The analytical agency Canalys has recently published a report stating that in the second quarter of this year the Android operating system is installed on 48% of all smartphones in the world. In several Asian countries it practically has a monopoly hold over the markets – 85% in South Korea, and 71% in Taiwan.
And so it appears that in my forecasts re the future of mobile operating systems I was overly pessimistic.
It now looks like the 80% Android market share I predicted won’t come in five years time, but much earlier – bypassing both Apple and Microsoft and, I can’t rule out, burying the rest. And this tectonic movement will be accompanied by powerful earthquakes – in the form of market wars. These will not only be technology and marketing-based but based on other things too.
And it seems popcorn too is set to get dearer.
The world of mobile operating systems is preparing for a patent war.
1. Apple and Microsoft and Co. have snatched a huge batch of patents away from Google.
2. Google’s chief lawyer on the on the patent attacks.
3. Another interesting link on this topic: Who’s Suing Who in the Mobile Business.
And do you know how it will all end?…
Exactly as things like this have ended before.
To demonstrate this – here’s a story which at the time was always in the news but which now appears to have been undeservedly forgotten: How Apple from 1988 to 1993 litigated with Microsoft over a patent on “overlapping windows” in their operating systems’ interfaces. Rather worthy and enlightening reading material, I’d say – and pretty pictures too.
A quick summary of the litigation: no one took the first version of Microsoft Windows seriously. But in 1988, after the release of the second version of Windows, Apple brought a suit against Microsoft, claiming that it violated its patent on overlapping windows and changing the size of windows in Windows 2.0 (nonsense, of course, but that’s how the patent system is in the US).
The litigation lasted several years (imagine the costs!); in the end Microsoft won. I hope Google does the same!
Anyway – I’m sure Android will win the market, no matter what.