I have always been a techie. As a child of the 80s I had an IBM PC with a 10 megabyte hard disk that had to remain completely immobile and level or risk scratching, I had a 300/1200 baud internal modem and I stayed up all night downloading a 64 kilobyte game that, at the time, was the coolest thing I had ever seen. My wife, on the other hand, thought anything with a screen needed rabbit ears to get good reception and that PC stood for popcorn.
Before Apple's iPhone and Google’s Android OS burst onto the mobile device scene in 2007, there were few significant advances in mobile technology. Frankly, "smartphones" (if we could even call them that at the time) were boring: they did little more than email, general messaging, picture taking, some basic apps and games, rudimentary internet browsing, and enterprise integration.
The biggest players at the time were Microsoft Windows Mobile, RIM's Blackberry, Palm, Symbian, and Linux.
Android’s introduction in the marketplace hardly seems like it was less than two years ago. In that time we’ve gone from zero apps to a robust app market and enough unique handsets to give whiplash to every early adopter wanting to ride the bleeding edge.
With over 60 different phones, 70,000 apps in the marketplace, about 20 OS updates, and enough interest to keep dozens of full time blogs crammed with news, we can’t call Android a “baby” OS anymore, but we can’t call him mature, either.
Ever since Apple released its App Store on the (then) iPhone OS 2.0, a special emphasis has been placed on the quantity of apps. As other app markets arrived, the same metric of success carried over. The platform creators used the quantity of applications as a way to convince critics that their platform was popular and thriving and that prospective buyers could take comfort in the platform they were investing money.
Pundits have been saying for some time now there’s no sense in trying to predict a winner of the smartphone war. Some say that the marketplace is large enough to accommodate everyone and that cage fights make no sense because the iPhone and Android phones cater to different audiences. Really?
While some may not like labeling winners and losers, there are winners and losers in business every day.
I have to say, I disagree with Kenny’s view that Apple is losing to Android. In fact, when Artem asked me what I thought of his article a few weeks ago, I went off for about 15 minutes listing reasons it was just plain wrong (at which point, I then debated back and forth with him for another 20 minutes).