers and some hardware vendors isn’t known much among publishers, carriers and mobile users — who are major determinants in the success or failure any product or service in the mobile ecosystem.


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