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Can Any Smartphone Platform Overcome the Android/iOS Duopoly? 404

Nerval's Lobster writes "The company formerly known as Research In Motion—which decided to cut right to the proverbial chase and rename itself 'BlackBerry'—launched its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system at a high-profile event in New York City Jan. 30. Meanwhile, Microsoft is still dumping tons of money and effort into Windows Phone. But can either smartphone OS — or another player, for that matter — successfully challenge Apple iOS and Google Android, which one research firm estimated as running on 92 percent of smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012? What would it take for any company to launch that sort of successful effort?"
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Can Any Smartphone Platform Overcome the Android/iOS Duopoly?

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  • Re:Lots of Money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:18PM (#42754499) Homepage
    Microsoft will not win this time. If they continue to waste money on their phones, they will die an ignominious death. They need to move on to bigger and better things, like the massive robotic invasion that's not even ten years away.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:30PM (#42754661) Homepage
    Their only hope is for current Android/iOS devices to age out and become dull and boring, and then come up with something radically new. Google Glasses are a possibility, because they change the paradigm from a phone handset or a tablet to something radically different but with the same functionality of the phones plus a whole lot more. Microsoft would have to at least play catchup with Google, and I would bet a few bucks that Apple already has a few secret prototypes. If they don't, then they too are roadkill.
  • Kinda (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:34PM (#42754699) Homepage Journal

    I had a smartphone when Nokia had a monopoly on them. Even the almighty Ericsson wasn't able to make headway, albeit into what was a very small market. Palm then did relatively well, before doing its usual disappearing act, and then RIM took over.

    The difference between then and now, of course, is that Smartphones are now a big thing, rather than something nerds appreciate (while being bizarrely ignored by the marketing geniuses at Nokia et al who insisted that only business people on the go would want these kinds of devices. No wonder they never went mainstream.)

    The simple truth is we have Apple who popularized the concept, largely by concentrating on making the UI touch, rather than stylus or keyboard, friendly, and Google, who produced the first genuinely open mobile platform. While these are both awesome, the only degree to which people are tied to either platform beyond loyalty and brand recognition are apps, and given the numbers of people who do, indeed, switch back and forth from iOS to Android, I don't think it's the case that the app issue is that significant.

    Sometime to look at, as an example, is Amazon's Android. For developers, it's the same operating system as Google's version. For end users though, it might as well be an entirely different system. Your collection of Google Play software just isn't going to run on it. And yet it's popular.

    If Amazon can do that, then there's little reason to suppose that another company can't do the same thing. The major issue is that the companies that have, thus far, don't seem to be very good at it, and perhaps even are hampered by a very poor image. Blackberrys are what people used to use. Windows is that unreliable piece of crap we swear at every day. HP? Same problem. Nokia had a chance, as a very popular maker of phones that were even once admired for their design and innovation (OK, that was about 10-15 years ago) but bizarrely switched to Windows at precisely the point they had an OS ready to go.

    So yes, there's an opening. The question is whether someone will bother to produce something sufficiently decent that phone makers will be willing to adopt. I haven't seen that yet.

  • Re:firefox or ubuntu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:40PM (#42754783)

    The problem with ubuntu (and any new mobile OS in the past few years) is that they do not innovate, they simply copy and add a few gimmicks.

    Developer tools need to be available WAY before the launch. They need to be free. Pay developers for startup apps. Make an office suit, a few games, etc. and make them freely available for everyone. Make them run android binaries (last I've heard, the dalvik code is open source). See those cloud services others charge for? Make them free.

    Let your hardware partners go crazy. Don't impose guidelines, just make sure all binaries will run. The rest, leave it to them so they are not all clones of one another (like windows phones).

    Be ready to spend a few millions without return of investment.

    And above all, don't try to keep your competition out, invite them in. Google develops for iOS and with that they give out a good company image to iOS users. Maybe those that love the new Maps app will want to get it on android without the limitations. Having a full set of google services would be a plus.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:56PM (#42754989) Journal
    Did the submitter read this blog posting from an analyst first? [blogs.com]
  • Windows Phone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @05:06PM (#42755079)
    I just got my second Windows Phone today. I really like it. I don't care about all of the "Apps" because it does everything I need right out of the box. I think that a well integrated OS like Windows Phone 8.0 doesn't need to rely on millions of "apps" to be able to sway customers.
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @05:06PM (#42755083)

    I take encouragement that iOS is a combo of Windows CE and older Blackberry functionality that was done well. Schmidt was on Apple's board when they were conceiving iOS, and he took what he discovered and grafted it onto Android. These have all been incremental repackaging of stuff. BB/RIM has a weak engineering team, but good ideas, hobbled by not making vast ecosystems out of content, apps (especially games), and so forth. They focused on business. In a way, that much hasn't changed, but they're trying to break open the cartels behind iTunes and G+Stuff.

    Someone will come along and one-up the one-uppers. It's only a matter of time. Whether it's a Boot2Gecko/Mozilla, Ubuntu in the flesh, Chinese hack of Android, it'll be something. Windows 8 faces a lot of animosity, so it's a "dark horse" in my mind.

    All this will pass. Everyone will try to get you to buy new hardware, change your sub & carrier, do subscription models, and so forth. New combos will be found. Maybe BB will survive and flourish. The OP seems like he/she's asking a baited question.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 31, 2013 @05:07PM (#42755101)

    This is exactly what I want. My smartphone should be able to easily dock into my car and transfer my maps, media, text messages (to voice), call functions, etc to the car's display and audio easily. I know there's a level of that possible now, but nothing as simple as dock and forget. I should then be able to come home, plug my phone into a dock and have my media easily available, and if i have a landline style phone, my calls should just transfer to that while docked. Same plan with an office. Stop building on the phone, but make the phone the brain of a larger operation... Lot's of these things are already doable, just no easy, universal solution. All these years after Android too, I figured someone would have picked up on this and started it up.

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