BII REPORT: The Race To Be The Third Mobile Platform
“Here’s an overview of the race to be the third mobile platform:
- The argument in favor of a third platform is straightforward and compelling: A new, robust competitor will prevent the dominant platforms from growing complacent or stifling innovation. Apple and Google are pretty happy with the status quo. Consumers are probably not consciously pining for a third mobile platform. Developers would happily get behind a third platform if it widened their revenue streams.
- Microsoft has a head start: It launched Windows Phone in 2010, and tablet-friendly Windows 8 this year. It is experienced in building developer communities. However, Windows Phone has so far only managed a paltry 3 percent platform market share.
- Amazon has the most potential to upend the market: A smartphone would be a natural extension of Amazon’s distribution empire, and its Kindle Fire tablet play. Amazon has 106 million unique visitors accessing its sites, many of them with credit cards on file.
- Samsung is a dark horse: Its dependency on Android may become a liability and push the South Korean manufacturer into the platform business. Samsung’s strength is its hardware sales prowess — Samsung shipped over 56 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012. ”
While Android and iOS control a similar share of the North American market, the mix is different and YMMV. Blackberry may surprise everyone with the new version and device(s) and Windows may still have some surprises up its sleeves in 2013.