Several phone platforms have shown up in the past few years, but the monopoly by Android and iOS meant that most of them had to be either abandoned and simple scraped off. The third most dominant place isn’t probably a great to be – especially when the top two are miles ahead of you.
This year, I followed up the Consumer Electronics Show closely on authority blogs. Each year, even less manufacturers decide to showcase their flagship phones at CES and wait for the Mobile World Congress – which means that we had a lot of other gadgets unveiled rather than Phones. As if this wasn’t astonishing enough, there was a strange trend I noticed. Almost dysfunctional phone operating systems are making a comeback – but this time not on phones – but on Televisions.
Firefox OS was primarily aimed at low-cost devices and powering them using latest web technologies. I’d argue that was a horrible idea. Talking about latest web technologies is one thing but you can’t just ignore the competition faced in the low range mobile segment. Many companies have risen to power like Xiaomi and Micromax in the emerging markets like India. Sorry Mozilla, maybe web technologies can help you power a browser, but in the mobile industry, it turned out to be a no-go. So how is Firefox OS making a comeback? Apparently, Panasonic’s 2015 line-up of 4k smart TVs will be powered by Firefox OS.
The OS that was designed to run on dumb phones is making a comeback on Smart TV’s now.
I can’t stomach the news, either. I’ll just live with it and leave it here.
Web OS was hailed the most powerful OS of its time. Web OS is like the story of the lad who had lots of potential but still failed. Even Android borrowed a fair amount of design pattern cues from WebOS. But it failed.
Some people say that WebOS failed because Palm was ahead of its time to build a mobile software and weren’t able to execute such an ambitious breakthrough. Anyways, whatever the reason – LG is making efforts to bring WebOS from the dead on its new range of Smart TV’s. I’ve no idea how successful WebOS will be this time – especially stating the fact that it’s in LG’s hands now. Only time will tell.
Tizen is probably the only open source OS here which never really took off despite some big firms supporting it including Samsung, Vodafone and NTT Docomo. It’s true that Samsung has hit their peak with Android but It’s no secret that Samsung always wanted to kick start Tizen as a viable OS for its devices – probably not wanting too much dependence on Android. Instead it wanted something homemade which they could exercise more control over. But the dominance of Android, proved that there’s no space for a debutant in the market right now.
Now Samsung’s Tizen is graduating from phones to Smart TVs, without actually passing the graduation test.
Is there more to this list?
Things do not look great for Windows Phone either. I’ve seen die-hard Windows Phone friends finally giving over and accepting the fact that Microsoft isn’t the Savior they’ve been hoping for. Maybe, isn’t going away nearby soon but that doesn’t mean it is in the shining light. Blackberry is also one under performer and recently there have been rumors about Samsung trying to buy it. Buy at least Blackberry can claim to have graduated legally and there’s no denying that it was the topper of its time.
These companies all seem to have one motto – If you can’t go small, go big. Big as in 4k smart TVs. So do these dead phone platforms (read:failed) stand a chance on the big curtains? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.