Originally Posted by Rocco Augusto
I have to agree with HTC on this one. Google Android and Windows Mobile are not even in the same league. Both platforms target completely different groups of consumers and where the Windows Mobile camp has been screaming at the top of their lungs for years hoping Microsoft will release a more consumer friendly version of their flagship mobile operating system, nothing has come of it at all.
While HTC's business making
WM phones may not be affected, I suspect the business of selling
them will be. With respect to Windows Mobile, there are basically four possiblities for Android-based phones:
- Android will be a failure and not affect anything. I doubt this will happen, but who knows.
- Android won't cannibalize sales of other platforms; it will just bring new people into the market. If the "market" is "smart phones", maybe that will be true for people who have held out so far and didn't get an iPhone.
- Android will only hurt marketshare for certain phones, but not WM. If Android is compelling enough and only a consumer phone, it could hurt the iPhone more than WM phones, but I doubt this will be true.
- Android will hurt all smart phone platforms, including Windows Mobile. I think this is most likely to be true. While it may not have the business credentials of Windows Mobile (yet!), neither did the iPhone, and I read about lots of people trading their WM devices for iPhones. The same could well be true of Android, especially if handset makers decide that it's cheaper to build Android phones than to build WM phones.
I also dispute the claim that the phones address different markets. I'm sure there's a somewhat sizable group of people like me who use WM phones for personal use, not business. (I don't even sync with an Exchange server; I sync with my PC.)
Also, I think HTC is
making consumer-oriented WM phones, like the Touch Diamond. Does that really seem like a business phone to you? Do business people really need a pretty TouchFlo 3D shell over Windows Mobile? I wouldn't.
Finally, while Android may not sync with Exchange (yet!), it does sync with Google properties, which may be good enough for some business people. For example, I recall reading about a law firm that used Google docs as their only office software.
No, the markets don't overlap completely (or even most of the way), but I bet Android will take a chunk of WM's marketshare unless Microsoft gets something more compelling out there.