Android and iOS may be the mobile platforms today but there have always been attempts to push other horses into the race. Most of them used the Linux kernel just like Android but a few were more direct efforts to bring some of the Linux desktop stack to mobile in one form or another. Thanks to changes in the industry, particularly in electronic components and production, there has been a steady rise of such attempts to create true Linux and truly open source phones, with Purism’s Librem 5 and PINE64’s PinePhone leading the way.
These are primarily targeted at a small hobbyist market and at users that value privacy and security above all else. But while those are valid and desirable goals, it’s actually important that these Linux phones become more mainstream in order to cultivate a healthier and better mobile market in general.