In the 1970s and 1980s, the first basic mobile phones and electronic organizers arrived on the market as the predecessors of today's evolved mobile phones, handheld devices, and converged mobile devices. In the 1990s, the limitations of the real-time operating systems (RTOS) solutions resulted in the evolution of the high-level operating system (HLOS). In 2005, the mobile device operating system market continues to advance, with Symbian maintaining its majority share in the converged mobile device market, followed by Microsoft and Linux.
According to a new report from IDC, Symbian dominates the converged mobile device operating system market with a 55.9% share in 2004. Symbian's share of this market is expected to grow to nearly 60% in 2009. Microsoft Windows Mobile platforms had 12.7% of the market in 2004, with continued growth to 17.3% of the market in 2009. Linux had an 11.3% share in 2004 and is expected to capture nearly 17% of the market in 2009.
"Symbian Version 9.0 is designed to drive the Symbian OS into mass-market mobile phones, while supporting next-generation applications, services, and content and protecting against newly emerging threats. This platform will dominate converged mobile device volume for the foreseeable future," says Stephen Drake, program director for Mobile Software at IDC.
In 2004, for the first time in history, more pen-based handheld devices (PDAs) featuring Microsoft Windows Mobile (Pocket PC and Windows CE) shipped globally than those featuring the Palm OS, yet the PDA market continues to fade.