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January 31, 2013

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Early Thoughts on New Operating Systems - Ubuntu, Sailfish (Jolla/MeeGo), Tizen (Samsung's update to MeeGo), Firefox; and some updates to classics BB10, WP8:

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Vinicius

Agreed, Tomi.

And I hope Sailfish does well. More than that, if it does get launched in Brazil, I will buy one.

More than that...

This year will be even more about Android. And I'm sick of it. It is NOT good enough for me. I hope Jolla does make right here, including more technologies and functions.

Sander van der Wal

If the OS of a smartphone doesn't matter to the consumer, then anything can happen. But if the OS does matter, then changes are that one of the big platforms is going to win.

There is indeed a difference between the PC and the smartphone markets. But that doesn't mean that the smartphone market will not look a lot like the PC market, if the network effects for smartphones are as important as they were for the PC.

Basically, if an operator dumps the iPhone and then see all his iPhone customers move to the competition, then no operator will dump iPhone.

At this time nobody knows what will happen. It could be that the entiere smartphone market is sufficiently different from the PC market to have different rules.

Or the smartphone market could be segmented in two, a high-end, PC-like market, dominated by Apple, as Apple is currently best at maximizing the network effect for iOS.

The other segment would then be a low-end, featurephone-like market, dominated by Android right now, and who knows in a year or two.

ejvictor

After looking at all the Blackberry launch reports it is clear that Google has won.
Google NOT ANDROID!

What do I mean... I mean that Google has won with the APK (The App file!) The OS and the UX are almost secondary to the App Catalog/App Ecosystem - So any system that supports/runs the APK will win! Apple will loose since no one can virtualize the Apple OS without being sued back into the dark ages. But developers who develop Android Apps, the APK , will thriumph.

Tizen has a fundamental architectural problem in that it is HTML5 Based - HTML5 is not getting much tractions. Second Samsung is beholdent to Google to "play nice" so running apk's nativly on Tizen may cause Google to slap Samsung.

Jolla has the formula, all the upside of Android apks, none of the downside of Googles "boot on your throat".

Jolla may be making the "Nexus " line of Sailfish devices , but many smaller ODM will pick up the OS to get the double win of the AKP without Google. Yes Jolla has to score a big ODM - imagine lenovo!!! Lenovo could run with Sailfish across Mobile devices, Tablets and alternatives to chromebooks.

So I do not peg Jolla's chances to be any worse then Tizen, since they do not have to worry about the strategic relationship with Google the way Sammy does...

QtFan

Tomi,

"Synergy between pocket and desktop" is not what Ubuntu is promoting. In interviews when Mark Shuttleworth is asked "Why Ubuntu on smartphone?" ou "Why Ubuntu over Android?", the number one point is carriers. He says it will be the best platform for carriers to deliver their services and products. That's how they are promoting their OS to carriers: "You choose Ubuntu over Android because we will help you deliver your services, while Android will promote Google's services."

Personally I don't like that, I want carriers hand away from my phone :) But Canonical is not delusional like MS, they want carriers on their side.

Tom Gorr

Do something truly wild, Tomi, and start thinking about what will be the future trend that relegates what we now think as smartphones into something that needs to be replaced. What is the next game changer?

Slabs that can be molded and attached to anything, clothes included, truly aware system that gives you constant amount of information, in "Minority Report" style. Who will come up with this? It seems to me that the only thing that can change things is something radically new.

The one who wins is the one who tries to make sci-fi come alive.

QtFan

I'm not saying Ubuntu on smart phones will succeed, but if anyone has taken a couple of points from Tomi's "manual" is Canonical.
-Carriers, carriers, carriers
-We will change our OS to fit your services, not ours
-Smart phones as first and only computing device (full desktop OS when docked)

ejvictor

@QtFan
Ubuntu is irrelevent for one reason... 2014 before devices are available.

cycnus

@Tomi

Finally..... Thank you...
I was hopping to see your thought on the new platform, and the platform war scorecard.

