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iPhone vs Android

In his thought provoking article Randall Bennett has compared the iPhone and Android rivalry to Apple vs Microsoft rivalry of the 80’s.

The article show the similarity in Apple’s current approach to its approach in the 80’s where it lost out to Microsoft.

This article provides another viewpoint on the hottest rivalry currently going on. The surprising fact is that no commentator has Microsoft even in the frame.

Even the venerable New York Times has a post on iPhone vs Android

We think that a major change is happening in the technology space today

  • The game is moving away from the Desktop to the Mobile
  • Microsoft has been relegated to the background in the mobile wars
  • Apple and Google are encouraging a trend (even though as rivals), where more and more productivity apps are coming onto the cloud and the mobile
  • A huge chunk of developer community is moving towards the Android and iPhone development platforms. This is expected to provide Google and Apple the same Network Effect advantage, which propelled Microsoft in the 80’s and 90’s
  • The Application Delivery channel has become web based (iTunes,Android Marketplace etc). A person with a great application idea in the remotest place on earth can now can sell the applications to millions of users across the globe

So is this really a rivalry? Surely, both the platforms would like to capture as much marketshare as possible, but this rivalry is creating a healthy eco system for both the organizations to benefit.

I will take 2 examples how the mobile platforms are helping the organizations

Apple

Apple iPhone Apps can only be developed on a Macs. With the success of iPhone and the super success of iPhone Apps, a large number of developers have started developing for iPhones.

Now this would result in a huge number of Macs being bought, just for development purposes (and the numbers can be really huge in a country like india!). Infact, I think that analysts have not fully factored this phenomena while determining price targets for Apple.

So Apple benefits from Mac sales. But the biggest benefit is that a large number of these developers would also start bulding applications for the Mac. Now this would result in a lot more Mac apps being available and a drastic fall in prices on Mac apps, which would induce consumers sceptical of lifetime owneship costs to jump onto the bandwagon.

Google

I believe Google has a brilliant strategy in place. Sometimes the only way to win a game is to change the rules of the game itself. This is precisely what Google is doing. Can’t compete with Microsoft on Desktop Apps, just make the desktop redundant!

Google has been evolving Google Apps slowly but surely over the years. We ourselves run on Google Apps and can vouch for the tremendous benefits it offers. Google has been adding features to its Google Apps suite. Going forward we see more and more integration between Android based apps and Google Apps. This would in a few years result in a very compelling value proposition for enterprises to move onto this platform.

From our perspective, we believe that this rivalry is just accelerating the move from the desktop to the mobile. People have been blown off their feet by the kind of apps that can be developed leveraging the innovations present in the Android and iPhone platforms, and rest assured, the game has just begun.

We are excited to be at the forefront of this change!

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Anurag

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