This blog post is one of the most popular books on this blog, and has over 200,000 views. It is filled with information on about the major mobile operating systems, and serves as a useful introduction to the topic.

While there are dozens of operating systems available for mobile devices, most people currently use the operating system that came with their device. But this is not the only option. Today, there are several different operating systems available for smartphones, tablets, and computers.

You may have heard of the Android and iPhone/iPad, but they’re not the only mobile operating systems that are available for smartphones. What is an OS? An operating system is the core of a smartphone or tablet – it provides the software that allows the device to perform all of its functions, and it’s what users interact with to make those functions happen.. Read more about what is mobile operating system and let us know what you think.

Everyone nowadays owns a mobile device and a personal computer with an operating system loaded. Whether on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or wearable, the operating system is critical in controlling the device’s internal hardware. In this article, we will explore mobile operating systems, including different types of mobile operating systems, their popularity, and how they work. So stay with us and study the entire article to obtain a thorough understanding of mobile operating systems.

What is the difference between a mobile operating system and a desktop operating system?

A mobile operating system is software that enables smartphones, tablets, and other devices to execute apps and programs. A mobile operating system (MOS) typically starts up when a device is turned on (by long-pressing the power button), displaying a screen with icons or tiles that display information and provide application access; this entire overview of the application and adapting/swiping/ on the screen is referred to as a mobile operating system.


Mobile Operating System’s History

  • Embedded systems (An embedded system is a computer system—a combination of a computer processor, computer memory, and input/output peripheral devices—that has a defined role within a larger mechanical or electrical system.) are used to control the operation of mobile phones from 1973 to 1993.
  • 1993–1999
    • 1993 April – PenPoint OS by GO Corporation becomes available on the AT&T EO Personal Communicator.
    • In March of 1994, General Magic released Magic Cap OS on the Sony Magic Link PDA for the first time.
    • August 1996 – Nokia releases the Nokia 9000 Communicator, which runs an integrated system based on Geoworks’ PEN/GEOS 3.0 OS.
    • EPOC32 debuted on the Psion Series 5 PDA in 1997. EPOC32 Release 6 will be dubbed Symbian OS in the future.
    • In June of 1999, Qualcomm’s pdQ became the first smartphone to run on the Palm OS.
  • The Nokia 9210 Communicator was the first device to run Nokia’s Symbian Series 80 platform, which was released in June 2001. This is the first phone to run the Symbian operating system, as well as the first to allow users to install extra apps. September – The Kyocera QCP-3035 is the first device to run Qualcomm’s Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform on the REX real-time operating system (RTOS).
  • Java Platform, Micro Edition, or Java ME, was released in 2002 as a computing platform for developing and deploying portable code for embedded and mobile devices, such as the BlackBerry.
  • The Nokia 7650, Nokia’s first phone featuring a camera and Multimedia Messaging Service on a mobile operating system, was released in June 2002 as part of Nokia’s Symbian Series 60 (S60) platform.
  • Motorola released the first Linux-based cell phone, the Motorola A760, in 2003. It was based on the Linux MontaVista distribution.
  • Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 5.0 in May 2005, and Nokia introduces Maemo OS in November.
  • January 2007 – Apple released the iPhone with iOS, which was a game-changer.
  • Apple releases iPhone OS 2 in July 2008.
  • OHA introduced Android (based on Linux kernel) 1.0 in October of the same year, with the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) as the first Android phone, another game changer in the mobile operating system market.
  • Samsung unveiled the Bada OS and the Samsung S8500, the first Bada smartphone, in February 2010. In May of 2010, it was finally released.
  • Apple released the iPad (first version) in April 2010 with iPhone OS 3.2. This is the first mobile operating system to include support for tablet PCs.
  • January 2013 – BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 smartphones debut BlackBerry 10, the company’s new smartphone operating system. BlackBerry 10 is not backward compatible with the BlackBerry OS that was previously used in the company’s handsets.
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ received Samsung Experience 9.0, which is based on Android “Oreo” 8.0, in February 2018. LiteOS 2.1 was released by Huawei in May. Samsung released the One UI, the latest version of the Samsung Experience UI, in November.