Interesting insight on carrier relation. Microsoft have bought carrier relation to launch the WP7 & WP8 but failed. The OS must be really bad. LOL. Do you have insight on Apple vs. China Mobile situation?

Regarding Firefox Phone. (correct me if I'm wrong)
I was thinking that FireFox phone is more like FeaturePhone than Smartphone. This will compete with S40. WHY? Because it's a phone that will use HTML5 for everything. And I think Developer won't be happy to support it as APPS can be easily copied from one phone to another. So, I think it would be like the 'internet' phone. It's for someone that don't really into apps, and want the feature phone that can do internet the right way.

Regarding BB. I was surprised that you still think BB can hold it's current market share. Is there any number/stats that track how many %%% of corporate that already flee from BB.

QtFan

@ejvictor
??? Maybe they will never be released. I never said it was going to relevant. Of all listed here it's the one in the worst position

willz

@ejvictor:

I have to disagree on "HTML5 is not getting much tractions". I rather think hat HTML5/CSS/JS is the future on mobiles as well simply because these are so wide spread technologies. I think it will be in the interest of each player named in the article to attract as many developers as possible. And I agree with Tomi that Tizen is very likely to succeed. But beyond that I only see a really good chance for Firefox OS to gain momentum because of its openness, the simplicity to develop for it and the excitment in the web developer community it already raised. In addition I guess Firefox OS is the providers' biggest chance (compared to the other "contestants" mentioned in the article) to take back control of the value chain and customer relationship Apple and Google stole them to a certain extent. I believe they would love to set up their own app stores and customize the subsidized mobiles to cross sell their services if they could do this as easily as with an HTML based device.


And last but not least I see a good chance th HTML based apps will play a greater role in general because you had the chance to "install" web apps on an iphone from the beginning on and find solutions especially from Firefox that make web apps appear as if they were native apps on Android (have a look at Aurora and the related Mozilla market). And since Google made so much progress with it's Chrome OS after all it is a question of time when Android will have the capability to run web apps sort of "natively". And I haven't even mentioned the HTML capabilites of all other OSes so far :-)

So I would rather bet on this approach in the long run then on native development (and cross compiling afterwards).

ejvictor

@QtFan
we are saying the same thing. Even if Shuttleworth is saying all the right things, his problem is that they are not ready to capitalize on it "Now". The Technocrati have been waiting on Windows Phone to break the Duopoly, well that failed. Then they waited for Blackberry to break the Duopoly - to the rousing consensus of "MEH!". So now it's up to the "Farm teams" to come up to bat...and Mark is walking up to the plate with a picture of a bat...

cycnus

@willz

I think the ChromeOS/FireFoxOS/HTMLbasedOS will be success on the desktop only to some extend. Yes it will work on office environment if the office have everything in their intranet in HTML based. Yes it will work for school library. Yes it will work for school computer center. It even work for home 2nd, 3rd computer.

But no, it won't work on larger scale than that. The apps developer need to be sure that their apps will not be pirated, and i haven't seen any implementation on HTML about DRMing application. Can HTML be DRMed?

Now, on the phone. If apps can't be DRMed with HTML, and the source code, image can be easily seen, usage, ripped, then app/content (especially game) developer will/might stay away from it... If this is true, only apps/game that constantly need internet might be build for this platform, therefore I don't think it will be a good platform.

ejvictor

@Willz

"By 2016 more than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HTML5 browsers, up from just 109 million last year... (ABI Research)

We are talking next 6-12 months here for the next disruption. QT5 native can be leveraged across BB10, Sailfish, ubuntu.... But what developer wants another code base when they can just create APK's?

We are moving away from OS dominance to App dominance. Who rules portable "open" apps NOW - Google.... Where is Baron95 when I need him???!

khim

@ejvictor: But what developer wants another code base when they can just create APK's

Bingo. It funny how supposedly intelligent people miss the point of HTML craze completely. They see that HTML5 applications are "all the rage" for the last decade on desktop and think that for some reason it means they are good.

