When you buy an advanced smartphone, the choice is less about the manufacturer than it is about the operating system (OS), the software framework that manages the phone and its apps. Each of the contenders has its way of doing things, each its benefits and pitfalls. Right now, you basically have a choice between these six:
Android – On an ever-increasing range of phones, most notably those from HTC and Samsung.
BlackBerry OS – On RIM‘s BlackBerry devices.
iOS – Apple’s iPhone (As well as the iPad and iPod Touch)
Symbian – Particularly on Nokia’s high-end phones, but also ones from Sony Ericsson and various Japanese manufacturers.
Windows Phone 7 – Currently found mainly on phones from HTC, but should be appearing on Nokias later this year.
Windows Mobile – On many devices, again perhaps most notably those from HTC.
There are a couple of others like HP’s WebOS and Samsung’s Bada, but these are the ones you are likely to meet. How then do they differ – and where do they excel? We’ll begin, later today, with the more business-orientated. You know, the ones you can justify buying by pretending they’re for work.