Phone/Tablet wars heat up!  But why?

Phone/Tablet wars heat up! But why?

2013, Jan 03    

So at this point, I’m just entertained by all of the big companies attempting to jump into the cell phone/tablet field. I assume they think there is some form of gold mine there. Not entirely sure why. Apple did a great job honing in on the future. I’m not an Apple fanboy, but they did hit the nail on the head with the iPhone and iPad. Several companies had tried and failed and they did a decent job of making these devices useful. Apple is making a bit of money from their App Store, but they make much more on hardware. Especially with the Ipads and Iphones. Google could care less about the OS. They just see that as overhead to make everyone use their other products, such as Maps (it works. We’re addicted). Everyone else is just trying to get on the bandwagon and they don’t know why.

Blackberry Re-Enters the Game

Blackberry is trying to make another version of their own OS. This is ultimately going to fail. Most of us don’t really need an analyst to tell us that (Here’s one anyways.) My opinion is that they should understand the market and know why users used Blackberry in the first place, which was because it was so well tied into their email. With a Blackberry server in a corporate environment, you were tied into EVERYTHING. Licensing was reasonable, especially when you consider how much Exchange costs. So, this allowed people to be able to crank through emails, even when on road trips. Now that phones have improved past the point of just handling emails, Blackberry wants in on all of that too. Common case of overreach. You should OWN the email market. Make sure that all Blackberry phones are based on Android, and make some apps. Make sure that everyone has those nice keyboards, cause it’s still supported in Android. And just make sure that your crap works. Then you can leverage both the email functionality that you’d created and the infrastructure will be how you make the profit. Plus, people can play whatever animal projectile games that they want without worrying about whether it’s compatible. But they probably won’t. They’ll probably keep driving forward on their new OS and the company will (figuratively) burn to the ground.

Microsoft Clings to Life

Windows could be an awesome platform. It has such wonderful ties to the XBox market and gaming. The UI on their phones is amazing. They did a solid job of that. But it won’t survive either. Why? Because they screw developers, the people who choose whether or not to support the ecosystem. Even while people are using the OS and pleading for apps, Microsoft is burning bridges left and right with their hardware providers, trying to get a product out. Why work with them, right? “Apple is making their own hardware, and they make a profit. Let’s do that!” Yeah, but Apple, though they have done a good job of making an OS layer now, is a hardware company. They know it. Microsoft is not. They are a software company. Leave the hardware to the hardware guys. If you want to get direction, work with them. That’s what Google did with Asus to make the Nexus/Transformer and what it did with Samsung to make the Galaxy tablets. But here’s the biggest issue that I have with Microsoft. They are still trying to make money off of a product that the competition is offering for free. The Windows tablets come with Windows RT, which is a crap version of Windows that they won’t even let their office suite run on (though the processor will handle it). Seriously, you can’t even get email on their base model Surface tablets. They tell you in the store to forward all of your mail to Yeah, that’s going to happen. Instead, they are trying to make more money by getting us to either use the Microsoft Live services or by upgrading to their top-of-the-line surface table with the full version of Windows Pro. But that thing’s going to cost like $1000. Why would I pay so much for a tablet when I could just as easily buy a laptop with touch screen and solid state drive? At that point, the laptop will be lighter, have 500GB+ of HD (instead of 64GB that they are offering on the surface) and a high quality processor and video card, and will last no longer than a laptop for battery life. What’s the point Microsoft? Well, if you can’t win, why not whine? Microsoft is taking some funny approaches to get people to use their products again. Truthfully, I hope that the company does a major reorganization so that we can get some decent products out of them again. They are too big to fail, so a re-org is all we can hope for.

Ubuntu, the New Kid on the Block

Now Ubuntu is joining. I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing to finally get Linux on a tablet, but since you have to buy a tablet with either Apple iOS, Android, or Microsoft Windows on it, why are we going to wipe out a perfectly supported OS for an unsupported one? It just seems like such a waste. That is, unless you purchase support from Canonical. This is a fully open source company that makes most of their money off of support costs and consulting. I’m sure they can increase support of tablets, but I’m not entirely sure how much market share can be gained and how much profit to expect from this. It might be a bit easier to make a tablet into something that is less consumer driven and more producer driven, but that is yet to be seen.

And My Lack of Understanding

So, we know that iOS and Android are sticking around. Because their business model makes sense. iOS helps sell Apple hardware. Android sells Google services. The rest of them… all I ask is “why”?