Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have been battling for market share for years, and now Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trying to make some headway. Some say the problem is that only one mobile ecosystem can survive, but in my view, the market can support three or possibly even more successfully—with plenty of business to go around. We just might have to watch the market go through some growing pains in the meantime as the mobile market shifts and changes, thanks to new emerging markets.
More Than One “Ecosystem To Rule Them All”
Time Tech contributor Ben Bajarin also opposes the view that only one mobile ecosystem can survive. He points out that while a single company—Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) of course—has dominated in the PC industry for decades, the mobile industry is much larger than the PC industry was when it got started.
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It makes sense that in a small market, you would have just a single competitor that would dominate, but when you’re dealing with a market as large as the mobile market is right now, it’s not reasonable to expect a single company to own it all. Virtually every other industry supports multiple products from multiple companies, and they all do well enough to stay in the game.
Even though a handful of major companies own all the top brands, we still have more than one company, but we have several brands, each of which is almost like its own mini-company in a way because consumers view each brand individually.
So at the end of the day, I think we could see Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) join Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) as big winners in the mobile market. We’re actually seeing something very interesting in the market right now as emerging markets begin to adopt smartphones.
So even if one company starts to lose global market share to another, I wouldn’t be surprised if we begin to see things balance out a bit over time. Every smartphone user will gradually figure out which ecosystem they like the best, but this will take some time.
Personally, I’ve already been through Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and then switched to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Now I’m intending to make a Windows 8 phone my next choice because I’m not yet convinced that either of the first two is better than another. I just don’t see the stickiness that others see with these ecosystems, so after I try the Windows Phone, we’ll just have to see.