The debate over Android, iOS, and other mobile-oriented operating systems might not matter so much in ten years time. This is the latest message being put forward by a posting from CCS Insight. The posting focuses on the battle of the OSes which is largely a two-way battle between Android and iOS. With CCS picking up on the fact that no third OS has managed to make a significant or successful breakthrough into the smartphone market. CCS even specifically highlights Cyanogen. While Cyanogen and Cyanogen OS did have clear ambitions to become the third OS choice, they did eventually succumb to the same endpoint as noted in the past with the likes of Nokia, webOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and the rest.
The reason CCS suggest that the smartphone OS debate might not matter so much in the next decade is not that a third OS will actually breakthrough, but more that the market is changing so rapidly that platforms like Android, iOS, Cyanogen OS, and so on, will no longer be viable. Instead, CCS suggests that by then, the 'battle' as it were, will have likely moved on to the next stage of technological advancement. Which the posting suggests very well could be at the artificial assistant level. If correct, then the battle will no longer be between Android and iOS and will be far more open to the possibility of other (non-Google and Apple) offerings. As CCS notes, in ten years from now, "we might not be talking about Android or iOS, but rather Google Assistant or Siri, or perhaps Alexa, Bixby or Cortana". Adding that the 'two-horse race' will be superseded by a new race, not disrupted by a new "type of horse".
Interestingly, going back to the duopoly of Android and iOS, one of the reasons which CCS attributes to the lack of a sustained third OS option is that smartphone manufacturers are typically not willing to gamble on "fringe mobile platforms" with flagship devices. Instead, it would seem that the preference of smartphone manufacturers is to make use of a "safe third-party choice" like Android. To the point where (with the few exception like OnePlus, Micromax, Wileyfox, etc), manufacturers are not even that keen on gambling with platforms like Cyanogen OS – which are based on Android.