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Summary:

The falling fortunes of Symbian, the chaos as WebOS withers, and hiccups at BlackBerry are pretty visible signs of the upheavals in the mobile operating systems. The change obviously is because of the rise of Internet and touch centric operating systems. Is Brew OS next?

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The falling fortunes of Symbian, the chaos as WebOS  withers, and hiccups at BlackBerry are pretty visible signs of the upheavals in the mobile operating systems. The change is obviously because of the rise of Internet and touch-centric operating environments such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. The latest OS to fall victim to this shift is Qualcomm’s Brew OS. In a chat, Qualcomm President of Internet Services Rob Chandhok said:

[It's] not really the thing that’s in the spotlight for us anymore….we shouldn’t be too surprised: it’s been around for 10 years, there aren’t too many operating systems that have been around with only a couple of revisions in 10 years in the market….the pace might be a little bit slower than it was before, just because the market has changed.

It seems the company is going to continue pushing Brew OS, but only for low-end devices, Chandhok said. With more capable $30 Android phones popping up all over the world, I’m not sure there’s room for the Brew OS; it was formed in the non-Internet era and doesn’t have a chance in these times of “anywhere computing,” even at the low end of the spectrum.The San Diego-based Qualcomm has been spending liberally on the Android ecosystem and has dedicated a lot of resources to Google’s mobile platform. Reading between the lines, the Brew has lost its fizz!

For more in-depth analysis, we will be discussing mobile operating systems and the impact of mobile Internet on handsets and mobile services at our Mobilize 2011: The Mobile Internet Conference scheduled to be held in San Francisco on Sept. 26 and 27, 2011. Hope you will join me.

  1. Want mobile OS/dev platforms to bet on? Android, iOS and Windows of some variant (8 most likely), HTML5 are the clear answers going forward. Forget the rest. BUT, do not entirely discount Alibaba’s Aliyun, a potential longer-term disruptive force rising from China.

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  2. Swapnil Bandiwadekar Monday, September 19, 2011

    To be honest I never saw Qualcomm pushing Brew OS at least in my coutry. Even in new OS era Brew OS hardly made any public appearance. Everyone knows Android OS, iOS and for that matter even Symbian OS but even many experts will be surprised if you tell them about Brew OS. I’d say their biggest mistake was keeping it on low-end devices and feature phones from beginning and keeping it on OEM level only. I mean very few people except OEMs knew about it.Besides their strict and costly restrictions of app development and so on…

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  3. Brew is an OS in the same way that TI’s Nucleus is an OS. That is to say it played a significant role in the development of mobile, now it’s time has passed and it will be an overlooked footnote in the history of the industry

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