Mobile Operating System Types

When you buy a smartphone, the manufacturer has already decided on the operating system for that particular device. However, you should study more about the mobile operating system before purchasing a smartphone, tablet, or device to verify that the mobile applications you wish to use are compatible and supported. So, what are the various operating systems for mobile phones?

Android is a mobile operating system (GOOGLE INC. )

Android is a touchscreen mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open-source software, built primarily for smartphones and tablets. Google commercially sponsors Android, which is created by a group of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance. It was revealed in November 2007, and the HTC Dream, the first commercial Android smartphone, was released in September 2008. Updates and new versions of the Android mobile operating system have been released with names that are inspired by desserts (Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, kitkat, Oreo, etc.)

iOS (iPhone Operating System) (Apple Inc.)

Apple Inc. established and developed iOS (previously iPhone OS), a mobile operating system designed and developed solely for its hardware (iPhone, iPad, other Apple products). After Android, it is the world’s second most popular mobile operating system. It serves as the foundation for Apple’s iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS operating systems. Although some sections of it are open source under the Apple Public Source License and other licenses, it is proprietary software.

Badass (Samsung Electronics)

Bada is a defunct mobile operating system that ran on smartphones and tablet computers. Samsung Electronics was in charge of its development. Its name comes from the Korean word bada, which means “ocean” or “sea.” It includes smartphones ranging from the mid-range to the high-end. This mobile OS was originally used on the Samsung Wave, which was the first smartphone to use it. Bada has smartphone capabilities like multipoint touch, 3D graphics, and app downloads and installation.

BlackBerry is a mobile operating system (Research In Motion)

BlackBerry Operating System is a proprietary mobile operating system created by BlackBerry Limited, a Canadian business, for its BlackBerry smartphone handheld devices. The operating system supports multitasking and specialized input devices, such as the trackwheel, trackball, and, more recently, the trackpad and touchscreen, which BlackBerry has embraced for use in its handhelds.

Palm OS is a mobile operating system that runs on (Garnet OS)

Palm OS (sometimes referred to as Garnet OS) is a defunct mobile operating system created by Palm, Inc. Palm OS was created with a touchscreen-based graphical user interface in mind. It comes with a set of basic applications for managing personal information. Smartphone functionality has been added to later versions of the OS.

Symbian is a mobile operating system developed by Nokia (Nokia)

Symbian is a mobile operating system (OS) and computing platform for smartphones that has been discontinued. Many major mobile phone manufacturers, including Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and, most notably, Nokia, used Symbian. Fujitsu, Sharp, and Mitsubishi were among the brands that used it in Japan. It was the most popular smartphone OS on a worldwide average until the end of 2010 as a pioneer that started the smartphone business; after that, it was overtaken, as we all know, by nd iOS.

Windows Mobile is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft (Windows Phone)

Windows Mobile is a Microsoft-developed mobile operating system for cellphones and personal digital assistants that has been discontinued. The Metro design language was used to create a new user interface for Windows Phone. It was largely geared for the consumer market rather than the enterprise market, unlike Windows Mobile. Although it couldn’t hold its own against Android and iOS, it was eventually phased out.

Android Open Source Project-based operating system (AOSP)