Sorry to disappoint you, but no, they are NOT GOOD AT ALL. HTML5 is pitiful, wasteful, awful development platform. One of the WORST ever invented. Yet somehow it wins on desktop? How come?

Well, it's THE ONLY technology which is trivial and [more-less] safe for Joe Average. If you install software from random website then you are pwned in a matter of HOURS! But with webapps... it's not such a big deal (yes, you can catch trojans, etc, but these dangers are adequately controlled).

This DELIVERABILITY propelled HTML apps to prominence and they thrive ONLY where such deliverability is vital. As for other uses... Did you knew that MSVC 2001 supported HTML apps? How about "success" of Adobe Flex? 10 times of 10 when HTML5 apps are facing native apps without help of this large "but HTML apps are easily deliverable while native apps are not" card they LOSE.

And APKs give you this possibility already: put you app and half-dozen of app stores around the world - and you cover more then half of smartphones population. Why bother with this HTML5 nonsense?

And even if you, for some reason, LIKE to use HTML5 for your apps - it's not a big deal, there are a lot of ways to repackage these HTML5 apps as an APKs.

This basically means that it'll be VERY tough for any platform with "HTML5-only apps" design to gain any traction. Not impossible, but very-very-very hard.

willz

@khim, ejvictor, cycnus:
Fair enough, you came up with good arguments.

However, I want to share the link to the "Developer Economics 2013: the tools report" with you which somehow fits to our topic - you might be interested in it.
http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2013/01/report-developer-economics-2013-key-insights/

(this is not meant to be an argument for or against anything - I am simply sharing this link with you!)

Tomasz R.

Do you think anybody is going to use virtualization capabilities present in modern ARM processors (ARM A15/A7 and Quallcom S4) in order to produce phones capable of running two operating systems at once?

Lasko

@HTML5

No, it won't get any traction. You might be able to create your run run-of-the-mill sort-of-website app, but the relevant parts of HTML5/JS, the intergration with the phone services, is NOT platform independent. HTML5 will have to be tailored for each and every device, will have serious performance contraints, there will be no intellectual property protection, there will be quite nothing. HTML5 is a NOT what developers want.

@Sander van der Wal

They already start doing so, not by dropping, but by decreasing subsidization, with T-Mobile US beeing the first one stopping subsidization for the iPhone in April/May [1].


[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/09/us-ces-tmobileusa-idUSBRE90806420130109

JJ

This may be a stupid question but what's wrong with Android from operator point of view? Elop keeps saying operators welcome a third option to Android and iOS but I personally don't trust anything he says. I like Google services and I'm not the only one...

EmmanuelM

Ha finally we are moving away from the silly Nokia / Elop discussions, time to look to the future and feel the joy of creation, innovation and passion again..

ExNokian

JJ
It's Google dominance. If there is one OS used by 90% of devices being sold, carriers don't have other options to turn to when Google starts going nasty and blocking carrier services replacing them with their own.
Apple is bad as a medicine as Apple is notorious for dictating terms to operators in a "take it or leave it" manner. Third option is needed so those primary two can be kept in control. AT&T used Nokia for that: they could negotiate better deals with Apple and Samsung by saying they'll sell Lumia 900's instead if two previous if terms of contract do not match AT&T wishes.
Whether AT&T was really planning to sell those Lumias is irrelevant for the strategy value of the capability to say they would.

Spawn

@ejvictor

> Tizen has a fundamental architectural problem in that it is HTML5 Based

So is Chromebook. But agreed that it would be indeed a fundamental problem if ...

... if Tizen wouldn't ship with native API's and even Qt too.

No, thy make no buze about it but so does Google not about Android's native API's. The point is, that Samsung and Intel focus on one API story and one only. The marketing message is "use HTML5" and below in small letters you will find a link to an HTML5 API-page which contains a link to the native, Efl and Qt API pages. Very much like Google handles that with Android.

@cycnus

> Can HTML be DRMed?

