Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Mobile Wars! Apple vs. Google vs. Those Other Guys
After Nokia's software surrender, the five-way struggle for mobile dominance heats up

This is a fascinating change that well beyond the digital world.” Eco systems” or some call “platforms” vs. products are becoming the basis of competition. All companies and businesses MUST realize this fundamental change to create and sustain competitive separation.

"It's been a big couple of weeks in mobile. Verizon Wireless finally got the iPhone. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) unveiled the first fruits of its Palm purchase last year. Nokia (NOK), the world's biggest handset maker, abandoned its once-dominant Symbian mobile software system and demoted itself to a kind of glorified contract manufacturer of Microsoft (MSFT)-powered devices.The struggle for mobile dominance has entered a new phase. Why would Nokia throw out Symbian, with its 37 percent market share, in favor of software with less than one-seventh of that? Because recently hired Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop is convinced that Microsoft has better odds of going up against the four other mobile powers—Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Research In Motion (RIMM), and HP—and making its new Windows Phone 7 software a center of gravity for the world's programmers, manufacturers, and consumers. "The game has changed from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems," Elop told investors at a London press conference on Feb. 11. Actually, it's the same game that created the most valuable franchises in tech history, from IBM (IBM) to Microsoft to Facebook. All successfully established themselves as "platforms," in which countless entrepreneurs and programmers developed technologies that gave value to customers and profitability to shareholders—sucking oxygen away from rivals all the while.

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