iOS, RIM, Android

Android and iOS  are words we here regularly when discussing Smart mobile phones, but what do they mean?

Here are the basics.

The Operating System

Is the brains of any computing device.

It is a piece of software that controls all the basic elements of hardware(memory, processors), basic programs(boot up, screen, interfaces ) and how data is moved around both.

In so doing an Operating System can run the various application programmes(word processing, presentations, Internet browsing, video player etc.) that we are all  familiar with.

PCs and Laptops

Microsoft Windows Operating System has roughly 90% of the worldwide operating system marketplace.

Most users then run Microsoft Office application programmes like Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Power point).

Of the remaining 10% some are manufacturer specific like MacOS, whilst other like Linux are Open Source, a concept were anyone can access the basic source code and develop their own application programmes on their own hardware.

Mobile phones

Unlike to PC/Laptop market many companies now compete to produce mobile  phones.

The traditional phone manufacturers formed consortia (example Sony and Ericsson) to develop ever more powerful, Smarter and versatile devices, turning the simple phone into a handheld computing device.

Equally whilst the Smart phone increases its overall market share, the simple Feature phone still accounts for the majority of devices sold worldwide.

Windows for Mobile exists but has only a small of the market share, with the various consortia preferring home grown Operating Systems that reflect their own products.

Mobile Operating Systems


This is Apple’s operating system that now covers their iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices.

Apple does not allow other vendors to use(licence) it’s source code software.

Apple does allow third parties to develop application programmes for its devices.

Over 1/2 million application programmes have now been developed and are sold exclusively through Apple’s  iTunes internet store.

By controlling what is developed and how it is sold, Apple attempt to ensure illegal or malicious code cannot get onto your device.

Hence iOS is very secure.


Research in Motion’s Blackberry range of smart phones, use the RIM operating system which is a favourite with the business community.

The concept, like Apple’s iOS  and iTunes, is to tightly control the operating source code and who is allowed to develop third party applications. In addition RIM uses a complex form of encryption within the operating system to enhance the security. For Business whose corporate facilities are now accessible via a smart phone, these security features are a significant selling point.

RIM’s app store has thousands of specific apps many aimed at business.


Android is based in part on Linux, and whilst it was Google who initial bought this operating system, they work in conjunction with the Open Handset Alliance to allow third party vendors to use and develop the operating system.

The result is that many manufacturers of mobile phones like Acer, Dell, HTC, and Sony Ericsson now have their own version on Android, developed to suit the specific functionality of that device.

Hence there are many more application program developers producing apps, sold through  Internet outlets like.

As such Android based phones account for over 30% of the market.

The down side of such an open approach is that you are more likely to encounter illegal or malicious code/apps, hence the greater need for security software on these mobile phones.


Primarily associated with Nokia phones, the once dominant Symbian OS still accounts for a third of all phone sales, but that percentage is falling

Nokia’s declaration to move to Windows for Mobile for it’s new smart phones will only increase that decline.

Nokia also has an interest with Intel in the MeeGo OS, which could be used to upgrade Nokia’s existing range of Feature phones.


Meaning Ocean or Seashore Bada is Samsung’s new OS for is Wave mobile phones. Like RIM or iOS, Bada comes with a third party developers kit whose applications can be sold through the Samsung Appstore.

The key here is that Bada could be the link between Samsungs mobile phones and their range of home entertainments systems.

Windows Mobile – Windows Phone

For an operating system that so dominates the pc/laptop market, Windows Mobile has struggled to gain any real momentum over the last few years and has now been all but replaced by Windows Phone

Manufacturers like HTC and more recently Nokia have announced WindowsPhone based solutions, Nokia preferring Microsoft to the Symbian OS.

That said market share figures are still low compared to Android and iOS.

Java ME

Java  ME – an embedded operating system seen in various control platforms and still actively found in many Feature phones.


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