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  1.    #1  
    HI all,

    Just a very brief article, discussing if the the Platform Wars are shrinking or growing larger!


    Take care,


    Is the number of smartphone platforms shrinking?

    Is the number of smartphone platforms shrinking? - The Frontline

    Earlier this week, the main site ran an opinion piece speculating that the variety of smartphone platforms was on the decrease, following events such as the recent high-profile failure of Microsoft's Kin and Palm's acquisition by HP earlier this year.

    But appearances can be deceptive, and if you look at it another way, the smartphone market actually looks like it is getting much more interesting, shrugging off the domination by one or two major players that has been the hallmark of the last decade.

    Apple may have started the shake-up with the iPhone, but its latest model has received mixed reviews and it is far from clear that this is going to wipe the floor with rival handsets and dominate the market in the long term.

    Meanwhile, it is a mistake to overlook Nokia, which still sells more phones worldwide than any other vendor. The firm has certainly seen a decline in the appeal of its devices compared with the iPhone and the flood of flashy Android handsets, but the entire Symbian ecosystem has been undergoing a difficult rebirth as an open-source project over the last couple of years.

    The Symbian S^3 and upcoming S^4 releases are the first major overhauls of the platform since this process was kicked off, and with all the features these promise to deliver, it would be extremely premature to say that Symbian's days are yet numbered.

    Then there is Palm, which might have been swallowed by HP but is said to be still working on new handsets. We may yet see further WebOS devices that might have a better success in the market with HP's branding behind them.

    And let's not forget Samsung, which has added its own new platform, Bada, to the mix with the launch of its Wave gaming handset.

    Microsoft's axing of the Kin phones had an air of inevitability about it - the platform had been delayed for years, and when the devices finally shipped, the whole world wondered what the hell the company thought it was doing.

    But Kin is just a sideshow compared to Windows Phone 7, which Microsoft is hoping will stand up better to competition from the iPhone and Android when the first devices ship later this year. And the company is still keeping Windows Mobile in reserve as its enterprise platform.

    Meanwhile, RIM still has a strong presence in the enterprise market thanks to its BlackBerry devices backed by the push email and management control offered by its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

    Nokia is also backing a second horse with its Linux-based Maemo platform - seen on the N900 device - which has now morphed into the joint Meego project with Intel. It is still early days for this platform, which may see the first x86-based smartphones based on Intel's Atom chips come to market later this year.

    So are we seeing a decline in the number of smartphone platforms, or a resurgence?
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  2. #2  
    The opinion piece didn't have any legs to support its premise. The only evidence of vanishing platforms they referenced were the Kin and Palm (I think they were referring to webOS as they didn't mention PalmOS). WebOS isn't gone, and I can't really say that Kin even started. OS platforms keep popping up. The market is growing and volatile. It could change completely in 6 months.
  3. #3  
    Kin was never a smartphone platform. Why it's mentioned, I don't know. It was screwed by the start due to major delays and some handy sabotage work inside MS. It was meant to put phones like the sidekick and envy to bed. But due to some MS tampering it had major delays. Those delays ticked off Verizon who scrapped the cheap plans that were going to go with the Kin. When MS finally gave them a product they put them in the smartphone category with the big monthly price tag which put the nail in the coffin. It had zero appeal to its target demographic as more kids have BB's, iphones and android phones (throw in the cursory webOS device here and there). Kids are tiring of sidekick/envy like sliders. They've outgrown them before they've gotten them. I think they're more for adults who don't need a smartphone. But now I'm seeing more adults with some of these phones outgrowing them and moving on to Android or BB's.

    But in regards to the number of platforms....

    1. iOS
    2. BB
    3. webOS
    4. Android
    5. WP7
    6. MeeGo

    and still kicking
    7. Symbian (though I think MeeGO will put it to rest)
    8. WinMob

    So you have six major smartphone platforms out there with two more lingering. And the platforms are shrinking how? Let's go back five years ago before the iphone came about. We had PalmOS, WinMob, Symbian and Blackberry. That would be four. I didn't read and don't plan on reading the article, but is the author mathematically challenged?
    Pixi: Sold. Pre: Passed off to another rep. Touchpad: Just a toy until Cloud syncing arrives, and a better doc editor.

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