Linux Inside Your Smartphone

linux inside
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Chances are the cell phone in your hand runs on some variant of Unix or Linux. Yes, even your Blackberry.

It is no secret that Ubuntu Linux is developing an OS for the smart phone. So is Firefox. The leading browser of the world is building an open source Linux powered OS targeting low end smartphones. But they are not the only ones getting Linux onto smart phones and into our hands. Many telecom vendors including Nokia, Samsung, and Palm (now defunct WebOS) too have had Linux powered phones. Some were a success and others a dud.

Does anyone remember Nokia n900 Maemo which was based on Linux? Or Samsung’s upcoming Tizen OS based phones which are supposedly Linux as well.

Even the leading brands of today, barring Microsoft, are actually Linux or some variant of Unix. That’s right, Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry 10 all use some variant of Linux/Unix Operating System to power their smart devices.

Here we list what version of Linux or Unix resides within each of the leading brands.

Brand BlackBerry 10
OS QNX
Description Real-time OS which is Unix-like.
Launched 1982
Most used  Embedded Systems including Automotive industry, Blackberry 10 smart phones
Web http://www.qnx.com

 

Brand Google
OS Android
Description Linux based OS
Launched 2008
Most used  Designed for touch screen smart devices like mobile phones and tablets.
Web http://www.android.com

 

Brand Apple
OS iOS
Description Mac OS X, Unix
Launched 2007
Most used Derived from MacOS X which itself is a derivative of FreeBSD Unix with Mach Kernel.
Web http://www.apple.com/ios/

As we can see that all major smart phones are powered by Linux or Unix based operating systems, barring of course, Microsoft’s Windows. Thats a whopping 98% of the worldwide smart phone market which use a variant of Linux or Unix.

So next time, when you dial a number from your smart phone, be mindful its Linux powered.


Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.
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