Ultimate Mobile OS Showdown: iPhone vs Android vs webOs vs Blackberry vs Windows Mobile vs Symbian



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After using android for some times , finally I know why nokia choose windows mobile over android.. android is actually very alike Symbian.. for those who like symbian can try android.. its a very like the improve version of symbian.. nokia must have feel that if symbian cant win, no point wasting time in android.. android has far more advantage than symbian in term of service.. one google account can use all google service… however, choosing windows mobile is a bad choice too.. I used windows mobile b4 , and I feel that it s very hard to win ios .. the UI is very futuristic and unique but its not customizable.. means far too serious , not nice, not friendly system, for exmp: the wallpaper, windows mobile ‘s apps icon is so huge, ppl only get to see a tiny bit of the background wallpaper, it is so no style.. nokia want to make it a nice system will be very difficult.. nokia should develop a new system.. but of coz it s difficult.. actually It s very difficult to compete with ios in this decade.. competitors are all either more open and customizable than ios(android) , or more close platform than ios(windows mobile), ios is in between this 2 and easier to use, it has created a very well balance..I think there is only one type of os can compete with ios..but i hv not seen any company that come out such os yet..



An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!!!ocoee rafting



Windows Mobile has been around for a long time. Microsoft fail to innovate. Apple came along and shocked the world with its iPhone. However, quietly Google's Android came out with something better - openness. It will be the clear winner in the long run. Its openness will make a big difference. You can see it now how things are changing at a rapid pace in the last 2 months (October and November 2009):


Currently HTC is keeping Windows Mobile healthy by coming out with the latest hardware running Windows Mobile and keeping Microsoft fan happy. Even HTC (Microsoft loyalist) are jumping ship and making more Android based phones compared to the one for Windows Mobile. In that time frame, look at the different hardwares that are currently available.


In 1983 when Apple came out with its Lisa computer, and it was revolutionary. Microsoft-Intel-IBM platform was way behind with its DOS text-based operating system. The ability for Microsoft DOS to run on multiple hardware platform changed the whole game. In no time, that dog ugly platform eat up a lion market share of the microcomputer industry. It was Apple that bocame the underdog. Microsoft is not even innovative - as you can see it here on its Windows Mobile. Plus DOS and Windows is a monopoly of Microsoft and not an open system.

Google's Android will change this because both OS and hardware is open. iPhone had a 2-year head start but compare Android and iPhone right now:


You decide or just wait in a few short years. Nah, just make it one year from now.



Please. Take the time to proofread. Or run a spell check. Or tell us up front that you typed this entire article on your BlackBerry/iPhone/PalmPre/Windows Mobile/Android/Etc.



Writing anything in this length is very difficulty without having some grammar errors.  This was a great article with a great substance.  


Do you know how difficult it is to proof read everything to meet your super sensitive grammaroid?  Not everybody works as a classified section editor for local papers editing massage or call girl ads. Sure, it is easy to edit something that says, 'call now, girls/guys are waiting.'  Stop showing off your junior college education.  You don't want to come off as arrogant.  Not everybody had an opportunity to go to local junior college to prep for a vocational school.  

so, st_u. 

btw, if you want to meet me up to talk about it, I will be waiting at the 2nd floor men's bathroom in the last stall @ 4pm tommorow.  I will have a white tennis shoes.  First, tap your foot 3 times then wait few seconds then tap 2 times so I know it is you!  Good times! 



The article said that you loaded HD videos on to many of the phones and played them back well. Are you saying that I can play back a blu ray rip without reencoding on a cell phone processor running at less than 1GHz? Or are you talking about supposedly HD videos with low 720p res and a bitrate lower than DVDs? The article was vauge on this topic. Additionally, a chart with all media compatibility listed would be nice - that is usually the most vaugely described feature. Plenty of phones can play back videos, but in what formats exactly in what container files? Also, do any phones support FLAC music playback? That is a key feature for me.



I'm using winmo devices since 1999. Here is why I think WinMobile OS is the best. Not only the amount of appls available for that OS, hundreds of different devices you can choose from, ability to customize the look of your OS, but  freedom of doing anything you want with your WinMo device - that the main reason why I wont swith to any other platform. WinMobile supports any media format your Iphone can only dream about. It has superior music and video player with features noone can beat, (except desktop programs) More than 10 navigation programs (some of them are free), that will work even if you are offline (no 3g, no network). You can completelly change the feel and look of the OS, making it touch friendly. and so on....I can only agree that speed is the only weak side of Windows Mobile. The rest is just better than any other platform.



