It really feels like we’re about to relive the 1990s Apple v Windows/DOS wars all over again. Rewind to the late 80s / early 90s. Apple had a proprietary OS running on proprietary hardware – it was a great user experience, but cost a bit more too. Heck, I remember playing on the Macintosh SE at my father’s office while I intermittently begged him to finish up work! Meanwhile, there were numerous PC manufacturers releasing relatively standard hardware – all running Windows/DOS. They were priced lower and they were more open to developers.
Look at what’s happening today. iPhone, a proprietary hardware device, which runs OS 3.1, a proprietary OS. It works really really well, and it’s beautiful. It’s an awesome consumer experience. Meanwhile, a bunch of manufacturers are about to release a whole slew of mobile devices running the Android OS. And of course, they’ll almost certainly be priced below the Apple solution, and likely be more open to developers, too.
So, last time it was Apple v Microsoft. Looks like this time it’ll be Apple v Google/Android.
So far, it seems like the same dynamics, on a similar timeline, are unfolding. I wonder if there are any market dynamics in mobile / 2009 that’ll make this one play out different than last time around?