And now for a bit of a global long-term forecasting.
What’s the story going to be with mobile operating systems in the future? In say around five years?
I’m ready to bet that – if the current manufacturers of mobile phones don’t change their strategies – the mobile OS market in the five years perspective will be split up as follows:
80% – Android
10% – iPhone OS
10% – all the Others.
How come I’m so certain?
Well, it’s because history’s repeating. Some 20 years ago, in the age of IBM OS/2 and Novell Netware, a certain company called Microsoft put considerable effort into promoting to the full a certain Microsoft Windows to developers of software – seminars, books, presentations and study courses.
A mass marketing campaign was carried out for the new software environment – and not only aimed at users, but also at the independent developer audience. What’s more, IBM and Novell rested on their laurels of already achieved success, and viewed all the upstarts with skepticism and didn’t adapt.
As a result new software based on their systems became more and more difficult to develop than under Windows. The market thus became Windows dominated.
And so today that’s what we’ve got – Windows, Windows, Windows, and Windows again, and a little Linux, and a little Mac, which, like with its apple logo, just takes a small bite out of the OS market.
So what have we got today?
From all sides what’s being pushed, propagandized and hyped is one thing: Android. It’s everywhere – and spreading like a rash. Just saw a new advert with a famous Russian actor, though I don’t recall what brand of phone he was promoting, mentions Android – specifically about it being faster!
And if you know Google “Android for developers” and “Symbian for developers” – compare the two. And what gave me a giggle was when I put “Windows Phone 7 for developers” into Google – the first non-paid-for result came up as “Windows Phone 7: Why it’s a disaster for Microsoft”
On the soft-discrimination policy of Apple I’ll stay silent here – this is a hot topic still sparking controversial debates. Apple can (and will) keep its share of the market only as long as it can think up new feature-packed gadgets that have the edge over hardware of competitors in terms of appeal. As soon as they come up against the “bigger, better and prettier – yeah, yeah, same old: no thanks” – they’ll start to lose market share.
In short, manufacturing hardware – anyone can do this. And as soon as someone announces a new super-device, shortly after (in three to six months) everyone else starts manufacturing similar devices (that is if they don’t mess about – like they did when the first iPhone came out).
But to make a lot of varied, functional and quality software – here without the community you get nowhere. The one who will build up around him a maximally effective milieu of independent software developers – he’s the one who’ll win.
Looking at the current situation – that will be Android.
And something tells me that it is the future Windows for mobile OS, for the abovementioned reasons – and to reiterate, if Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and BlackBerry don’t change their current attitudes to functionality, freedom of distribution and convenience of developing applications based on its OS.
That’s my humble two cents, anyway.
By the way – I’m ready to take your bets.