Look, there’s nothing wrong with competition. In fact, we all welcome it, regardless of personal preferences. Android geeks, Apple fanatics, Windows Phone aficionados, surviving BlackBerry supporters, we may argue all the time and each feel like we’re in possession of the universal truth, which we want bestowed on our clueless “enemies”.
But when all is said and done, you need little more than common sense to realize Android would be nothing without iOS. And vice versa. Windows Phone, BlackBerry? They look pretty pointless right now, but one dominated the mobile world for years in a row, forcing Android and iOS to evolve, progress and thrive, while the other seemed a big threat back in the day, also keeping the two top dogs on their toes.
Only today’s nearly saturated smartphone market appears incapable of at least sustaining the idea of competition. Three years and a half after debuting in the form of Windows Phone 7, the platform is still, well, a baby. BlackBerry? They’re on the verge of kicking off yet another comeback, albeit their market share circles invisibility.
Tizen? A stillborn project, according to many. Firefox OS, Sailfish? Let’s face it, aside from people whose job is to keep tabs even on obvious tech flops, no one’s ever heard of them. Bottom line, like it or not, it’s a two-way fight for supremacy, and so it shall remain for years to come. Need more proof? Well, let’s see
Why we think Windows Phone is dead
The report that actually sparked the idea in my mind to do the piece you’re reading, and that also confirmed to me once and for all WP has no future, is this Recode story. Yes, I realize it’s unsubstantiated gossip… for now.
There’s a silver lining for Microsoft as well, since rumor has it no Windows Phones will be on display at next week’s Mobile World Congress because they’ll be saved for intros during April’s MS Build Developer Conference.
Yeah, right. Also, HTC’s M8 (or “All New One”) is to trump Samsung’s Galaxy S5 once it goes official at last. And unicorns poop rainbows. Jokes aside, no, MS did not put off fresh hardware announcements due to a grander “scheme”. They simply have nothing to showcase. At least not at the same event as the GS5.
Think about it, who of their partners is still supporting Windows Phone? Samsung? They weren’t committed in the first place, and the ATIV S was just something to test the waters for possible further investments. Needless to say it bombed at the box-office, so don’t expect any sequels.
HTC? They’re fully focused on Android, according to their own claims, not affording to gamble one penny on something other than the M8, mid-range Desires, and maybe wearables. Huawei? Puh-lease, they’re insignificant on the Western hemisphere.
Which only leaves Nokia, the OEM that actually unveiled a new WP8-based handheld last week. Clearly, whether the Finns want it or not, Windows Phone is their focal point.
But don’t you find it fitting, not to mention ironic, the past few weeks were probably the best in Nokia’s recent history in regards to media exposure? And no, it wasn’t due to the Lumia Icon, but a smaller, less technically impressive gizmo backed by a certain green robot.
Why we think Tizen is dead
In short, we think, nay we know Tizen is dead because everyone says so. Sure, all our mothers taught us not to trust strangers, yet in this business, there’s rarely smoke without fire. And boy, has there been a lot of smoke concerning Tizen’s precocious demise.
What’s interesting is, at one point, Samsung stopped trying to convince us there was something to Tizen. And yes, some advanced prototypes, maybe even a “Zeke” handheld ready to see daylight, will probably visit Barcelona next week.
There’s also some rumble as to a Tizen-running Galaxy Gear smartwatch, though I personally doubt Samsung is that crazy and clueless. Unless they want to bury their wearables too.
Either way, with or without Zeke, with or without Tizen Gear, this is going nowhere. Several hardware makers and carriers pulled the plug already, whereas Sammy likely used the platform to strong-arm Google into selling Motorola and nixing the Nexus family as we know it. Don’t believe they have that power? Oh, you are so naïve.
Who else could matter?
Short answer: nobody. Long answer: nobody in the BlackBerry – Firefox OS – Sailfish group. Not today, not tomorrow, not one or two years from now. Maybe in five or ten years, if Android or iOS drop the ball. But at that point, BB will no longer exist, Mozilla will have gone back to developing decent browsers people use when Chrome crashes, and Jolla… who the heck is Jolla anyway?
Now, we could argue and debate whether the duopoly is good or bad for the mobile industry’s forward movement in the “post-PC era”. But let’s throw objectivity and gravity aside for a moment, and enjoy our favorite operating system’s moments of glory.