Google thus far has made the most significant advancement with its free, open-source mobile operating system, the Android. Distributing the system to a multitude of phones has allowed Google to take the mobile world by storm by sheer numbers. This hearkens back to the days of Microsoft’s takeover of the Personal Computer (PC) market by sheer numbers.
Microsoft has also recently entered the mobile phone market. They’ve recently come out with a mobile operating system, the “Windows Phone 7” (brownie points for originality), which is surprisingly usable. They have even started a promotion to give out free Windows Phone 7’s to every employee. Like most large companies, Microsoft is likely hoping that their employees will show the phones to their own friends and family members, who may want one themselves. It’s a form of advertising.
Nokia right now is suffering due to their lack of distributing a “killer smartphone.” While Nokia’s net sales this quarter were in the $13 billion USD range, the amount of profit was $285 million USD, down from $490 million USD in the same period last year. Recently, in light of the much-hyped “World Cup” of Soccer, Nokia teamed up with Rogers, a Canadian cellular provider, and other companies to distribute a free soccer ball to those buying their phones. Most customers weren’t fooled. A company will usually try to unload a product considered inferior by competitors’ standards by adding “something else,” which in this case was a soccer ball.
Meanwhile, Apple’s cracks are starting to show. Realizing that they’ve officially flopped with the iPhone 4 with reception issues, and having to deal with customer complaints daily, their insecurity and paranoia are becoming menifest. Recently “Sea to Summit,” an Australian outdoor adventure equipment manufacturer, released a mall aluminum spade which one can use to dig holes in the ground to deposit human waste. They hilariously dubbed it “the iPood,” which is an obvious play on the Apple’s iPod. Apple, instead of taking it as the joke that it is and leaving well enough alone, did not hide their anger and went after this small company on the basis that the name was similar enough to damage the iPod brand. “Sea to Summit” eventually “changed the name to Pocket Trowel, which is a bit boring,” said Rob McSporran, General Manager of Sea to Summit. Apple clearly does not appreciate toilet humour at their own expense.
Another big complaint about the iPhone, in general, is that it doesn’t allow for “Search” functionality, whereas Google’s Android phone does.
For the Mobile Phone and Internet Marketing industries, the phone right now to watch for is any one with an Android Operating System, since it’s the fastest-growing, incorporates search, and is internet and search focused. This information though can change in a month from now depending on what new developments happen.
Only time will tell where the phone wars go next, and what advancements will be made by Apple, long considered visionaries in the computer industry, when they release a much-anticipated iPhone 5. Perhaps they might mimic Google’s search functionality the way Microsoft mimicked Apple’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) on PC’s so many years back.