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Can the smartphone market support four healthy operating systems?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by thermal, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. thermal

    thermal Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Feb 11, 2011
    Do you think the smartphone market can healthily support Android, iOS, Windows mobile, and Blackberry?

    Would you like to see one or two systems take 90% of the market, or would you prefer market shares to more approximate 40% - 30% - 15% - 15% between the four above?

    I'm a little concerned that we may see Android/Google become the next Microsoft; extremely dominant due to good products, but also due to dying competition. And I'm not too crazy about how the Galaxy S3 and iPhone have something like 95% of smartphone profits, with everyone else barely hanging on.

    In my heart, I'm rooting for Blackberry to at least eke out a survivable market share. I'd like to see three or four relatively successful competitors, with the companies pushing each other to make greater and greater products.


  2. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    I'd also like to see a few competitors: the smartphone market is rapidly turning into the PC market of the 90s with Android playing the Windows role.

    That's not good for anyone .. 'cept maybe Google.

    In theory, there's no reason why the smartphone market can't have more players: it did (although Symbian was probably dominant) until iOS came along and killed the competition.

    Unfortunately, when people don't really understand what they're buying, they quite naturally buy whatever's most popular on the they-can't-all-be-wrong principle. It does actually make some sense.

    It's also not new: back in the dark ages when I started in IT, everybody bought IBM (the world's biggest plumbing company*) because "nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM". This idea was so strong, IBM got away murder - like telling companies that the fact their mainframes were 2 or 3 years behind the competition was an advantage because the technology was 'proven'.

    So basically, I would love to see BB get back up to 15-20% of the market. I would also like something else - maybe WP8, though I'd prefer something not north American (that's a different sort of monopoly) - take a similar sized chunk. I just don't see it happening.

    * technically true as their mainframes were water cooled. Probably still are - they're just not so popular as they once were
  3. AndroJar

    AndroJar Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    It is good to see healthy competition between all four mobile phone OS giants. I am sure there are still many die hard fans of blackberry phones. With the introduction of new Balckberry models Z10 and Q10 , Blackberry may revive some of its market share.
  4. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    the current big 2 are very very powerful.
    apple is slipping to number 2.. and will fight dirty to keep from dropping out of 2nd.

    so.. my guess..
    1st will have 55%ish
    2nd will have 25%ish
    Their ecosystem is what will keep them at top. way hard for the other to catch up.

    then i would think there is room for a 3rd at around 15%
    there to bite at the heals of top 2. just keeping up.

    the 4th.. is just at 5% ish.. and would always be in and out..
    or just enough to keep the lights on.
    may change.. new comers.. tryin

    well that is what i think for at least the next 10 yrs. who knows after that.
    this industry moves so fast.
  5. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    The market is always changing. Five years ago, I never thought BB would be in so much trouble now and that the iPhone would become so dominant. Who knows what will happen in 5 years time? It will be exciting to see, though.
  6. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Back in the early days of what was then called the "microcomputer", one of the factors that thinned the herd was the limited shelf space for boxes of software. (Back then there was no Internet delivery.) The record industry went through a similar crisis when the LP, EP, 7-inch single, Compact Cassette and 8-track tape formats competed for shelf space. The LP and (to a lesser extent) Compact Cassette won until the Compact Disc started the competition for shelf space anew.

    These days we aren't constrained by shelf space, but do have software developers, often single individuals, who cannot or will not give equal consideration to every smart phone platform. As usual, the root of the problem lies in needlessly proprietary application execution environments.

    As long as the major players aim for total monopoly, and refuse to agree on universal standards, we will continue to see one or two profitable players, and the rest going bankrupt.

    Hardware virtualization has been confined mostly to mainframe computing (where it's a powerful tool) and data centers (where it's of dubious usefulness). But recent rumblings of a smart phone platform that can accommodate two or more virtual phones in order to keep work and personal calls and data use separate might bring virtualization into the mainstream. If this becomes popular, it may one day be possible for the phone hobbyist to have several major phone environments on the same device. But that's a big "if"!
  7. unnamedny

    unnamedny Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    I really don't want to see 90% of androids market shares. It's monopolizing the market, and as proven that monopoly is bad.
  8. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    A phone VM?! Wow! I guess I never thought of that ..

    I can see it's technically viable - most phones use ARM processors - but I'm struggling to see where the market for it would be, outside of the sort of keen techies you get on a forum like this. Who are few and far between.

    Interesting idea, though.

    Re standards, I'm afraid Apple has turned the clock back there: people now see walled gardens as way more profitable - Google, MS and BB are busily building their own walls.

    Maybe this is another parallel with the early days of computing and as the market saturation increases, companies will start to see the benefit of lowering the cost of migration to their technology.
  9. eventhorizont

    eventhorizont Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    I am all for android! There is no place for closed source OSes in my head.
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Aug 30, 2011
    Graduate Student
    Android isn't going anywhere anytime soon and is pretty secure in the #1 spot for the time being.

    Apple is slipping, with techies hating that apple is fighting its battles in the courts rather than being innovative. The general population is even starting to come around. I know a lot of people who had nothing but iphones in the past buy the s3 because they were unimpressed with nothing but a taller screen.

    I want to see 3_4 players in the game. Competition only helps consumers.

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