Things Don't Get Any Easier for BlackBerry and Microsoft

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) have cornered the mobile operating system market, but let's not assume that it's just BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) fighting to be the distant third place finisher.

The Wall Street Journal's "Next In Tech" column went over the many platforms shooting for the bronze medal.

  • Leading handset makers Huawei, LG, and ZTE are embracing Mozilla's Firefox OS as an open-source alternative to Android with phones available through many major carriers later this year.
  • Tizen -- the platform developed by Samsung and Intel -- will have its first smartphone unveiled next quarter. Don't underestimate Tizen. Samsung is the world's largest smartphone maker, and Intel is still a potent tastemaker in tech.
  • Remember Ubuntu, the Linux-based operating system that powered some cheap netbooks? Well, London's Canonical plans to introduce a smartphone operating system based on Ubuntu early next year.

The odds are long for all of these players. The main reason why consumers have flocked to Google's Android and Apple's iOS is because they have the developer app support that smaller platforms lack. Microsoft has had to pay up to get some popular apps on its platform, and there are still some glaring omissions in the BlackBerry 10 camp. If Microsoft and BlackBerry have struggled to get developers of hot applications to port their programs over, why would Firefox, Tizen, or Ubuntu fare any better?

However, it's also quite possible that one of these three platforms catches on at the expense of market-leading Android.

Developers don't want a fragmented market. They want to succeed by supporting as few operating systems as possible. Carriers don't care, though nobody really wants there to be a glut of platforms if it results in the confusion turning off less-seasoned smartphone owners.

In the end, this market's about to heat up. Microsoft may have thought that it had third place locked up when it spent billions to get Windows Phone out there last year. BlackBerry probably thought that it was raising the bar when it unveiled BlackBerry 10 in January.

Things are never that easy.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (2)

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  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:36 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:


  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:49 AM, Lugus wrote:

    "...Intel is still a potent tastemaker..."


  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:51 AM, greenember wrote:

    Firefox OS will be good for BlackBerry because they are pushing HTML5 web apps as the main development platform. No phone on the market right now scores better than BB10 on HTML5.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 8:39 AM, Arthur1111 wrote:

    "•Leading handset makers Huawei, LG, and ZTE are embracing Mozilla's Firefox OS as an open-source alternative to Android"

    Shouldn't this bad news to Google?

    How is this bad news to Blackberry or Nokia?

    I guess I am not smart like you.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 8:40 AM, TIMNPAWC wrote:

    Not sure what to take away from this article. None of the new OS options will be providing a competitive threat to BlackBerry and it's target market segments any time soon.

    QWERTY users won't be migrating onto it as there won't be any QWERTY devices made.

    DoD won't be certifying them anytime soon.

    Apps are not likely to port to another 3 OS options, they are just starting to add BlackBerry to port list.

    By the time these new options are relevant, BlackBerry will be in year 2-3 of the new platform and have between 7.5% and 12.5% of the market share, half way to Apple's 18%.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 9:40 AM, infektu wrote:

    "Things are never that easy."

    Precisely so, and not only for BBRY or NOK.

    People like open standards, it makes things easier. This is true in general or in this case for customers and developers. Less for HW makers or carriers, although there are certain benefits for them too.

    If HTML5 lives up to what it should be, everybody stands to win. Except maybe one walled-garden company that once used to sell proprietary accessories for 10x the price :-))

    For those who fall asleep or even slow down a bit, the awakening is painful.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 9:44 AM, sammycooool wrote:

    We know you had to print something but this is really not an issue. Can we get back to why Apple is losing market share please?

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:06 PM, Chippy55 wrote:

    Same nonsense from the Fool, their thesaurus is getting a workout trying to come up with ways to discredit Blackberries and every day some other analyst that no one has ever heard of comes out with a recommendation that only points in one direction and only leads to one conclusion: AAPL stock is supposed to be at $1,111.11 because that's the number an analyst picked out of his hat back when AAPL was going from $550 to $703 until the smart money got out and it went to under $400, so lets get back to those glory days OK? You remember, all the talking heads were quoting AAPL stock every 5 minutes and exclaiming how they were the biggest market cap ev-ah, and they were possibly making a new TV and gosh, might even be working on a watch that told time. Meanwhile the supposed analysts are predicting for the next two quarters how many Q10s will be sold and they'v only been out since April 26 in the UK and since May 1st in Canada, give me a break.

    Apple said they won't have a new device until the 4th Q of 2013 or the 1st Q of 2014, in the mean time they have to find out some way of discrediting the competition, call the other guy names and your stock will get back up to over $500 which is the Prime Talking Head Number that must be achieved, so they can quote Apple stock every 5 minutes and tell you to the penny how far or below the PTHN that the stock is at.

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