There was a time when Microsoft and Windows ruled the roost; it’s not so any longer. With many other players in the fray, the once ubiquitous Windows has now been pushed aside unceremoniously by upstarts like Android and the iPhone OS; and going by the numbers on a recent survey carried out by Zokem’s US
Mobile Life panel, the iPhone is the indisputable king of the mobile OS ring.
• iPhone owners are the most loyal to their brand, with 73 percent saying they would stick to Apple no matter what, with Android lagging behind with only 40 percent loyalty. Also, many who don’t currently own an iPhone, say that their next phone will be from the Apple stables.
• Rating loyalty for the Android is a trickier proposition because the OS is available for use on many mobile brands. So its collective sales may be much higher than that of the iPhone OS, especially with the phenomenal success that Froyo (Android version 2.2) is experiencing. Also, according to Zokem, 89 percent of Android users are likely to stick with the same brand of mobile phone, beating the iPhone which has only 85 percent.
• Another once-mighty player in this business, RIM and their BlackBerry OS, rate a poor 30 percent in terms of loyalty. Perhaps this is because of all the new entrants into the field and the low rate of innovation achieved by RIM.
• Windows Mobile and the Palm Pre OS rate very lowly with loyalty scores of 10, but maybe this state of affairs will turn around, what with the prediction that Windows 7 is going to be fastest growing platform for smartphones in 2011. Only time will tell of course, if this OS enjoys the same success in the mobile world as it does in the world of computers.
However, the competition in the mobile industry is fierce – BlackBerry has come out with many new models in the last year and are constantly updating and tweaking their software and OS; the iPhone is looking to stay ahead of the curve by offering multi-tasking and many more options on the mobile, and best of all, Android is being used to simulate a virtual desktop computer when combined with a keyboard and mouse – it has
become powerful enough to act as the CPU of a desktop device (check out Motorola’s Atrix if you’re curious).
So what does the mobile OS industry hold in store? From the looks of what has happened so far, we can see that the main players will be Apple, Google, RIM and Microsoft. And since most mobile platforms offer similar features barring a few minor differences, popularity and sales will boil down to brand loyalty and carrier efficiency (in countries like the US where most smartphones are tied in to a two-year contract with a service provider) – if you’re satisfied with your brand and your carrier, you’re not going to want to switch loyalties unless the competition has something really out of the world to offer.
This guest post is contributed by April Davis, she writes on the topic of Accredited Degrees Online. She welcomes your questions and comments at her email id: april.davis83(@)gmail(.)com.