Analyst likes vertically integrated smartphones

“We believe that user experience complexity will grow and weigh in favor of those companies that can control and deliver superior integration through vertical integration of software and hardware,”

link: RIMM, Nokia tops in ‘year of the mobile computer’ The Ratings Game – MarketWatch

I’ve been banging on about this for some time. The analyst continues:

“We expect this unstable period to last for another 2-3 years before expected user experience stabilizes and a more horizontal industry emerges,” he wrote.

In this type of market, Hall says, Google’s Android has a greater advantage in a horizontal market than a vertical one.

“We would caution investors against prematurely declaring Android as the winner as we expect the mobile computer OS platform market to be hotly contested over the next 2-3 years,” Hall wrote.

I would argue it will take even longer than 3 years for horizontal (or, as I call it, modular) architectures to become competitive.

The evolution of user interfaces is now so rapid that modes of interaction become obsolete before value chains have time to evolve.

The iPod continues unchallenged long after it over-served because standalone music players are no longer an attractive market to challengers, especially in light of the continued integration with a music service (iTunes).