Linked by David Adams on Tue 25th May 2010 04:07 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Over at Daringfireball this past weekend, John Gruber put words to what many people are thinking about after Google's rush of Android announcements and not-subtle Apple-bashing at this week's I/O conference: "all-out war." I agree with Gruber that a good old-fashioned bitter rivalry could be a great thing for the computing world, and for smartphone/handheld fans in particular.
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Google approach is the anti-apple, and it makes sense... if you try to be like your competitor, you lose if that competitor is established and is large enough. And apple is indeed the 800lb gorilla in the US smart phone market.

Google doesn't want the US market, if they can beat Apple in the rest of the markets. And other markets favor the diverse-yet-from-the-same-source approach of google. Which was similar to what MS did for the desktop over 2 decades ago. MS wasn't concerned on the HW as much as they were in making sure PCs with all sorts of configurations, sizes, and speeds... were running a copy of a Microsoft OS.

Google's model was to give the OS for free, something MS is not capable of doing, since Microsoft's culture simply doesn't allow/support it. Google makes the money in the cloud, which where their traditional revenue comes from. So in a sense they beat MS at their own game, in the mobile space... which was probably their initial goal. Apple's vertically integrated approach is simply not as scalable. But Apple's culture is more focused on profit margins than in massive user bases.

So chances are there will be two established players in the mobile space: Apple for the boutique/upper scale customers. And Android for everyone else. The rest of the world cares first about price, and they have no problem putting up with the annoyances that American customers may feel insufferable. So Android does not look as polished, and using it doesn;t make you shit rainbows.... but the rest of the world doesn't care that much. It is after all a phone, and their purchasing power is smaller, so they have other things to worry their minds with.

Apple will make their revenue from apps and media content they can distribute and control. Whereas google will probably get money the way they always do: via advertisement. I wonder what players which depend on content revenue, like amazon, will pan out on this scenario. And probably Microsoft will be squeezed out of this market, since they are too late and can't really compete unless they really get traction with their mobile office as their main value proposition (since the missed the boat on content delivery, and/or advertisement revenue). It would be interesting seeing MS being so tied to the fate of the desktop they so dominated, in a karmik sort of way.

Edited 2010-05-25 08:58 UTC

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