This prediction says that WinMo and Symbian are out at Samsung. Not a big surprise there.
The real news is some new “proprietary” OS is to take a majority share of the portfolio moving Android out of the picture gradually after 2011.
You will infer from my previous comments that the reason any deep pocketed vendor would shun Android is the same as why they would shun WinMo: no “control” over the whole product and hence no differentiation vis-a-vis an integrated competitor.
The Android devotees would then have to depend on their platform reaching critical mass without Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Palm and RIM, all of which will be shipping integrated products. LG got bought off by Microsoft and they will wallow in the mire.
Where does that leave Android? Moto and SE? They barely make up 10% of all devices and negligible smartphone share today and both are borderline going concerns.
That just leaves HTC, which shipped 80% of all WinMo. My bet is that they will ship 80% of Android, but that still tops them out at 10% share WW.
Looking at the platform game top-down and bottom-up you get the same story.
On April 9th, 2007 Apple announced that the 100 millionth iPod had been sold, making the iPod the fastest selling music player in history. The first iPod was sold five and a half years earlier, in November 2001.
Three months after that 100 millionth iPod, Apple sold the first iPhone.
My prediction is that sometime next year Apple will announce the 100 millionth iPhone OS device sold, making the iPhone the fastest selling platform in history. The iPhone will have been on the market for three years.
As of now there are at least 57 million iPhone/iPod touch devices in the field. This season there are likely to be over 15 million more sold. The bar to clear is therefore 28 million next year which seems achievable by Q3.
It goes without saying that 100 million contiguously addressable devices makes it the largest such device platform, but it may make it so by an order of magnitude.
Insipid and irrational politics are symptomatic to a company trapped by rigidity of response to asymmetric attack (and you can quote me on that.)
Nokia, the world’s leader in total mobile phone sales seems to be having new problems deciding on its OS strategy. There were some murmurings about embracing Android last summer, but Nokia seems to have decided against it. Stefan Constantinescu had this to say about the results of Nokia World 2009:
“The [new] software, Maemo 5, is a pain in the ass for developers since Nokia has admitted in public that Maemo 6 will come out in a year and it will break compatibility due to a switch from the GNOME environment to Qt. The browser, built on top of Mozilla technology, the same code that powers Firefox, is a step away from WebKit, the browser engine that powers Safari in the iPhone, the browser in Symbian, the browser in Nokia’s dumbphone OS known as S40, the browser in Android and soon the browser in RIM BlackBerry devices. Why is Nokia supporting something contrary to what the industry has already accepted as best in class? What’s the strategy?”
Technical mistakes and internal politics can sink a company in an intense competitive environment. Mr. Constantinescu didn’t perceive a coherent strategy. There may not be one.
That may be. Open only wins when the underlying service is a commodity for which improvements (other than price) will not be valued.
In my way of speaking, openness is semantically equivalent to “modular” and that is in contrast to “integrated”. Integrated is the only way to develop systems when they are not good enough. Modular is the only way to cheapen systems when they are more than good enough. Figure out where the technology is on the “good enough” trajectory and pick the winners and losers by the level of integration. It’s that simple.
There were hundreds of companies backing Windows Mobile for half a decade. And it made all the promises that Android is making now (non-phone devices, millions of developers, source code, Intel backing, contractors ready to build to order.)
The Android fan counter to this is (I’m guessing) that Microsoft could not execute! Google hired swathes of WinMo people into their mobile efforts. It’s the same crowd. Is execution some sort of magic pixie dust only available to Google?
The question of Android viability goes deeper than the app ecosystem. In fact the ecosystem is itself dependent on the network effect of the platform. That effect is weak because the platform is not “tight” and is prone to fragmentation and its value cannot be communicated to end users. That is due to the lack of integration and consistency of purpose.
Bottom line, the problem with Android was always that it was a reaction to Windows Mobile. It was symmetric in its approach to the market with the added value of being free. In that sense it’s very successful. It might even gain all the share that WinMo used to have (about 14% of smartphones at its peak). But it will never rise above the nicheness of WinMo.
I’m always amazed at the technocrati babbling classes’ inability to spot causes. They go on and on about execution and never understand that execution is a resource not a strategy. Resources are fungible.
I for one do not “hope that Android succeeds”. It’s a foregone conclusion that it will not. It’s not a matter of hoping.