So that’s it, the last of the “big” players to reveal their hand has now done so and BlackBerry 10 has been launched with a big fanfare and a promise from all the major carriers to stock the handsets.
BB10 devices are out there and ready to take the world by storm.
That is of course if they can bundle Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android out of the way first.
Let’s be fair,
RIM BlackBerry have given themselves a fair chance and launched what looks like a solid platform. The big deals are still to be done regarding apps but launching with a catalogue of some 100,000 titles is no mean feat. They are still in the game and not dead and buried as some have predicted.
Windows Phone is growing, Nokia is shifting handsets, HTC have a great little number in the form of both the 8X and the 8S whilst the Samsung Ativ S is quite simply a work of art. Once again, the apps catalogue for the Windows platform is growing steadily.
Which leaves the heavily established big hitters, Android and iOS.
The Apple figures are massive. iPads, iPhones and iPods sell by the bucketload, the premium price only adds to the desirability factor and it could never be said that Apple design a bad mobile device.
However it has been said by many that iOS is showing its age. With a design that has changed little since its inception in 2007 there have been many calls for change. Yes, changes have been made such as addition of the multitasking bar, folders and notifications but the overall visual style and concepts have remained the same.
Despite launching after the iPhone, Android has gone on to become the majorly dominant player. Although Android has seen somewhat more change visually than iOS in the last few iterations, the differences between 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.2 Jellybean are not that major being smaller and more subtle. As a platform it has reached a level of maturity but there is still some way to go before it is anywhere near the finished article.
The gulf between the two big players in mobile OS and the two smaller is massive. Android has something approaching 70% of the smartphone market whilst iOS has 22%. This of course leaves only 8% for everyone else and there really isn’t any way for the big two to go but down.
This is where the two companies simply cannot afford to rest upon their laurels and think that what they have is good enough.
With the shiny Windows Phone 8 growing in stature and perhaps beginning to achieve recognition as a decent OS and with BlackBerry going all out to promote BB10, peoples heads may well be turned.
The apps catalogues for both platforms are only going to grow as developers recognise the potential of the OS’s and as this happens, people will begin to see more and more what they have to offer and so the circle will widen.
This leaves the question of whether the small changes that Apple and Google are making to their mobile offerings are any longer enough to keep people satisfied. The little tweaks here and there are all very well but people are fickle and easily bored and a spinning settings icon or a live wallpaper has a limited shelf life as far as entertainment value goes!
The talk around the patent wars has died down somewhat however the major buzzword throughout all of the trials was innovation. BlackBerry and Microsoft have shown us what innovation can be, its now time for Google and Apple to step up to the plate and show us all what they can offer!!