Last Updated: November 5th, 2010
Before Apple's iPhone and Google’s Android OS burst onto the mobile device scene in 2007, there were few significant advances in mobile technology. Frankly, "smartphones" (if we could even call them that at the time) were boring: they did little more than email, general messaging, picture taking, some basic apps and games, rudimentary internet browsing, and enterprise integration.
The biggest players at the time were Microsoft Windows Mobile, RIM's Blackberry, Palm, Symbian, and Linux. They all had their respective place in the mobile world (see chart below).
The Status Of Mobile Operating Systems In Late 2006
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was clearly led by Symbian.
Last Updated: December 3rd, 2010
Word on the street (and by “the street,” I clearly mean TechCrunch) is that the next version of Android, (Gingerbread, which is rumored to be coming in 4Q2010), will focus on refining the UI. It may seem like a waste of time, as most Android phones today run a custom UI (HTC, Motorola, etc) – but that’s just the point. By stepping up the default UI, handset makers (hopefully) won’t feel the need to layer on their UIs.
As things stand now, proprietary UIs mean handset makers have to modify the stock Android build, test the build, fix bugs, and retest before finally pushing the build out as an update in order to keep the UI.