Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself
I expect Apple to continue to hold steady. The 'genius' of both iOS and Android is that they are mostly
IT support free. Sure then environment needs to be ready for them.. but other than some server setup.. (a long weekend for any Exchange admin) almost every device is self provisioned with word spreading among those who know how to set it up (if a user can't do it themselves).
This is why RIM will keep bleeding out. Microsoft, as always, is late to the market.. and mirroring other successful players. (think about the Xbox mirroring the PS2)
So who wins? Well, this isn't a game for winning and losing. Blackberry obviously hemorrhages and eventually is relegated to 'ultra legacy-hood' (much like IBM mainframes)
Who eats their lunch? Apple? Google? Microsoft? Hardly. We do. The consumer eats their lunch and the market place makes just enough room for Palm and Microsoft to maintain 5-9% market share.. with the other 3 players each splitting the remainder. What that means for those of you who aren't good at math.. is that Apple is already bouncing off the technical ceiling in terms of market share in comparable products.
So next question.. where does Apple go from here?
Well obviously everyone is diversifying their device pool.. in hopes to carve up more micro-marketing groups.. (young teens, jetset business travelers, netbook replacements etc.) but those are all obvious moves... and nobody is doing those obvious moves more predictably then Google. Apple on the other hand is still tripping on how powerful their media empire is. The real question is.. who makes the next risky move? An advertising powered contract? An iAd that gives you cell minute? A Facebook App that lets you make wifi calls for free?
These are all game changers and the players and field are still being defined in a minute by minute hour by hour debate in board rooms at Apple, Microsoft, Google, and even RIM.
I expect the iOS platform to continue to crush the user experience on Droid.. why? Usability. But conversely I expect the power of Droid devices to continue to trounce iOS.
So next step? Well if you are Apple.. you keep making the iPad rock. You make it rock until everyone has one... they are good at this.. and unless they royally screw up.. they rock out with their iPad out.. and make everyone eat the digital dust well into next summer. They plug Facebooks holes and continue to push Ping/FaceTime and other 'draft' technologies into the mainstream.. then they bridge the desktop divide with a new iChat in their next OS release... giving Facetime via Email legs.
If you are Google, you pray that you can innovate in the network application space the way they did 4 years ago. If they don't get another 'bubble' brewing.. they are going to drown in their own kool-aid. It's all great to say more devices = more users.. but more is not always better.. free apps has to give way to a marketplace which is sustainable.. and that marketplace is going to only get more twisted as the line between content, application, and service are all blurred. Google has a lot of brand image repair to conduct.. because the tech crowd doesn't always drive mass opinion.. they'd just like to think they do.
Go ask an 9 year old what they want. It isn't droid. Go ask a 15 y/o what they want.. still isn't droid. See? You can't just play the marketplace as if you can force adoption from the top down.. it takes battling on all fronts just to make a dent. (hence the ceiling over Apple until iPad is everywhere)
iDunno.. it's a fun match to watch.. but I think Apple is making their position stronger and stronger all the time while Droid is getting bigger.. but thinner.. less meat and potatoes and more 'good enough'. Whatever it takes to get to market... This reminds me of all the quick to market iPhone wanna-bes that popped up.. and then died. It's the same game again.. only with an OS.
We'll see how it pans out this Xmas. Survey says.. iPod touch and iPad carry the day.