Android killed Windows Phone, not Apple

There’s no extra woulda-coulda-shoulda than Windows Phone
via Dieter Bohn@backlon Jul 14, 2017, 7:30 am EDT
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I commenced reflecting on what befell to these smartphones as the tenth anniversary of the iPhone came and went. And the notion that saved happening to me is how little all people knew about what changed into approximately to appear to the telephone industry earlier than the iPhone got here along. Nobody knew what they didn’t understand.

That led to a few hilarious charges from competitors which can be easy to mock now. BlackBerry CEO Jim Balsillie’s “in phrases of a kind of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I could suppose that’s overstating it.” Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s “PC men are not going to just parent this out. They’re now not going to just stroll in.” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s “It doesn’t enchantment to business clients because it doesn’t have a keyboard.”

After they said the one’s things, all of these CEOs attempted (and failed) to appropriately reply to the iPhone. BlackBerry duct-taped extra software program on its getting old platform and tried to make the complete screen a giant button. Palm made a pass of it with webOS, however, couldn’t get provider guide, nor make products exact enough for purchasers to go out and buy their devices.

 

Microsoft’s reaction changed into Windows 6.5, a hack on an antique OS that wasn’t designed for full touchscreen gadgets. Then Windows Phone 7, which became an admirable reboot with truly new layout thoughts. It got here too overdue, even though, and floundered. Windows Phone eight took a bad scenario and made it worse via angering Microsoft’s enormously passionate fan base after they learned current devices wouldn’t get software program upgrades. (The identical factor came about with Windows Phone 10, though via then it hardly ever mattered.)

Oh yeah, one greater element: someplace in there Microsoft sold Nokia and frittered away the most storied and relied on cellphone brand in records. Cool activity.

So even as Microsoft didn’t do itself any favors, I’d argue strongly that each one those machinations and flailings weren’t a reaction (or weren’t handiest a reaction) to the iPhone. The actual enemy changed into the business enterprise that had set its points of interest on Microsoft’s cellphone aims given that before the iPhone became released.

That organization became Google, of direction, and it handiest tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google’s actual target turned into usually Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.

 

Google’s ‘Sooner’ prototype, killed by using the iPhone Steven Troughton-Smith
The pleasant window into what Google became thinking about while it changed into creating Android is the 2012 felony fight it had with Oracle about Java. The deeply nerdy API info of that case don’t without a doubt count number now, but the system of a public, protracted courtroom war gives us a special and particular present: testimony and files.

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Here’s a number of what then-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, had to say approximately the introduction of Android:

Q. And once Android got here aboard and Mr. Rubin got here aboard, became there an enterprise approach fashioned about what Android could be and how it labored?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you inform the jurors about that? What was it?

A. My recollection changed into that the approach that evolved over the primary yr, which might be more or less 2000 and — 2006, was to build a platform — which, once more, we previously discussed — that would be unfastened and clear of a number of the other licensing regulations that had been slowing down the enterprise, and that would, in truth, create a viable opportunity to the then key players at the time. As you’ve earlier visible in the documents.

So our concept became that if we made something that changed into normally available, it might offer a variety of consumer cost; it can be a completely large platform, and it would develop very quickly. All of which has, certainly, came about.

Q: When you are saying open or opportunity to what became available, inform our jurors what you imply by that.

A. Well, at the time, we were quite involved approximately Microsoft’s products. It’s difficult to relate to that now, but at the time we were very involved that Microsoft’s cellular approach might achieve success.

It’s also actual on the time that the primary player within the enterprise turned into Nokia, who had a working machine referred to as Symbian, which we had been also worried about.

This become earlier than the iPhone become introduced and before the whole iPhone revolution befell.

Indeed, that occurred with Android, too. Andy Rubin famously revamped Android’s release plan whilst we saw the unique iPhone presentation:

Rather than consider Microsoft and Nokia and all of us else to hold their platforms open to them, Google simply went beforehand and made the open platform itself. And then it launched it to all people to apply totally free, undercutting Microsoft’s licensing charge for Windows Mobile.

Back then, notwithstanding the disruption inside the market that the iPhone introduced, US providers nevertheless had the electricity to decide winners and losers. And because best AT&T had the iPhone, the opposite three inside the US have been casting about for his or her competitive product. Verizon, particularly, become going to be the kingmaker.

 

In 2008, Verizon tapped BlackBerry’s Storm, which changed into a large failure. In 2009, Verizon checked out what else turned into around. Palm hadn’t been capable of persuading Verizon to pick up the Palm Pre and Windows Phone 7 became still a yr off. So Verizon went all in on Droid and the rest is records.

This is glaringly an oversimplified timeline. Nokia woulda-coulda-shoulda made a move, as an instance. Palm and BlackBerry and all people else made enough mistakes to fill books.

But in mobile, there’s no more woulda-coulda-shoulda than Windows Phone. Everything that made Android a hit turned into stuff that Microsoft turned into basically already trying to do. It’s simply that Microsoft did it no longer quite as well, not pretty as loose, and manner too late.