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Four contenders in mobile computing ecosystem

Anuradha Shukla | Nov. 6, 2012
Mobile computing is all about the mobile ecosystem and devices are only one component in this competition, says Forrester.

Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the top four contenders in mobile computing ecosystem.

Although competing vendors are fomenting demand for the upcoming holiday selling season, a new report from Forrester indicates that mobile computing is all about the mobile ecosystem and devices are only one component in this competition.

New product announcements such as the latest version of iPad do not indicate the behind the scenes battle of a deeper ecosystem- a war between the four companies -Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

These four are competing for customer loyalty across a myriad of devices, offering different form factors, cloud services, and access to a range of content and media.  

Analysing the competition between these four Forrester analyst Charles Golvin says that Amazon can deliver a rich assortment of content seamlessly to its customers but its reach is much more limited than its competitors.

"Additionally, its method of working with mobile operators challenges its expansion rate," said Golvin.

Collective offerings from Apple

Apple's collective offerings attract a loyal customer base that appreciates its success in providing digital distribution for about every major owner of music, video, books, newspapers, and magazines.

On the flipside, Apple's personal cloud services still have gaps to fill versus, for example, Google Docs.

Commenting on Google, Golvin says that its greatest strength is the broad reach of its cloud services and Chrome browser. "Its library still falls short of both Apple's and Amazon's, and some media companies have shown reluctance to embrace Google as a partner given past collisions such as that between YouTube and Viacom."

Microsoft has not been successful in translating its dominance in PCs to the mobile market. The company has suffered from a loss of smartphone market share since the launch of Windows Phone 7 OS.9.

Although the company has released a wide range of personal cloud services such as SkyDrive, customers have not completely realised the value of these services. Microsoft's greatest strength in content and media resides on the Xbox, says Golvin.

Forrester suggests CIOs must care about the mobile ecosystem wars as looking forward, the best ecosystem will have the most apps and developers.


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