Although August is traditionally the ‘silly season’, there have been some significant events in the mobile marketplace. Here’s a summary of them with the implications for mobile marketing.
Google Buys Motorola’s Mobile Phone Division
This puts Google into a similar position as Apple whereby it can control both the hardware (from Motorola) and software (Android) on its mobile devices (both phones and tablets). This will result in Google branded devices with better user experience as the hardware and software will be managed as a whole rather than Android being spread out over many different devices. There will also be a solid Google Android focus for the competition against Apple. It’s worth noting that the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS both outsell any other smartphone and that no other tablet has come even close to the iPAD (I reckon that Amazon have the best chance with a Kindle tablet). The implications will be a better controlled platform for Android App development and lower prices as there will be a clear competitor to the iPhone. However, HTC and Samsung (who make Android based devices) must be getting nervous. RIM (Blackberry) have been losing market share to Android and this will accelerate.
HP Withdraw From The Mobile Device Marketplace
HP are giving up on WebOs and will be withdrawing from making smartphones and tablets. Their much touted tablet offering failed to gain any traction at all (until its price was slashed to less than £100). Generally, the problem faced by Apple competitors is that people don’t want a tablet – they want an iPad! Again, this will focus competition. One wonders now what will happen to RIM (under heavy competitive pressure) and the train crash that is Nokia.
Apple Announces iCloud
iCloud is Apple’s cloud based service for music/file storage and email/calendar/contact synchronisation. It replaces the (somewhat unreliable) Mobile Me (which incredibly was more expensive than Google Apps). The immediate benefit will be that you do not have to sync your iPad/iPhone/iPod with your computer – all your music etc will be held in the cloud and kept in sync automatically. There will be a file storage service along the lines of Dropbox although I have my worries about reliability (I had a lot of problems with Mobile Me) and convenience (Dropbox has ‘normal’ folders in your directory structure that are kept automatically synced and backed up). I expect we will see similar offerings from Amazon and Google.