We’ve been talking a lot about smartphones lately at BookedIN. Our customers have been patiently waiting for us to launch mobile apps and we’re preparing to do just that in the new year. While researching this topic, I’ve gained some interesting insights into the smartphone industry that might be helpful with your holiday buying decision.
Smartphones have been around for a while and there’s 3 main flavors: Android, iPhone and Windows. Which one should you pick? Short answer: it depends.
Mainly, it depends whether you just want a cheap phone and don’t care too much for fancy smartphone features (Android). Or you really want to embrace technology to make your life easier (iPhone). Or you’re an Xbox gamer, love Windows or just want to try out something new and innovative (Windows phone). Here’s some further insights on the overall market strategy and future of the 3 big mobile players.
Mobile OS Market Strategies
Here’s 2 articles I pulled off the newswire this morning that perfectly define the difference between Apple and Google’s mobile strategy:
Very cool and potentially very useful technology advancement. Meanwhile, over at Android…
iOS has had the ability to select privacy settings per app for a long time. I really have no clue why Android struggles with this. Oh wait… could it be bcs 90% of their business depends on removing as much privacy as possible? No, no, that couldn’t be it. After all, their mantra is “don’t be evil” 😉
Apple continues to make deals with media companies, cable companies, car companies, etc. to make tech advancements that are meaningful and useful. They will be launching the iWatch next year and iTV will be coming soon. Apple will undoubtedly continue to rule the device world by building elegant, simple and useful technologies that truly enhance life. This is likely why top industry insiders predict that the iPhone will continue to surge in popularity while Android’s honeymoon rise will start to taper off. Android will continue to be the king of the low end, discount market for a while yet but the competition is starting to heat up.
Of course, the mobile discount market has been Google’s play all along and a smart one at that, if you ask me. When Apple re-invented the mobile space, there immediately became a need for the low-end, discount option (every market needs one). Google saw this opportunity (along with a whole new medium for advertising), purchased Android (basically a replica of iOS), offered it for free to all carriers and Bob’s your uncle! Now, what on earth would motivate Google to do all this for free you ask? Well, to collect your mobile data and sell more ads of course. If you believe Google had any other motive for mobile, you’re sadly mistaken. Remember where their money comes from.
Windows Phone is the interesting one… it’s on the rise, has unique design/feel, is hooked in with xbox and popular with kids. They have a weak app marketplace and not many handset options (Nokia being the main option). However, Microsoft is a brilliant marketing and sales company and quite innovative (when it wants to be). They have a MONSTROUS user base and their mobile OS technologies show a lot of promise. I have no doubt they will continue to rise in the mobile device space… esp. once they finish cleaning up their internal org issues.
The mobile space is bound to get tighter in the next few years but the big 3 will have different motives given their core business model:
- Android will continue to play on Google’s strength in search and artificial intelligence and focus on strengthening Google’s advertising empire. Expect Android to get smarter AI capabilities and show more ads in more places than ever!
- iOS will continue to support Apple’s growing integrated devices empire. Expect it to stay simple and elegant while seamlessly integrating into more and more embedded devices which will soon include watches, TVs, cars and likely a lot more down the road.
- Windows may continue to attempt to compete with Apple but I think, if they’re smart, they will shift focus to enterprise mobile market. Competing head-to-head with Apple in the consumer space is not the way for Microsoft to penetrate the mobile space. They simply don’t have the culture to produce the simplicity and elegance that Apple delivers. They’re strong enterprise players, have decades of built up trust and relationships, industry leading office software, etc. And from what I see… enterprise mobile is one space that isn’t served terribly well by anyone. Since the fall of Blackberry, many companies have adopted the iPhone simply bcs it’s the only reliable and secure option (sorry Android, you’re short on both ends here). Windows has big opportunity to use this space to to slingshot themselves into a strong mobile presence. And the lack of strong app marketplace, which is a HUGE problem for Windows in the consumer mobile space, will not cripple them as much in the enterprise arena. Plus, enterprise mobile app development is a fast growing industry and no one is better positioned to take advantage of this than MS given their massive developer community.
So, to sum up… if you just need a cheap phone, don’t care about fancy features and don’t mind struggling with basic functions like auto-correct and copy/paste, Android will do you just fine. If you truly need “smartphone” features, don’t want to struggle with basics and don’t mind paying a little more, buy an iPhone (or any iOS device). And, if you work for big enterprise… be prepared for the announcement from your boss “you’re getting a Windows phone”.
As for BookedIN mobile apps, we plan to release for all 3 platforms (via HTML5 technology). Stay tuned for more news on this in the new year. In the meantime…