This year was undoubtedly dominated by the mobile device. This year we’ve seen Android mature into a more refined experience. We saw the debut of Palm’s impressive reinvention of their mobile operating system, WebOS. So what’s in store for each mobile OS in 2010? We’ve got some ideas.
Until recently, many devices behind Google’s Android have been pretty average. Although slower adoption may be attributed to hardware releases on the smaller carriers, the Motorola Droid and the release of Android 2.0 affirmed Google’s ability to compete among the best. This coming year will be the most successful that Android’s ever seen. With a high number of devices set to hit the market in 2010, Android’s growth will overshadow any of its competition. As their application catalogue continues to expand, more and more developers will flock to the platform, contributing strongly to its growth. Expect to hear a lot more from Android in the 12 months ahead.
Prior to 2009, Palm’s future didn’t look so bright. As business users transitioned to the more popular BlackBerry devices, the Treo was without hope. That all changed when Palm introduced us to the world of WebOS. WebOS provides an incredibly strong foundation that has undeniable potential for advancement. As Palm extends both the Pre and Pixi to more popular carriers like AT&T and Verizon, expect more users to give them a second chance. Although WebOS’s success won’t possibly compete with Android’s, look forward to some new hardware that can push WebOS to its limits. Expect Palm to make it out of the red for 2010.
The iPhone has been through a lot this last year. With the introduction of the 3GS and maturity of the app store, Apple’s got one of the strongest foundation to expand upon. As the iPhone’s annual remodel nears, expect to hear a lot of murmurs of the changes ahead. We’ll probably see the introduction of multitasking and probably a UI overhaul. It’s been 3 years now; it’s getting a little old. As exclusivity around the world draws to an end, expect a higher growth for Apple’s device – the kind of growth we won’t see in the U.S.
Poor Symbian, where do I start? Behind the most devices in the world, Symbian has been the majority leader in marketshare for years. That changed this year when Nokia’s OS dipped below 50%. Things aren’t looking too hot for the outdated, unintuitive UI. Hopefully Nokia’s got something up their sleeve with upcoming releases, because if things stay the way they’re going, they can say goodbye to being the market leader (except for dumbphones). Until something major becomes of Symbian, we’ll continue to watch 2010 eat Nokia alive.
Windows Mobile has certainly seen better days. Although it’s behind the most powerful hardware currently on the market, the HD2 can hardly keep the platform afloat on it’s own. Still widely used in the corporate world, Windows Mobile has quite the fight ahead. With the delay in WinMo 7 until late next year, Microsoft is standing in the road with Google headed in its direction. As small updates dribble out atop version 6.5, don’t anticipate very much to change. When Windows Mobile 7 drops next year, expect big things. Microsoft can compete at the top, just hope it’s not too late.
BlackBerry is a name that’s synonymous with the corporate world, boasting the best in device security. Since the success of other media-driven devices, they’ve shifted marketing to a more youthful, consumer-friendly approach. Apparently, it’s working. As smartphone adoption as a whole has increased, so has RIM’s marketshare. Don’t expect RIM to slow innovation. They’ve already been spotted looking for a developer with WebKit experience, so keep an eye out for a full-on web experience coming to the BlackBerry. Even more, it’s probably time to ditch the stale UI for a sleeker, more user-friendly experience. The BlackBerry isn’t leaving the corporate world anytime soon.