  • OPPO Electronics Corp. created the Color OS. Since 2016, OPPO has included ColorOS with all of its OPPO and Realme devices.
  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its sub-brand Honor created EMUI. Most Huawei and Honor devices come with EMUI preloaded. It uses closed source and proprietary software, despite being based on the open source Android operating system.
  • Amazon’s Fire OS is a mobile operating system. Amazon’s Fire OS is an Android-based mobile operating system designed for its Fire tablets, Echo, and other devices.
  • GrapheneOS, originally known as Android Hardening, is an Android derivative that runs on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 devices.
  • HTC Sense was created for HTC hardware such as smartphones and other devices. The HTC Hero, the first handset featuring Sense, was released in 2009.
  • Vivo Funtouch OS is based on the Android Open Source Project, and iQOO UI is a consumer user interface built on top of it (AOSP). The general UI is similar to its predecessor, but with a bespoke UI built on top of the Funtouch OS.
  • ZTE developed MiFavor, a modified Android UI for their Android-powered smartphones.
  • MIUI, or Mi User Interface (MIUI), is a mobile operating system developed by Xiaomi Inc., a Chinese electronics firm. It is used in Xiaomi products such as smartphones and other devices.
  • One UI, formerly known as TouchWiz and Samsung Experience, is a full-touch user interface developed by Samsung Electronics in collaboration with partners in 2008.
  • Oxygen OS is a mobile operating system developed by OnePlus to replace Cyanogen OS on OnePlus devices such as the OnePlus One. It comes preinstalled on the OnePlus 2 and later.
  • Unlike the Nexus phones, which came with “stock” Android, Google developed the Pixel UI. The UI that came with the first generation Pixel phones was somewhat modified compared to “stock” Android. The Pixel UI and its home launcher are closed source and proprietary because they are part of the Google Pixel OS, hence they are only available on Pixel family devices.
  • Realme UI is a mobile operating system created by Realme that is based on OPPO ColorOS, which was developed using AOSP.
  • Sony Xperia UI (previously known as Sony Ericsson Timescape UI) was a front-end user interface developed by Sony Mobile in 2010 for their Android-based Sony Xperia series.
  • ZenUI is a full-touch user interface created by ASUS in collaboration with partners. ZenUI is Asus’s user interface for Android phones and tablets, and it is not accessible for license by third parties.

The Mobile Operating System’s Purpose

The fundamental purpose of mobile operating systems is to allow applications and programs to operate on smartphones, tablets, PDAs, and other handheld devices. The major roles of an operating system are to manage the smartphone. Internal resources, such as the processor, memory, number of programs available, and so on, are used to create a user interface, as well as to execute and offer services for application software. Open source (Android) or closed source (iOS) mobile operating systems are used (iOS). Security and other parameters can be defined based on the sources.

The following are a few of the most widely used mobile operating systems. With 72 percent of the market share, Android comes in front, followed by iOS with 26.40 percent of the total market share and 0.8 percent owned by others. Statista is the source for this information.

Android is a mobile operating system (Google)


Android is a Google-developed open source mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel. It’s mostly written in C, C++, and Java, and it’s intended for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is by far the most popular mobile operating system on the market. Because Android is open source, it can be customized. It is part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Some of the advantages of Android OS include its flexible user interface, which is found on most mobile phones, incomparable app volume, and high customizability.

* A wide range of devices, all of which are extremely convenient. Some Android devices have a history of receiving delayed updates, and it is less secure than iOS.

iOS (iPhone Operating System) (Apple)


Apple Inc.’s iOS is a fantastic mobile operating system. It is now the most advanced mobile OS in the world and the strongest competitor to Android in the mobile OS category. This closed-source mobile OS, written in Objective-C, is developed solely for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The benefits of owning an iOS device include a beautiful user interface, high-quality apps with solid security, regular version upgrades, and a safe smartphone. The following are some of the disadvantages: Closed-source, i.e., can’t be altered or has limited customizability, and isn’t as cost-effective as Android devices.

For further information, see Android vs. iOS.

Also read:

Mobile operating systems are mobile applications that run across a wide variety of mobile devices. They’re the very core of modern computing, and, despite their name, are not exclusive to operating systems. Because they’re so widely used for so many different functions, mobile operating systems have become much more than just a way to launch applications. They’re now deeply embedded in our lives.. Read more about which of the following is the most popular mobile operating system? and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the operating system used in mobile phones?

The operating system of a mobile phone is the software that controls the hardware.

What are mobile operating system briefly discuss?

Mobile operating system is a software that allows you to use your phone or tablet computer.

What are mobile operating systems describe six leading mobile operating systems?

Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, Tizen OS, and Firefox OS.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • mobile operating systems
  • mobile operating system
  • mobile operating system examples
  • mobile operating systems list
  • mobile operating system definition
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