The iPhone is doomed and its death at the hands of Android is merely months away, according to prominent voices in the tech community such as venture capitalist Fred Wilson and former analyst-turned-journalist Henry Blodget.
The thinking is that mobile will follow the same pattern as Apple v Windows in the 80s and 90s; with the Mac maker’s products destined to be used by only a loyal niche, and Google adopting Microsoft’s dominant role.
We don’t think so.
At Summit, we believe the future of mobile will more closely follow the model of game consoles, with no clear market leader and each of the main competitors holding strong. Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii are all successful products. They’re all responsible for growing the market and they thrive, rather simply, by taking share from one another. We believe this is likely to be the pattern of growth in the mobile market too.
Nokia’s deal to use Windows Mobile 7 on all its handsets from the end of this year means Microsoft will remain a strong player. And iPhones will maintain their strong market position due to the triumvirate of iTunes, the Apps ecosystem and iOS (the operating system that powers iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches). And, like many others, we’re following the ever-evolving story of Web OS – will it remain with HP, will HTC buy it, will it wither on the vine – with great interest.
Android? If it can refrain from fragmenting in a dozen different directions, it will most likely be the market leader. This is due in part to the wide variety of handsets available (there are two iPhones on the market, but dozens of Android phones), but this growth doesn’t have to mean the death of the other platforms.
All this explains why we’ll be working closely with our clients, to ensure that the work we do performs equally well on each of the major mobile platforms.