On the Argument That Android Is Taking Over

04 Apr

Nice piece by Jon-Erik Storm on Henry Blodget’s and Fred Wilson’s arguments that Android is the new Windows:

Really? I can come up with three counterexamples. One, gaming consoles. There are three: XBox, Playstation, and Wii. There has almost always been more than one important gaming console. Two, there are several web browsers that people use. If IE were still the only one, standards like HTML5 and CSS wouldn’t matter. Three, is Facebook really the only social platform? What is Twitter then? Maybe iTunes would have been a better example, eh? And as for PCs, Apple seems content with it being the #1 laptop and #2 PC maker with its approximately 8% marketshare, but yet reaping more profits. But the point is these examples are unscientific and don’t explain why technology platforms stabilize that way (if they do) and why that will apply to smartphones.

That’s the question of the decade. Is mobile going to work out like the console market, with a handful of competing and roughly equal major platforms? Or is it going to work out like the PC, where a lower-cost inferior licensed OS grows to an overwhelmingly dominant monopoly position? (And, as Storm points out, Apple’s penalty for “losing” the PC war is that it is now the world’s most profitable PC maker.)

(Also worth noting about the console market: the lead has changed hands several times: Atari, Nintendo, Sony, Nintendo. And second-place has changed numerous times as well. It’s long been a healthy competitive market.)

Update: Another WordPress blog fireballed. Google has it cached.