I agree with you. I haven't been a WinMo user as long as you, but i can say that after research extensively, i found that WinMo is the best fit for me. I am not a fanboy by any means. I love mobile technology and i almost bought an iPhone. For the price that i won my WinMo device at auction, and the fact that i think that WinMo is a robust OS on its own merits, i thought it was a sure win. I love the endless libraries of apps, many of them being free. Lastly, unlike the other guys, Microsoft does not lock down its software so you don't have only one outlet to download and use an app from. I understand that philosophy, in that they want to put out only safe apps (meaning no viruses, etc., but i think being more open, Microsoft hase a huge advantage in that respect. I am surprised how unpopular WinMo is, only if they came out with an easy UI first, i feel they would be more competitive. Only time will tell when version 6.5 and later version 7if they can survive. Microsoft needs to step up its advertising game to be able to have a deeper penetration of the market.



With almost 20 Android phones coming out by the years end on every carrier it will attract more users and developers and steam roll most of the competition.

And yea, Version 1.5 has been out for months that adds lots of features and fixes lots of problems.





Some of the info on the Android is a bit out of date. With the 1.5 cupcake release, for instance, the built-in Gallery app plays back a wide variety of video formats, include h.264 and divx.



Dude, IPhone kicks em all to the curb clean and simple like!





Well written article but it kind of misses the mark.

 You can't compare OS's and then make a conclusion based on features and performance.

 If I'm in the market for an SUV i don't go looking at mid size sedans and conclude that just because it has a better overall set of features I'm going to pick it over the Jeep for a safari!. What I'm saying is each device should be compared to your individual usage profile based on what YOU will actually be using it for.

More bussineess than fun - Blackberry.
More fun than bussiness - Iphone
Mix of both with a geeky background - Andriod
Can't talk about the pre don't have one. (its a Palm so it will lock up and crash, trust me on this :)
Love frustration and pain - Windows Mobile. (Roll on Mobile 7)



As a recent convert to the world of Blackberries, I wanted to expand upon a few things you stated.  I think they make an even stronger case for Blackberry OS as a rock-solid foundation that places function before form.

 1. Blackberry OS does create a separate icon for each email account you add to the device, but there is also one unified "Messages" inbox that combines all accounts.  This is actually more useful if you just need to look at recent messages to your personal vs. work account. You also have the option to integrate your SMS inbox into the unified inbox as well.

2. Applications may not make notifications of new messages in the same way the Pre does, but the stock apps, and some other well-coded apps, can make notifications instantly using sound, vibrate, and/or the built-in LED.  It's quite possible to learn of new emails, text messages, tweets, appointment reminders, etc. while doing something else.

3. There actually is an app for Blackberries that you referenced above - the Storm has a tilt-sensor and an app exists to use it for leveling purposes.  As this becomes a more standard feature in consumer media-centric smartphones, I expect RIM to add this to more than just their full-touchscreen lineup.

4.Because Blackberries come with removable memory, the Slacker radio app for Blackberry has the unique option to download and store different stations directly on the phone's memory card.  Try listening to Pandora or Slacker on another platform while riding the subway and then see how useful this caching feature is!

5.Apps.  While the relatively new Blackberry App World may not have a ton of apps available, Blackberry is not a closed system like iPhone or Android.  Apps can be purchased or downloaded free from a number of other app stores run by enthusiast websites or directly from develop websites.  This vastly increases the number and variety of apps available, although finding them can be a bit more difficult.

6. Newer Blackberry models, including the Storm, use a chipset that includes a (currently unused) graphics processor already embedded.  As RIM further develops the visual aspects of the Blackberry OS, its visual experience will grow to match that of the other mobile OS offerings when the potential of the now-dormant graphics processor gets unleashed.



 10 pages is a bit much can we cut the BS and get a nice chart break down like you do in every other frigging comparison?

Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.



I just wanted to say that this is a very well written article that looked at every aspect of these mobile OS's.


