The great moment of truth is here for RIM and Microsoft. The masses are aligning themselves with the future of the mobile internet and it’s pretty clear that these two former leaders (Microsoft had a Windows Mobile operating system for many years before anyone even thought of a mobile OS…way before Apple and Google…and RIM….well…talk about losing your mojo…) both seem to be losing the battle.
When you give your employees the ability to freely choose which device they want to use for communicating on business matters (as we have at TOA) – and an absolute majority of them choose either the iPhone or the Android (and to be honest – most have been choosing the iPhone ) and only a minute minority of them chooses the Blackberry (even the Torch was not able to generate excitement…) …then you KNOW something really big is happening.
In a post Fred Wilson gave a ringing endorsement to the Android OS and made some excellent points. He is clearly long Android (and GOOG) and so am I. I am not as critical as he is about Apple’s closed ecosystem, but I see and agree with his point here. Overall I think that both his post today and the subsequent related comments on his blog were totally in line with what I have been thinking for more than 6 months:
That the days of Blackberry are numbered (not by weeks, but by years, of course, but still…), and that I cannot fathom why anyone would be a proponent of Windows Phone 7, when there are so many great choices already in the marketplace and both Google and Apple are so clearly leading in innovation and execution on so many (and different) levels.
What’s astounding to me is just how fast this change has come. In fact, the tectonic shift in the mobile OS sphere has happened SO fast, it’s almost hard to believe that just a short 18 months ago there really was not much Android use to speak of and not much Android… And wasn’t it yesterday that RIM’s Blackberry ruled the business roost? (To be honest, it still does… but there is a clear downward trend…).
Let’s face it even the iPhone has been blindsided by the Android revolution, which really came out of nowhere with such speed to a threatening position of preeminence that almost no one saw it coming. Yet…here it is! And why?
One word: OPEN…
Two words: OPEN and ADS
The brilliance of Android is that it is an open platform and can be many things to many people and that sparks creativity on more than the level of simple apps… For example, I have three different keyboards on my Android (that I chose and installed) and two different (interesting) browsers…what great freedom to choose, to decide on even which components you want to plug and use on your device…!!!
And the fact that it’s free in more than just the architectural sense is huge: “all” Google wants is to have so many devices on Android that it will assure people around the world have access to Google’s ad ecosystem, have new ways to directly access google ads and in that way they will continue to rule supreme over the next big thing, i.e. mobile ads.
And they are already beginning to see huge amounts of cash from this… I thought it was astonishing that they lifted the veil on Thursday to reveal that they are on track to produce over $1 Billon in revenue from mobile ads next year…
So does anybody have any doubt what Google’s strategy to monetize Android is? It’s called eyeballs on their free operating and app ecosystem by any device manufacturer and any carrier leading directly to the Google Mobile Ad Network! Not bad! And why is this a surprise? It’s really not a surprise. It’s just the elegance, the completeness and the speed at which they executed that is amazing to me!
And where does this leave the rest? With an antiquated business model of selling operating system software to device manufacturers or selling devices with proprietary operating systems…both seems so… so… yesterday compared to $1 Billion of mobile ad generated revenue.
Even Apple, who also just bought a mobile ad delivery company, is going to be limited to the world of iPhone device users, where as Google will have access to anyone who uses an Android, whether it’s made by Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, etc. etc. and sold by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, America Movil, Vodafone, etc.
Android Rising?! … No doubt!