With the emergence of Linux as the most popular operating system for the computers around the world, there was need for the developers to diversify their market to reach out to the mobile devices users. Among the most successful Linux on mobile devices OS is Android. Android has manged to ship more devices compared to the once popular iOS from Apple. By 2012, Android had shipped over 300 million mobile devices around the world. It is interesting to note that Android is not the only OS in the field of Linux on Mobile Devices. The fact is Linux is very common such that you may have used a phone running on Linux without even noticing it. It is estimated that about 70% of all smartphones in the world currently run on Linux. If you have experienced the following platforms then you sure know the power of Linux on mobile devices.
This is a Linux platform that is developed devices manufactured by the Limo Foundation. The foundation consists of a number of manufacturers such as Panasonic, NEC, Samsung, and has been used to make many smartphones. It is estimated that more than 100 LiMo phone models have been sold in various parts of the world.
This is a Linux based OS announced in 2009 by Samsung. Samsung Wave S8500 was the first phone to be manufactured on the Bada platform and released in 2010. With a history of more than ten years in the company, the platform has been successfully deployed in a number handsets produced by the company. Additional features such as multi-point touch, 3D graphics, enhanced UI, and easy application download and installation have made Bada a favorable choice for Linux on mobile devices.
After the failure of the Palm OS, webOS which is Linux based was released to try salvage the ailing smartphone business. The Palm Pre was the first phone to be released with the webOS in 2009. HP later bought the webOS and intends to use it to manufacture tablets, smartphones, and printers.
Maemo is a Debian Linux based mobile OS developed by Nokia. This platform was originally designed for small mobile tables such as the N800 and N810 but the later versions of Maemo were used in the Nokia N900. In 2010 Nokia announced that they had merged MMaemo 6 with another platform to come up with MeeGo.
Meego was a result of a joint venture between Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo. Moblin is another Linux based OS designed for netbooks. MeeGo is designed to run on a wide range of devices including smartphones, netbooks, televisions, and tablets.
The initials SHR stand for Stable Hybrid Release. This is a Linux for mobile devices OS that is community driven and specifically designed for smartphones. This is among the many continuations of the now disfunct Openmoko Linux project. The first version of this mobile OS is yet to be released. The OS will be mainly run on smartphones and Openmoko hardware such as the Neo FreeRunner.
With the rising popularity of Linux, more developers are increasingly gaining more interest in developing applications geared for Linux on mobile devices. Google established the Google play where developers can post their applications for the consumers to download. There are over 50,000 applications available in the android market and this number is increasing with the increase in popularity of the Android platform.