The mobile market has really taken off and there is no sign of it slowing down, as I have previously asserted there seems to be continuous activity and a huge amount of information to take in to keep up to speed with this evolving market.
Recent weeks have seen Apple announcing the new iOS 5 and iCloud, Google’s announcement during the I/O event of updates to its Honeycomb platform and the announcement of the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich, the new release of Windows mobile as well as the continuous growth of tablets.
Over the next two weeks I will be blogging about my views on the current and future mobile market in a series of four. In this blog I will outline a couple of key factors within the market, following this I will cover the strategies of RIM and Google, followed then by Apple and Microsoft, finishing off with the impact this will have on enterprise mobility
As I have noted before technology is one of the main drivers in the battle between the giants of this market, but behind the scenes I believe we are on the brink of a bigger evolution in IT that will impact both the consumer and enterprise markets.
Some of you may be familiar with Mary Meeker who up until late last year held the title of Senior Internet analyst with brokerage firm Morgan Stanley. During Mary’s time with Morgan Stanley she successfully championed stocks for company’s such a Google, Amazon, eBay and right back in 1995 with Netscape earning the nickname “Queen of the net” along the way. I am keen follower of Mary’s work and I recommend anyone with an interest in technology (and stock exchange) to look out for Mary thoughts.
Last year while still at Morgan Stanley Mary released a report titled “State of the Internet”. This report stated that “The world is currently in the midst of the fifth major technology cycle of the past half a century” this being mobile internet, she then claimed that “within the next five years more users will connect to the internet over mobile devices than desktops pc”.
Mary Asserted that not only will we be accessing the internet via mobile devices but usage over the coming years will be ten times what it is today, this is shown in the below chart. Just think about how much time we currently spend on the internet each day and multiply by a factor of ten.
I think that one key point to remember when looking at mobility is that what we call the mobile market today, will be broken down in to sub markets; I discussed in a previous blog Smart phones, tablets and schmablets that the Smartphone and tablet markets will soon become separate markets, but you also have to add to this passive tablets such as Amazon Kindle and Plastic Logic as well as navigational devices and TV.
The Smartphone has really fuelled the mobile market and with multiple devices now available the consideration for the four giants RIM, Google, Apple and Microsoft is what they want to compete on. I have included a recent breakdown of market share below, however in my mind this is not such an important factor at this time.
For me the key factor is the penetration strategy that each company is using, for instance Apple who own both the software and hardware, focus on packaging the latest technology in a simple form and selling it at a premium price (usually around 400 £/$/€) using a price skimming strategy.
Google takes a different approach by developing the software and offering this free of charge as an OEM to obtain as much of the market as possible. Windows and RIM are on the other hand taking alternative strategies. Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post which will take a deeper look in the past and future strategies of both RIM and Google.