War was declared a long time ago, but now the battle finally begins in earnest. 2010 marks the year that Google Android and its many manufacturer and carrier partners took on Apple and its exclusive wireless carriers. The final prize? The primary determinant of the third web boom, the mobile Internet.
All the other handset manufacturers had their chance, but no one, not even Nokia or RIM (Blackberry) could unseat Apple’s dominance. It took another Internet company to truly bring networked functionality to a second mobile operating system.
Now there are omnipresent signs that the full fledged competition has begun:
- Aggressive marketing campaigns from megacarriers like Verizon (which if you include partner Vodafone, has significant international mobile holdings)
- Handset and computer manufacturers are developing a wide variety of devices with Android
- A competitive application marketplace is rising
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been here before. We all know how the closed MacIntosh OS did against the open Windows OS in the 90s. The question for Jobs is what will you do differently this time?
The long-term impact on communicators cannot be questioned. We will all need to communicate with our stakeholders on two inch screens in meaningful ways. How that changes best practices for both traditional and social media communications remains to be seen.