With mobile devices overtaking PCs, we are closely monitoring the Platform War. When these devices become our primary “computers”, what platform will they be using?
At the moment, it appears to be a two-horse race between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS with Microsoft and the rest lagging behind.
Android currently leads the market with a large number of device models and multiple carriers for those devices. However, it appears iOS is now the preferred platform for developers. And why not? Revenue from iOS apps are six times that of Android apps.
Microsoft appears to be the greatest threat to Android and iOS. Windows 8 tablet is emerging as a viable competitor to Apple’s iPad. Windows 8 is also a desktop operating system, making it an OS that works on all consumer devices: PC, tablets and smartphones. Microsoft’s approach with Windows 8 is to introduce the new OS via new PC sales, thus ensuring millions of users will not have a learning curve when using the OS on their tablets and phones. If Microsoft can continue to beat iPad in price-point and leverage Windows 8’s equity in the PC market, it could become a successful mobile OS.
The race isn’t completely over. The past few years have featured the demise of three mobile platforms: Symbian, WebOS and BlackBerry. As users migrate away from these platforms, what platform will they choose? Also keep in mind, there are a large number of global consumers yet to migrate to smartphones or tablets. The choices of these two groups will have a huge impact on the outcome of the platform war.
A few possible outcomes:
- Microsoft has success with their Windows Phone and Windows 8 focusing on touch.
- Android maintains its lead, perhaps with a unique device like Project Glass.
- Developers revolt and focus on HTML5 or other independent development technology.
- Apple wins and we all use iDevices for everything.
The Platform War rages on into the Mobile Future.