Do Android devices contain a BIOS? If not, how does it boot up? What is the software that actually boots it up and can you replace it?

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    It is probably called firmware. That would be used to start the machine. My Apple iPhone has firmware and it was updated at the last IOS 13.1 Update. I expect your Android would do something similar.
    – John
    Sep 28, 2019 at 20:31
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    No. Android is software, an operating system. BIOS is also software (or firmware) that is part of the computer hardware. BIOS is IBM PC terminology that traces back to PC-DOS's roots to CP/M. Other types of computers and processors (e.g. ARM) do not use that terminology for their integrated firmware.
    – sawdust
    Sep 29, 2019 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


Android is an Operating System, similar to Windows. Windows does not have a BIOS either, the computer has a BIOS.

Phones don't have a BIOS though, they have firmware.

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    Phones don't have BIOS. Vendors implement boot process inside their closed source SoCs. PCs have ACPI, phones have Device Trees (mostly). Bootloaders are also different, again closed source on phones. Only Linux kernel is same, that too modified. Userspace is again entirely different. On Android there is no console login, no traditional X server. Sep 29, 2019 at 2:15

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