The iPhone SDK. The Android SDK. Clash of the Titans? We think it might pan out a little bit differently…
Apple and Google are most definitely competitors in the mobile arena. But at this point in the game, they should be incredibly elated that they have each other as rivals. More important than one of them beating out the other for mobile market share is increasing the overall value of the mobile market.
Already labeled “the next big thing”, the main obstacle that both of these companies face in taking Mobile technology to the next level is infrastructure. The vast majority of Americans don’t use their phone to search the web… so how are you going to create all these killer mobile apps that are based on the concept of huge user participation?
There has to be a catalyst… and the iPhone IS that catalyst. Apple fans are diehard early adapters who feel they are a part of something. The people and consumers who support their products to the death are what makes Apple’s brand so darn strong. With the iPhone, Apple already has a legion of followers who WILL try what they recommend.
This is why many developers are crowding around the Apple SDK… they KNOW that people will use their applications because that’s simply the type of people Apple iPhone users are. The base is there, they are tech savvy, they are early adopters, they will try new things and they’ll get the word out there. Fair enough.
But based on the Android Applications, iPhone applications and mobile applications in general that sound the most fun, exciting and useful – the limited usership the iPhone employs simply won’t cut it. A cool novelty? Sure. A revolution? Certainly not.
That’s where Android comes in. Developers who have successfully launched iPhone applications will soon have a ridiculous amount of handsets to expand to once the first wave of Android handsets are released. And while the HTC Dream might be the first phone, we’re guessing there will be an Android Phone Day where 5 or so phones are released on various carriers.
Apple is the catalyst that gets the ball rolling with an immediate usership of tens of thousands of people. You can then take that base success and spread it nationwide by extending it to an Android Application. This certainly goes both ways… an awesome app on Android? Let’s extend it to the iPhone.
The point here is that one of these huge companies making the plunge alone would probably have limited success. But, since they’re both adding new users to the next generation of mobile technology, it doubles the pace that ONE of them could go. Actually… it probably speeds the process up by 10 fold. More potential application users. Greater potential for useful applications.
Remember here, the most highly anticipated applications for mobile technology are social software apps that allow you to interact with others around you on a locational basis using permission based GPS technologies. Having people… lots of people… is a prerequisite to making anything a social success. And together, Apple and Google have a lot of people.
This post was inspired by Michael Arrington’s post on tech crunch called “I Saw The Future of Social Networking…” It has a few screen shots of an undisclosed company’s secret mobile app that he thinks will be one of the first huge mobile social networking successes. Definitely worth a read.
I have dissed Apple and the iPhone SDK a little bit on Phandroid. A lot of it is playful banter. While I favor Android, I certainly see the tremendous value in the iPhone and their movement. Apple and the iPhone is genius… I won’t deny it. But simply put, it is more fun to dismiss it’s value compared to Android and hear the Apple Fanboys completely spaz out.