Friday, September 26, 2008

Android vs. iPhone = Will open or controlled win?

Android, which was recently launched on a T-Mobile handset, is positioned as a completely open environment for developers who want to build mobile apps. The Android approach is positioned to follow the open source software movement and the advent of communities of developers that help increase the value of the system at a rate that can't be matched by a company operating in a traditional closed environment. Salesforce.com's AppXchange is a great example of a company that has built a vibrant community of developers who are committed to building cool new apps that ultimately make Salesforce.com much more useful to customers.

Conversely, Apple is following its traditional proprietary path in the name of creating the best and easiest user experience. Today, the iPhone clearly has the most traction - both in terms of actual mobile phones in the marketplace and the activity in their app marketplace. However, at least a handful of developers are shifting to Android as their apps have been rejected by Apple.

The question will be how popular Android-based phones will be with consumers compared to their hip iPhone rival. I definitely expect the Android - iPhone battle to be every bit as interesting as the early days of Microsoft - Apple war. It will take time to determine which horese is going to win this race - and the stakes are huge. The winner will reap huge rewards and both Apple and Google are worthy competitors.

What's my prediction? Open wins over proprietary - and it happens much more quickly in today's world than in the early days of PC's.

What's your prediction?

1 comment:

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