Apple is winning, but not why you think
Apple is winning the mobile war but not for the obvious reasons. Apple is winning because they are the first to realize that phones don’t matter. Samsung still thinks that making an awesome phone will win market share. Google is standing in a good spot but digging a big hole. Amazon is somewhere in France trying to locate New York. Nokia and Microsoft are on a good trajectory.
What am I rambling about? Ecosystems. More importantly, stable ecosystems.
The hardware doesn’t really matter. If it did then Android should have dominated long ago.
New features don’t matter or Amazon would be sitting with a nice product launch.
Reliablity and interface matter; a lot. Microsoft got that part right and now is playing catch up on the two things Apple is dominating at: Ecosystem and App variety.
If you bought a song from iTunes on your iPhone 1 in 2009 then chances are you can still listen to it on your iPhablet. You are probably using the same mail app (though with a cleaner interface.) Google is losing on this front because while happy to experiment (and give the market more options) the stability isn’t there. They are equally as likely to kill off a feature or service as they are to introduce a game changer.
My long winded prediction is Microsoft goes for the whole home ecosystem (Windows PC, XBoxOne Entertainment, WinPhones) providing a stable familiar interface that most consumers will find appealing. Apple will do the exact same by expanding on the ecosystem they have (AppleTV, iPhone, OSX) by entering the Internet of Things ahead of Microsoft. Introduced products will merge seamlessly into the existing ecosystem for both companies and enjoy long term support.
The Android side of things will continue to release a new device each quarter always better than before but without a consistent ecosystem to back the platform. IoT devices will be a must for Google, Samsung, and Amazon but will likely be abandoned as soon as the next model comes to market. These companies are still lost in the mobile war which is already over. By continuing to focus on the device they are doomed to stay where they are and miss the next wave of innovation.
About the author
Brooks Garrett is a dedicated technologist who specializes in information security. Brooks has spent over 10 years implementing security programs for both the public and private sector including some of the biggest names in the Fortune 500. When he's not managing risk in the corporate environment you can find him at the local firestation where he is a volunteer firefighter.