Gennady Borukhovich (gboruk)

Jan 26 2010

Mobile OS market share (Circa 2015)

Web 3.0 is upon us and it’s not semantic web like some have thought it would be, it’s all about mobile.  The numbers are in for 2015 mobile OS market share with Apple still leading with 45% of the market share and Google Android biting at Apple’s heels with a solid 37% while Symbian has fallen to an embarrassing 8%.

Well clearly, folks, it’s not 2015, and the RIM OS is not on this pie chart, but this pie chart is not far from what I think we’ll see in only 5 years.  As I said, mobile web will be the essence of web 3.0.  Having the world at your finger tips on various mobile devices (mobile phone, slate, laptop, etc.) will be the norm and we’ll see people in old folks homes rocking their iSlate to play a game of Bridge.

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while now, but with the iSlate coming out tomorrow, I really had to buckle down and write this.  The following are my predictions of what web 3.0, the mobile web will look like.

Mobile native apps and appstores

As the chart above shows, the iPhone and Android will be, by far the two dominant platforms, so you can’t talk about that fact without talking about where the app stores or app markets will be.  Both app stores will be almost identical.  The Android market will rapidly catch up to and mimic the Apple app store.  Apple will be forced to somewhat relax their standards but the Android app may even have more apps.  Uncensored apps will account for the difference.

What kind of apps will we have?  We will see a lot more apps which run on both platforms that talk to each other.  What I mean by this is that apps like the Knocking Live Video app that’s currently available for the iPhone, will also be available for Android, and an iphone user will be able to share video with an Android user.  (I’m actually working on an app that will work in a similar way :-D… Sorry for the shameless plug).  In fact, I’d assert that app interoperability will be a very common feature!

Devices

Well up until now the mobile market has been laptops, PDA’s, and cell phones.  The Apple tablet (iSlate?), UPDATE #1 APPARENTLY, IT’S CALLED THE iPad. the Android tablet, e-readers, and other mobile devices will join the group.  This is not rocket science.  Amazon just released an their software development platform so that developers can develop apps for the Kindle.  They see this trend and are jumping on big time!  Within the next 5 years, having either a tablet, slate, netbook, as well as en e-reader (if they haven’t merged completely yet) will be a standard accessory much like just about everyone has both a laptop and a cell phone today.

One question I have, though, is, what hardware will we use to do actual work?  It is not feasible to write tons of code, develop websites, work on huge financial reports, etc. on a tiny 7-10” screen while on the go.  This is why I don’t think laptops are going anywhere anytime soon. UPDATE #2 with the introduction of iworks and browsing full web pages (think google docs), doing work on the tablets seems more viable. What a difference one little announcement from apple can make.

The tablets, or slates, that everyone will be carying will either allow you to run the mobile apps that you’ve purchased already or will allow you to run the laptop os (Chrome OS, Mac OS) as a host and the mobile OS as either an emulator or virtual machine.  This is still very hairy, but the potential is there.

Hardware Accessories

I was a bit surprised that with the introduction of iPhone 3.0, we did not see more hardware accessories and apps that work with external hardware that gets plugged into the iphone.  With that said, I don’t see much of a future here.  People will want to minimize how much hardware they carry around, not maximize.  This is a bit sad from a business point of view as these devices may have commanded some high margins for producers.

Conversely, more and more, we’ll see apps on our mobile devices be a gateway to our everyday devices.  Forgot to turn off the iron?… There’s an app for that.  Need to pre-heat the oven?… There’s an app for that.  Need to feed the dog?… There’s an app for that.  Etc..  Oh and Apple should and probably will trademark “there’s an app for that”!

Microsoft

So where does big Redmond fit into all this?  They have missed the boat BIG TIME!  However, they will buy someone.  My Guess is that they’ll either buy Research in Motion, Palm, or Motorola’s mobile division.  They’ll spend billions on this aquisition  and will be part of that 10% in the pie chart above.  WIth that said, look to Microsoft to build some bad-ass mobile enterprise applications that only run on their own devices but are interoperable with Android devices and iPhones.  Also, please watch for an upcoming post on what direction I think Blackberry should be taking in the very near future.

Should I switch from iPhone to Android?

I’ve posted about this before, and I’ll say it again.  Today, the game is not to convert iPhone users to Android, it’s to get people who don’t currently own an iPhone to buy Android.  Well for now anyway.  In 5 years, the battle will be full throttle and the two will be fighting to convert the other’s customers.  Watch for subsidized apps you already bought on the other platform, unlocked devices being the standard, etc.

Conclusion

I can’t wait to see how all this plays out!  I’m stoked!

What do you think? I’d love to see your comments on this one!

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