Battle Of The Smartphone Platforms

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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.

  1. I believe your observation is largely a fact that would be very obvious in a short time.

    If we put our little platform bias and bickering aside, then RIM is certainly serving a lot of people in this country and other third world countries well because of the data compression it offers that in turn enables operators offer cheap plan on BB devices. Except other platforms are going to catch up on this area or that there is going to be tremendous improvement on network facilities that would cause drastic drop in data bundle pricing, then RIM will still be around serving some people well for some time in the future.

    The only thing that will cause Symbian to disappear from the scene so soon is if Nokia’s smartphone business is acquired. With the kind of camera hardware coming in the next Nokia Symbian device, I can see it breaking new grounds, winning even non-smartphone freaks. Some professional photographers might may buy it as an option for their job.

  2. I’m curious – are there more smartphones than feature phones globally?

    The smartphone arena I’m sure is of most interest in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia and Africa. Interesting enough, I read somewhere that RIM launched the Bold 9790 in Indonesia. Coincidence?

    Bada and s40 seem to straddle the middle ground between a smartphone and the basics. No doubt they will contnue to attract users not only in Europe but Latin America and the Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Not everyone wants or needs a smartphone and are quite content with an alternative. The market is aware and catering for that section accordingly. So yes, there will always be alternatives to iOS, Android and WP.

  3. (** test paying with NEW UCBrowser V8.3.0.133 S60V5 pf50 (zh-cn) release (Build12030918) **)

    Would love to see more software companies emulated this wonderful Chinese company.

    Supporting ALL platforms – including the dying Symbian..

    Kudos !

  4. (** test posting with NEW UCBrowser V8.3.0.133 S60V5 pf50 (zh-cn) release (Build12030918) **)

    Would love to see more software companies emulated this wonderful Chinese company.

    Supporting ALL platforms – including the dying Symbian..

    Kudos !

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