Apple has always been great at building Operating Systems that work perfectly on their own hardware. This is a fantastic stategy as your end users truly appreciate the beauty of a machine thats works flawlessly. Alternatively look at companies like Microsoft that also build a highly robust Operation System that works on multiple systems. The problem with this is that Microsft has no control over the environment their OS is being installed on and thus are faced with a range of instability issues. However it does have the ability of flooding the market and literally being ‘everywhere’.
Apple does not have to worry about this as they literally build their OS for their computers and nobody elses. They have pursued the same strategy with the iPhone. The iPhone OS is built solely for the iPhone in an attempt to make a truly stable platform. Google on the other hand is taking the Microsoft approach and has been hard at work developing its own mobile operating system called Android. This OS will be avaialable to any smart phone manufacturer to install on their handsets.
Although I am not a huge fan of the multiple platform OS strategy, it could pose a serious threat to Apple. As of the end of this year every cell phone manuacturer will be able to compete with the iPhone’s main asset (its OS and developer platform). The first Android phone is rolling out on October 22nd and will include a iPhone style app store. Developers are already saying how much more robust the environment is and more importantly the requirements to be accepted by the app store are much less stringent than those being enforced by Apple.
With an OS that is going to be flooding the mobile market in 2009 and a developer platform that is more conducive the application innovation, Google stands a chance at seriously endangering Apples new found dominance in the mobile market. To get an example of some of the great apps being developed for Android (that will be available on a while range of phones in 09) see the article below. 2009 is going to be the beginning of the mobile wars, we have seen nothing yet!
- Last week’s unveiling of the first phone running the Android operating system—the T-Mobile G1, which will be available to consumers on October 22—suddenly made Google’s vision of an open
source smart-phone platform to compete with Apple’s iPhone seem much more real.