For developers and users alike, whenever there’s a new app there are always two options, Android and iOS, and it has been like that since 2008, some will remember the Windows phones, the Blackberry and the Amazon FIre phone, and with such big names attached, why hasn’t the market budged from Android and iOS?
Android dominance on the market may be surprised, after all, Apple did get a head start with the iPhone, and despite that, Android is cemented as the biggest market shareholder, with Apple as a distant second. On computers, it’s the same deal, Microsoft’s Windows has absolute control of the market, with Apple, once again, as a distant second.
Hence the idea of a monopoly is not really foreign for many people, windows are the default for many computers, people don’t even question it Windows has become synonymous for computers and laptops, in the same vein, Android and iOS have become heavily associated with mobile phones.
That’s not to say there haven’t been any attempts at disrupting the market, most people would remember the Windows phone, and there’s a reason, the world’s best-known computer OS is Windows, after all, a bit of a shame, it didn’t last long, and quickly disappeared from the public’s eye, except brand loyalists.
The next big one is blackberry, in a time before smartphones, Blackberry was among the biggest brands out there, but quickly dropped and disappeared once the iPhone and Android phones came about.
Amazon is another competitor, they released the Amazon Fire line of phones, though probably Amazon is better known for their tablets, like the Amazon Kindle. The Amazon Fire line of phones are even based on the Android OS, and despite that, most applications that you’d expect from an Android phone, like the Google Play Store, Gmail, Youtube, and Google Maps, are not found in it, you can download it from other sources, but are not native to the Fire Phone.
Blackberry’s case was mostly from refusing to adapt to the changing market, Google and Apple pushed for more and more powerful devices that rivaled computers, Blackberry didn’t share that vision, and we can see how that turned out.
Windows and Amazon are different, their problem was coming from the competition, namely Google. Google’s reach is so huge that most competitors face the seemingly impossible task of not only going up against Android but all of the suits and services that Google has to offer.
Apple’s iOS doesn’t have that problem, they develop and publish many of their own apps, and they’re good enough that they can rival, and even surpass Google.
Most other competitors have a much harder time, Youtube, Gmail. Google Maps, Google Drive, all those apps that many people take for granted, Google can simply decide to not publish them.
Other than not being able to use Google’s apps, the other problem would be getting apps for their own store, you’d have to convince a lot of developers to get with your own offering, with only the promise of having some sort of profit. Android’s app store has millions of apps, a new App store has to start clean, it’s a humongous task.
So what about Amazon Fire? It’s based on Android so it can access Google Play right? Well it technically can, but again, Google is the problem, while Android is Open Source, Android apps are not, so to have Google Play, Amazon would have to make a contract with Google.
That’s not all, the Open Handset Alliance, led by Google, is set to create standards for mobile devices, Android being the flagship OS. other members include Dell, HP, and Sony.
One of the main points of this association is that members cannot create hardware for non-official Android releases. This is another point where Google controls the market. Even if you made an OS using Android, even if it’s Open Source, you’d be hard-pressed to find manufacturers, have no support from Google, and no install base.
So if the biggest contenders can’t go against Google, what is there to do? It’s a hard question to answer, there is no way of knowing what is going to be the next big hit, there were people thinking computers, the internet and smartphones were not going to last, so the best thing to do is to keep an eye out for new technologies and to not be afraid to try the emerging technologies, even if they seem silly or impractical!
Author: Ing. Erwin Gonzalez