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Alternative mobile OS redux

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A while back I blogged about the possibilities for alternative mobile platforms. Unfortunately the pace of development has been slow since, but the good news is products like the new Meizu Ubuntu-based device are coming to market.

The new Meizu Ubuntu-powered smartphone

The new Meizu Ubuntu-powered smartphone

 

Since then FirefoxOS is focusing on higher-end devices, Sailfish has strong interest in a tablet and Tizen is now available on smart watches and TVs from Samsung,

Locally, Telstra was looking at FirefoxOS, but not much happened there. The Big T is also on Canonical’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) for Ubuntu Phone so we’ll just have to wait and see what (if any) outcome there is.

It must seem like an insurmountable task to break into the global smartphone market, but there are a few reasons to give it shot. First, the two dominant platforms can’t be everything to everyone; second, the refresh rate of handsets is quite high so there is a large window of opportunity; and third, with more standard apps and dev toolkits the hassle of supporting multiple platforms should diminish over time, even if you ignore the growing apk support for non-Android OSs.

I noticed the other day in the large tech retailers’ catalogues the arrival of Microsoft (not Nokia) branded smartphones in Australia. It would be great to see a few others options available as well.

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