Recently there has been a tsunami of Smartphone OSes (Tizen, FireFox OS, Ubuntu Phone, Jolla, etc.) with every other new OS calling itself different but did more or less the same thing. Are they doing the right thing? Is a new OS really needed?

In a way this can be seen as an attempt to capture the outliers and grow from there but one cannot capture a market by offering a similar / slightly better experience than the incumbents. In short none of these OSes broke new grounds!

However, as previously discussed in this topic, forking Android and improving on it is a better proposition (CynogenMod) than building everything up from scratch. This approach atleast gained traction and Cynogen fared better than many efforts mentioned earlier. Had BlackBerry embraced this approach and shipped devices with its own fork of Android, it would have atleast made it out of the red.

In my humble opinion, anybody interested in the smartphone segment, should focus on either forking android or extending Android. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the Android ecosystem and this is a bigger and better opportunity than creating another smartphone OS. For example, we can create a better shell and slowly transform it into a platform. Imaigne an uber smart Firefox launcher with an integrated runtime and appstore for HTML5 Apps that seamlessly merges web apps ecosystem with that of native apps.