It’s clash of the titans in the mobile, tablet computing and mobile OS arena. With the crowds screaming for blood and mass confusion in the marketplace what is a consumer to do? As an advertising agency we constantly have to have our fingers on the pulse of the industry to see what emerging technologies and software are coming center stage to making sure we maximize our clients dollars while keeping them relevant. There is still no viable ecosystem in the mobile/tablet market place. Giants are emerging in the arena and some are even teaming up with long time foes to gain market share. Because of this, you are left with fragmentation, an over-saturated marketplace, way too many choices to make and compatibility issues.
Apple has created a niche for themselves and are the dominant force in hardware and software. But if Apple sours your stomach and you are feeling brave there are some sure bets to satisfy your computing needs. Google has shaken the Apple tree and Android has emerged as the forbidden fruit and a significant player while allowing other hardware companies to enter the battleground. The difference is that you can’t really compare the two or even the other players (Rim, Blackberry etc.). Apple’s hardware is only sold with their software where Android is purely software running on other manufacturer’s hardware. Even with Google’s recent purchase of Motorola I don’t think full integration will be seen in the marketplace until mid 2012. There are also so many flavors of Android that even getting apps to run on all machines cross-platform is an amazing feat.
Google was also tag-teamed recently by Apple and Microsoft when they purchased certain patents making it more expensive for anyone using Android and not Windows Phone OS. So obviously you can see who are the marketplace giants.
“But I just want to check my email and update Facebook and maybe play Angry Birds!” I feel your pain, in order for the market to unify we need to create an ecosystem and uniformity across a small group of dominant systems. The profitability of apps has been unparalleled and the shift in the way society has integrated into technology is amazing. So when it comes down to brass tacks and you the consumer have to make a decision what should you do? What goes on behind the scenes should not really influence your decision too much. Here is what you should consider:
1. Choose a device that will accomplish your basic needs.
2. Pick a reputable company that has made a commitment to their product line.
3. Look at the amount of applications available/compatible for your device.
4. Read the consumer blogs to see what your peers think of the device.
5. Look at Youtube for product reviews.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about what is on the horizon. If you purchase an Android device there is a new App store in the mix. Amazon is popping it’s collar with its own app store and right out-of-the-box are offering a ton of great applications. They are even giving one “Paid App” away everyday. I hope Google is ready for another throw down because this will seriously affect the Google Marketplace (their current app store). Not to mention, Amazon is gearing-up to enter the Tablet war with two new tablets code named “Coyote and Hollywood” with very low price points. I am sure this is directed at Apple so the rest of the year should get very interesting.