The only thing that I would like to correct about this article is the fact that you said there aren't many apps for the S60 OS when in fact  there are many apps for the Symbian OS that are not in the Ovi store but that you can get on the internet. I currently have the Nokia N95 8GB phone running Symbian S60 and I have found an app for everything that I need through the web and have still yet to use the Ovi store because I am in Canada. I have tons of games which include Need For Speed Carbon, Project Gotham Racing, Worms, Wheel of Fortune, Sonic, Luxor, etc... I also have Office suite apps, and since it this phone has an accelerometer like the iPhone, I can play a bunch of games and use apps like the iPhone does. This OS is very reliable and you can find anything you want for it (most of the time for free) if you just look past the online stores. 


Having had a Blackberry, used an iPhone, had a windows mobile device and now own this Nokia, I would have to say that I would probably rank them Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone, Windows Mobile, with the Palm Pre being the wildcard because I haven't had a chance to use it yet.



I second this, the Ovi store is new and similar to Windows Mobile S60 applications are easier found with a Google search than an Ovi store search.  You mention Pandora and Last.FM, I'm not sure about Pandora, but Mobbler is a Last.FM client that is absolutely fantastic, and completely free.  Just one example of a great application that isn't in the Ovi store.

Full disclosure, I'm a Nokia 5800 XM user and have been an S60 user for years.



What's interesting to me is that while both Android and Palm Pre are built on Linux, the former tries to "get away as far from Linux as possible" and re-implement their own things. The latter on the other hand is exactly the opposite - it uses so many common linux desktop technologies that it's surprising. Yet both are quite usable!



Great article. The only point of contention I had was saying that IPhone OS 2.0 didn't have push exchange support. Ever since the iPhone first came out, I've been setting them up for people here at work to use Active Sync on our exchange server. I'm not sure if you mean that they added more features to it or what not, but we've been setting up Active Sync from the beginning.



Great summary of the mobile OS's.  You obviously spent some time on them.  You've nailed the major strengths and weaknesses.  I enjoyed this.



I enjoyed the article. I've been researching smartphones for a few months now because my treo 700 is getting quite old. Here are a few things I would like to comment on your article.


1.) You should number the phones if they are listed in order of your preference. I wasn't aware that they were listed in any order until I got to the end of the symbian OS review.

2.) As of the latest itunes patch released this week apple has intentionaly broken syncing with any non apple device. Now when you attempt to sync your pre with itunes the phone displays a picture of Steve Jobs giving you the finger (OK, that last part is a lie.)

3.) The multitasking you refer to in your article and true multitasking are a little different. Palm advertises that the pre is the first phone with true multitasking, and to my knowledge they are correct. What most phones with "multitasking" do when you switch applications are to save the application you were previously running in memory exactly the way it was when you left it. Then when you bring it back up it just recalls it from memory instead of reloading it from scratch. Palms multitasking works much the same way our PCs do, programs in the background are still running. They aren't in a dormant state, but still performing their functions in the backgroud. This can be good and bad. Its good because your nav program will continue to work while you are checking your calender (hopefully you aren't the one driving.) But it can be bad in the sense that all of these programs in the background are eating up processor time and slowing down your other apps. All in all, I think its an acceptable tradeoff.

4.) I would have liked to have seen an offering from samsung. Their omnia HD (symbian S60) looks very promising (although not currently available in the US.)

5.) If comparing smartphones for entertainment value the blackberry storm probably would have been a better phone to put up against the iphone and pre. Although the curve seems to have won out anyway based on its strong PIM and apps performance.

6.) Its hard to review just a phone OS since they are very much linked to the actual phone you are using unlike a desktop OS. Alot of things, like performance are tied to the hardware not the software. I don't know that giving an OS high marks for a minimalist or textual interface to prop up slow hardware is necessarily accurate.

7.) Some of your phones list data speeds while others do not. I would have liked to see data speeds for all. But again, this all depends on the network. And as is proven in the past you can't rely on a carriers published network speeds as verizon seems to have the fastest average speed even though at&t claims their connections are faster.



Holy Shit! This a fucking awesome article! Great job John! I can only imagine how much time you put into this. Keep up the good work!



Having a windows mobile phone for the past couple of years, I can only agree with this article.  I'm hoping that the new HTC Hero makes it's way over here to the US as that phone has peaked my interest.


Remember, don't take life too seriously.  You won't make it out alive anyways.

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