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Five reasons iPhone vs Android isn't Mac vs Windows
Competitive lessons from the PC era don't always apply to mobile PC
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http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/04/five -reasons-iphone-v-android.html

Five reasons iPhone vs Android isn't Mac vs Windows
Competitive lessons from the PC era don't always apply to mobile
by Mark Sigal | @netgarden | comments: 2

Last week I presented at Stanford Graduate School of Business in a session on Mobile Computing called, "Creating Mobile Experiences: It's the Platform, Stupid." As the title underscores, I am a big believer that to understand what makes mobile tick, you really need to look beyond a device's hardware shell (important, though it is), and fully factor in the composite that includes its software and service layers; developer tools and the ecosystem "surround." Successful platforms, after all, are more than the sum of their parts' propositions. hey are not simply a bunch of dis-integrated ingredients. Having built hardware and software platforms since 1994, this thought process has led me to harp endlessly on why the iPhone platform (and its derivatives) is such a game changer. By contrast, I would argue that the long-term success of Android is anything but a given. It's human nature to look to the past in an attempt to understand the future. As such, I was unsurprised when I was asked during my presentation if Apple and iPhone vs Google and Android in mobile computing is "destined" to play out as Apple and the Ma did when confronted by Microsoft c and Windows in the PC wars. As I have provided "big picture" analysis on this topic before in other posts ( ere and here), I want to h share what I see as the five "little picture" reasons Apple vs Google isn't destined for the same outcome as Apple vs Microsoft: 1. Retail Distribution: During the PC Wars, everything came down to distribution and retailers like ComputerLand, CompUSA, Circuit City, Office Depot and MicroAge. Given the wide variety of hardware OEMs making Wintel-based PCs, both shelf-space for Macs and the technical know-how to sell them were severely limited, making a differentiation story like experience hardware hands-on and get educated about the full breadth of Apple products. An aside, this is a consumer touch point that Google absolutely lacks. 2. Pricing overhang: A primary reason for Apple's crushing defeat by Microsoft was Apple's misguided notion that it could charge gro ssly higher dollars for Mac products than Windows based PC offerings. Contrast this with the present, where Apple is consistent in their assertion and awareness that it cannot and will not leave pricing overhang (i.e. a sufficient pricing gap between its products and the competition). his avoids the past dynamic where 4 / 6 Translated by Dongmin Goh (twitter: @dongmingoh, e -mail: dongmingoh@gmail.com) Apple's a hard sell. oday, Apple Stores drive a superior environment for consumers to

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experience. iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all have followed this course. minds of developers, wins the war. In the P

launching and abandoning technology initiatives, co-opting and competing with their delineation points for developers, integrated core technologies across all products, and excelled at ensuring that the ecosystem made money.

esson learned, Apple is moving on to the . stage of its mobile platform, has consistently

hit promised milestones, has done yeomen's work on evangelizing key technologies within the platform and third-party developer creations - There's an app for that , and developed percent distribution to 85 million iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, and one-click is bottomless and never closes. By contrast, workflows. multiple ways for developers to monetize their products. No less, they have offered

monetization via same. Nested in every one of these devices is a giant vending machine that oogle has taught consumers to expect free, the Android arket is hobbled by poor discovery and clunky, inconsistent monetization

ost damning, despite touted high-volume third-party applications, there are

seemingly) no breakout third-party developer successes, despite Android being around twoonsumer technology

thirds as long as the iPhone platform.

the industry winners by virtue of standardizing on a given vendor or type of solution. This created a winner-takes-all dynamic, inasmuch as consumers would ultimately buy the same solutions that had been blessed by large enterprises. By virtue of its conservative nature safer choice than crazy Apple. And besides, accounting could solicit bids from multiple hardware vendors, which they liked. By contrast, today's breakthrough adoption begins in the consumer realm and filters back to enterprises, not the other way around. This change deeply favors a consumer products and its approach is decidedly design-lite and techie focused, not mass-market friendly. Extinguish, which basically meant that any segment worth owning incredible unfair advantages" icrosoft would ultimately marketing force like Apple. 5. hile oogle has done a reasonable job in the consumer arena, icrosoft mantra Embrace-Extendremember the motto, No ever got fired for buying IB ?), staid icrosoft always felt like a

dominate by the 3. version of its competing product. Part of this was a by-product of the above. Part of this was its ruthlessness in squeezing the lifeblood out of competitors through to keep working its product offering and market assault until victory was at hand. dominance it has created with iPod and iTunes; the powerhouse iPhone and iPhone platform

icrosoft had built for itself by virtue of channeling items -4 icrosoft full props for manifesting an unyielding resilience ac business -- the

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and the ambitious, and already well-regarded iPad -- does anyone wonder about Apple's advertising, despite launching so many new product offerings and seriously pursuing

a lot of seeds being planted, but so too, it seems to a less than laser-like focus on seeing those seeds to cultivation and full harvest. It begs the question, "Can a tiger change its stripes?" bviously a lot can change in the next couple of years. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that the

mobile industry that exists today looks nothing like the one that did before iPhone came on to the scene. Just ask Nokia. sufficiently commoditized for its device E -centric, horizontal model to tip the balance in its favor. Clearly, the best case for oogle with Android is that mobile technology and mobile platforms become

Never say never, but paint me a skeptic -- barring as =yet unseen missteps by Apple.

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