Yes. They even have the best DRM concept out that is you can split them into 2 parts. One for the client-side and one for the server-side.

The "only" problem on that is data-transfer which need to be small as long as data-transfer is so expensive. But guess what that problem is loved by the carriers (more data, more cash).

Yes this is also a total other app-story. Its one loved by carriers and service-providers like google. Full control, cloud, always on (or at least regular).

> If apps can't be DRMed with HTML, and the source code, image can be easily seen, usage, ripped, then app/content (especially game) developer will/might stay away from it...

If we like it or not but more and more things are clouded and servered this days. Think of the newest Civilization-game ehich runs in a browser or all those DRM games which require you to be online or all those games where you multiplay online.

Google Docs, Office365 all going online cause, while notmthenbest for us customers, its a great way to lockin, to sell software-as-a-service, to keep control, to DRM, to require you and me to be more online and pay more for services and data.

As customer if you not like that (and I don't) not use that (and I don't).

@ejvictor

> QT5 native can be leveraged across BB10, Sailfish, ubuntu.... But what developer wants another code base when they can just create APK's?

Why another codebase? Qt runs fine on Android, as APK's :-)

@khim

> Well, it's THE ONLY technology which is trivial and [more-less] safe for Joe Average. If you install software from random website then you are pwned in a matter of HOURS!

I see you are Windows user. Not outside of Windows you are not and outside of Windows installing softwarencan be as trivial as a reading a barcode with a scanner.

> you knew that MSVC 2001 supported HTML apps?

There was no msvc 2001. You mean 2010? What *you* define as HTML apps here isn't what the official definition is. Also msvc never did and never will cause its a compiler. What you mean is VisualStudio which contains various ways to create html/css/asp/etc pages since years. It still cannot do pure HTML5 wac apps. No, it can't.

Lately parts of ExpressionBlend and PhoneGap and node.js support got added but that's all. Microsoft is far away follower if it comes to HTML and Internet.

willz

@Lasko


Ok, you won. I was about to write a lot of questions why all the effort for HTML apps if it's so bad as you suggest and a reload deleted my comment. I am on your side now.... LOL. Serious - I still think there are use, space and developers for Firefox OS and HTML apps.

However, back to the actual topic of is article: supposed that it's no system economy rather than an app economy as stated by some before I still think that the system with the best proposal for mobile operaters to monetize the customer relationship will do the race. I think providers want to regain a piece of the value chain. And the system with the best proposal to do so will be promoted. I guess that is something all the mentioned competitors are heavily thinking about. And as far as I know it is an essential part of Jolla's strategy.

I would love to fast forward two years from now to see how they all perform.

chithanh

@JJ
Carriers' biggest fear is that they will be relegated to become simple forwarders of IP packets in the future, like ISPs are today. Once all the competition to Android goes out of business, Google's position will have become much stronger, and the carriers will have less say in what happens on their networks.

@Lasko
Five years ago your performance arguments might have been correct. Your integration argument is hardly valid with Android/iOS native applications (most of the code can be reused between the two) and much less so with HTML5 and especially in the light of cross-platform application frameworks.

Tester

@Spawn:

>> As customer if you not like that (and I don't) not use that (and I don't).

I think that's the crucial bit: Will customers fall for this trap or not?

The people I know are very cost-aware and tend to switch off their phone's connection when they don't need it. They would gladly ignore any device that forces them to be online more than necessary. This scheme works for the affluent Apple crowd but not in the low cost mainstream segment. Those customers tend to use cheaper data plans that do not have unlimited volume. If these phones require being online constantly to do any non-basic stuff they might tank completely if the customers notice that they have to pay more than they want.

tz

The only escape valve is a media player device like the Samsung Galaxy Player, iPod Touch, or Phillips has something similar. Then you don't need the carriers, but it isn't a phone (excepting skype, GoogleTalk, etc.).

Meego was Maemo on the n770, n800, then n810 (still a great device!).

I have a dumbphone (brew) with a mifi hotspot.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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