The smartphone market is an interesting one to watch, and I have been watching it closely. One of the key factors in the smartphone market is the availability (or otherwise) of 3rd party applications for respective platforms. It has been pushed that the smartphone market cannot support more than three (3) app ecosystems.
If we go by the current statistics are anything to go by, it looks like the platforms that will make up this top triad are: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Windows Phone has surpassed BlackBerry in terms of sheer number of apps, although BlackBerry still holds a larger marketshare for now.
Outside The Triad
The impression is given that a smartphone OS/platform is not viable if it falls outside of the triad. Is it true that a smartphone platform must have a huge availability of apps for it to experience growth and/or be viable in the market?
In examining that, I take a look at Bada OS, which has been experiencing commendable growth since its introduction.
Bada doesn’t have a robust app ecosystem. Neither does it have a service ecosystem like Apple’s iTunes or Microsoft’s Live/Zune to leverage on.
Yet, Bada OS grows.
Enter The Niche
It is clear to me that while we we will have about three major smartphone OSes with vibrant app ecosystems, the market is very much able to sustain other niche OSes outside of the dominant triad.
I project that in the end, we will have the triad plus a number of viable others with lesser reach and scope.