Friday, May 8, 2009

Platform competition stiffens

By Hasse Annerfeldt
The playground for mobile OS/SW platforms has really increased in the recent 12 months. Instead of focusing on a few platforms we have seen the number increase. While we have seen Symbian gain an early lead leveraging its very strong position in terms of history, maturity and close relation to Nokia new platforms are now challenging it. What we have seen that Apple with the iPhone introduced a new era showing that offering products and services, that many operators and handset vendor’s have been struggling to achieve, is compelling to consumers. Apple starting from zero has got a large group of mobile phone users, enthusiastic and thrilled, over the user experiences it brings to them. They have also showed that it is possible to make money from music and application downloads which has been on every operator’s agenda for a long time. The success for this new Apple world has not yet been shared by the other handset vendor’s.

Google with its dominating position in the internet space with services and content is now filling a gap when creating the Android platform. An open source based project, has created a platform that will be highly integrated into services on the internet, copying Apple success for a potentially broader audience.

At the end of this year and beginning of next we will be able to see if S60/Symbian and Windows mobile can reclaim the initiative with new business models, increased openness and services that bring them into parity with the Open Handset Alliance model and Apple.

This should lead to a very compelling Christmas and new year sales season as the focus firmly shifts on to experience and service innovation which can only benefit all involved in the mobile industry from handset vendors, through to service companies, such as Teleca, consumers and independent application developers.

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