Another contender for third place behind Android and iOS is Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry 10, set to make its final debut on January 30. At that time, RIM will announce pricing and availability for the first two BlackBerry 10 devices. The new version of RIM's smartphone platform features a touch-centric, card interface that has echoes of Hewlett-Packard's WebOS.
The final contender for the next smartphone showdown is Canonical's new Ubuntu for smartphones. The new smartphone OS requires no physical buttons and relies entirely on swiping gestures for controlling the phone. Ubuntu for smartphones uses all four edges of a device to reveal different functionality. Swipe from the left, for example, and you get Ubuntu's launcher with your favorite apps available. Swiping from the right when the phone is unlocked and you get your most recent applications in the reverse order you opened them. Canonical in the coming weeks plans to roll out a version of the Ubuntu phone OS for the Galaxy Nexus, and the first round of Ubuntu phone hardware is slated for late 2013 to early 2014.
Beyond these six big names there are also some other dark horse candidates, including HP's Open WebOs, the open source version of WebOS, and Tizen, another open source mobile alternative.
There appears to be more smartphone choices headed your way, but whether there's room for more than two mobile operating systems given the popularity of Android and iOS will be one of the big questions for 2013.
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