Over the past few months I have been reading a lot about the smartphone market and have been thinking about power relationships.
When one thinks about smartphones and similar devices it is usually divided up by critics into Google, Apple, and possibly Microsoft. In reality Samsung has dominated the Android segment of the market in many countries.
Thinking about this recently, this is more complex than the HP or Dell analogue in the PC market as there isn’t a carrier relationship in the PC market and the channel structures are different. This negates somewhat the power that the OS developer and the microprocessor manufacturer had in the market. The scale of the manufacturer provides advantages on distribution, ability to localise the handsets and marketing spend.
Apple would be slightly different by supporting a very narrow product set at higher margins instead, but having the same effect.
So I am currently trying wrap my head around whether operators need to worry more about Samsung or Google. Samsung seem to think that the power lies more with the handset manufacturer once they get to a certain scale as their Bada and Tizen operating system platforms provide an alternative to the Android operating system. Google’s take would be harder to discern due to the fact that it has to be seen to be keeping a number of hardware partners on side.
All of this matters as it would provide a better insight as to whether the Finnish start-up Jolla and it’s Sailfish project stands a reasonable chance of success. Jolla’s work is exciting as it offers a picture of where Nokia could have taken its Meego operating system before it got Elop-ed.
By the way before you forget it is unlucky to leave your Christmas decorations up beyond tonight.