The dominance of Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems could be about to weaken as several startups and projects have emerged that will shake up the smartphone scene in 2013.
From a band of cast-off Nokia Corp. employees to a giant like Microsoft, these groups have created platforms that could offer new devices, applications and services for consumers and more supplier choices for mobile operators.
Here's a rundown of the mobile OS challengers to watch this year:
Ubuntu -- U.K.-based Canonical is the company behind the Linux-based Ubuntu platform, and it announced a new mobile operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. With the new OS, Ubuntu aims to bring the desktop PC experience to high-end as well as entry-level smartphones. Devices running the OS are expected in early 2014.
Windows Phone – Microsoft's mobile OS has probably been eyeing a third-place spot behind Google and Apple for the longest time compared to the other challengers on our list. Nokia, the platform's biggest device maker, started the year with some good news for its Windows-based Lumia smartphones: The Finnish company shipped 4.4 million Lumias in the fourth quarter of 2012, which is better than it had expected.
But Nokia isn't the only fan of Windows Phone, and the newer version Windows Phone 8. Other manufacturers for this platform include HTC, Huawei and Samsung.
-- Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile