There has been much debate about the preferred wireless platform for application developers. Every platform has its own advantages and challenges, and there are key points developers need to keep in mind when choosing the most appropriate platform for their applications.
Whatever your motivations might be when building applications, there is no dispute about the growing market size for wireless apps. We predict a couple of things to happen in the wireless application development market:
* Applications will evolve to become more intelligent and cohesive. Applications will integrate various services together into one, providing a simplified user interaction flow.
* There will be a shift in market approach as companies race to be the first to launch new applications on different platforms, and to provide the industry's most innovative, high-quality applications.
* And it will be survival of the most relevant. In a market where there are tens of millions of choices, it is getting harder for application developers to build and sustain end-user interest in the applications they build. Developers/companies who innovate internally and build applications that are highly relevant in solving a specific need in the market will survive
Platform choices will continue to evolve as well, and rapidly. Within a short time we have seen unprecedented dynamics where once dominant players have become a minority and vice versa. And while there has been much focus on open source there remains a strong desire by many players to control their own platform. We believe at any given point in time, the platform players will be playing musical chairs in terms of share in an increasingly opportunistic market. At the ecosystem level we see the players falling into three categories:
Product quality and excellence in go-to-market execution will be the differentiating factors which will decide market position. The market for Android and Apple devices is huge and continues to grow as new apps, features and functionality keep both players running neck and neck for market share. Emerging challengers (or resurrecting companies) like Microsoft with its new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will start chipping away at share.
While there's much talk about the preferred platform, the truth is that developers go where the money is first and foremost. In addition, the efforts platform providers take to foster the developer community, such as ease of use and flexibility, plays an important role. Apple/iOS had an early lead but Android is the new No. 1 in terms of handset sales and deployed volumes. The ability to cover basically all phone tiers -- from low-cost smartphones to high-tier flagship devices -- helps manifest the leadership position despite all the legal disputes currently continuing.
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