The battle for mobile dominance is heating up as the war rages on. Some have risen to the challenge while others have taken a beating. Some underdogs have presented some new twists while some of the greats have lost their step. But it doesn't seem to matter where your allegiance lies: this competition is brutal, and it is make-or-break for many of those involved. But the rewards for dominating mobile is endless.
So let's take a look at all these platforms to see where they stand at the moment.
MeeGo is a result of the combined efforts of Intel and Nokia. The goal with MeeGo is to create a platform that is scaleable to many different devices, including smart phones and netbooks. However, that could create problems as too broad of a focus for a platform could result in doing many things good but nothing specifically great, which might not win over consumers. That said, MeeGo looks promising.
The project is still in its early infancy, so, with no devices on the market running MeeGo, it will be difficult to tell how far the project will go. However, it will be exciting to see what Intel and Nokia (leaders in their respective industries) come up with in the coming months.
WebOS is the platfrom that Palm has created to replace its elderly Palm OS, and it has made appearances on the Palm Pixi and Pre devices. The platform itself looks great. But many people would not know it with all the complaints that have been circulating about it (trust us, it is a great platform). Yet Palm has no one to blame but itself for the lack of adoption and enthusiasm surrounding the platform. Sadly, it all hit a new low when reports recently broke out that Palm is looking for a buyer.
Palm's webOS, as great as it is, is missing a few crucial things including user interest (from poor marketing efforts), third-party support, stellar hardware, and a strong backer. If a company like HTC, Motorola (doubtful), or Dell acquires Palm, it could give them a strong foundation to build their own platform to compete with the likes of Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and others. But will it happen? Your guess is as good as ours.
Blackberry has one of the most popular smart-phone platforms in existence, and, ironically, it is one of the least prepared to compete with all of the platforms mentioned here. Perhaps it is complacency? Maybe it is ignorance? Whatever it is, though, Blackberry needs to consider starting from scratch.
While most other mobile platforms have begun heavily integrating with Web-based services — keeping users connected to their data, their social networks, and their friends — Blackberry has failed to keep with the times. The Blackberry OS is starting to show its age, and many have been calling for a total rewrite of the code. It has yet to happen. True, the company maintains its dominance, but it is slowly (okay, very slowly) falling to the competition.
Windows Phone 7
The Windows Mobile platform has received a kick in the rear and fresh coat of paint with the new Windows Phone 7 platform that Microsoft has been sharing with the world, and it does look beautiful. Unfortunately, many years of Microsoft's previous incarnations of Windows Mobile has left a bad taste in our mouth's.
It features one of the most flashy and unique interfaces I have seen for quite awhile now, and it is sure to catch the eyes of everyone that takes a look at it. However, all the beautiful on the outside can't contain the fact that the vast majority of third-party developers have long but forgotten about Microsoft's mobile platform. But if people are willing to use Windows Phone 7, developers will likely develop for it. So will the glitz and glamour help Microsoft to reassert themselves as a force in mobile? It's a coin flip.
The iPhone. What can be said about the pride and joy of Apple? It is the hottest mobile phone and platform out there right now, and it is what all the competition envies the most.
Apple has recently announced the iPhone OS 4 platform that will bring some new features: the most prominent being multitasking, iBookStore support, folders, and e-mail refinements. Multitasking is the huge addition, however, and it could be the one addition that really propels the iPhone forward. Still, third-party developers are who Apple needs to keep happy in order for the platform to maintain its growth. But things are on the bright side for Apple.
Android is the brainchild of Google, and it is one of the fastest growing platforms available right now. It has the support of one of the most powerful companies in the world and is quickly attracting developers from many of the other platforms.
Android 2.1 has set the bar high, and with features like voice search, voice-to-text support, turn-by-turn navigation, multi-touch support, and many other features that really push the limits of what a smart phone can do. The platform is also becoming quite appealing because the number of third-party developers is increasing as well.
It's Not Over
In the end, the platform that is going to rule them all is going to be the one with the third-party developers. Right now, that would be the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. But nothing is set in stone.
This war is far from over, but the battle is just heating up. Competition continues to grow more desperate and daring as the world continues to cut the wires and enjoy the freedom of mobile. The company that controls the mobile landscape pretty much controls the future for many technological developments.
In the end, to say that this war is crucial is a gross understatement — it is the future.