Posts Tagged ‘Droid’
As the launch of Windows Phone 7 approaches the question in everyone’s mind is: is it too late for Microsoft to secure a leading position in mobile? We’re now at year 3 “Ai” (After the iPhone). In the last 3 years the landscape has changed dramatically:
- Apple launched 4 successful phones plus the iPad
- Google launched Android and quickly secured a market leading position
- RIM has lost some ground with two under achieving devices (Storm and Torch)
- Palm launched the failed Pre and ran out of cash
- Once almighty Symbian faded
- Nokia and Intel joined forces with Meego
- Samsung launched Bada….
all this… and Microsoft has yet to make its first move.
In a platform battle that is surely to consolidate, in the limit, to likely one big winner plus niche players, it’s not a pretty situation for Microsoft. But if you are in Redmond you can’t afford to lose in mobile. PC shipments are an increasingly small share of device shipments, with mobile devices enjoying all the growth. Losing in mobile would relegate the Windows platform from a virtual monopoly to a minority player in only a few years when looking at all connected devices.
The question is what cards does Redmond have to play (besides a ton of cash)?
Location was once a unique asset for the mobile operators. You wanted to locate someone? only the mobile operator could find him/her. A valuable asset indeed, but as we now know most operators missed their opportunity to monetize it. Location is now being commoditzed and is available freely on many high end handsets, especially those that support GPS or WIFI. However Google also offers location based on the operators own base stations, and it does this in an aggregated way, across operators and countries. This service is available on any handset that supports Cell ID APIs (most smart phones and many Java devices). To be fair, operators still have the advantage of offering location across all devices, however. In addition, operator APIs are network based and don’t require that software be installed on devices which is an advantage for some applications.
How did Google build this database of operator base stations?
By now I’m sure you’ve seen Verizon’s aggressive “idon’t” campaign to compete against the iPhone with its new Motorola Droid. This is Verizon’s second attack on the iPhone after the first attempt with the Blackberry Storm failed miserably. Despite the Storm, AT&T continued to add new subs on the strength of the iPhone. Just last quarter AT&T added another 3.2 million new iPhones, 40% of whom were new customers to AT&T (a 2 year trend now).
Although Verizon desperately needs to counter the iPhone, I believe this latest attempt will hurt RIM much more than Apple. In other words, it will backfire cannibalizing more Verizon RIM devices than AT&T iphone devices. Here are two reasons why: