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Posts Tagged ‘Closed Platform’

I’ll start by saying that Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures inspired this post when he wrote the following:

“Think RIM is going to struggle more and more every day. Moves like they are making against Kik, which provides cross platform BBM, are likely to come back to haunt them. They should be making it easier for their users to chat with iPhone and Android users, not harder. Open platforms win and closed platforms die. And RIM still does not get what being an open platform means.”

Fred is a very influential tech venture capitalist who has backed companies like Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Zynga long before they became household names. When he has an opinion on the future of mobile technologies people sit up and take notice.

I blogged exactly 11 months ago about where I thought the mobile application future was headed (another post inspired by Union Square Ventures) and I wrote then that “I honestly can not see anything other than an open development standard emerging (and I’m loath to bet against Google), but I’m excited to see this all play out.” A mere 11 months later it is still too soon to tell if I (and Fred and Brad) are right, but the numbers are starting to bear us out. Currently Google’s share of the smart phone OS market is growing at 6.5% per quarter. RIM (blackberry) lost 3.5% in the last quarter and Apple (iPhone) stayed relatively stagnant at +0.8%. If this trend continues I imagine Apple and RIM, both closed platforms, will find themselves significantly trailing Google, an open platform, within the next 5 years. (Obviously, I think the iPhone will get a rather large, though temporary, bump when it is finally released on Verizon – especially if it is a 4G/LTE version. However, I think the long term trend will remain unchanged.

I’m still excited by coming developments in mobile technology (LTE on Verizon anyone?) as our phones and networks get ever faster and more powerful. And, I’m willing to bet that as the technology improves developers are going to be less willing to put up with stringent controls on the distribution of their work.

Maybe I’ll re-visit this post in another 11 months.

Good Talk,
Tom

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