Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mobile vendors

Next session was  Apple, Google, their friends and enemies, the vendors that will define your future from Nick Jones.  Lots of information about the vendors, and I only captured a bit of it. But entertaining and useful as always. 

Some key points: 

Interesting in mobile space at moment, the vendors having the biggest effect are Google and Apple, relatively recent players.
Also not behaving like normal vendors, not asking us what we want, but giving us things we didn't ask for and didn't know we wanted.
Definition of a mobile vendor is changing. The device is now just a small piece of a complex portfolio made up of devices, apps, subscriptions, channels, broadcasting, TVs, social networking. Also quite complex business models. All about leverage of interrelated businesses.  Combining different channels. None of these new vendors has a single purpose. All seeing opportunities to make money in different ways.
In 2010 $2 trillion spent on digital products and services. Split between device, content, video services, fixed services, mobile services. That's a big market to exploit!

Nick then compared the main vendors on a number of characteristics:

Amazon.  Getting into tablets, building on the success of kindle and ebooks. Real strength is knowing our behaviour. One to watch.

Apple. Real strength is uncompromising usability. Also understand the intangible stuff, the wow factor. In innovation terms, control freaks, control everything end to end. Is a strength as well as creating challenges. Only release things when they work, totally controlled, no beta releases.

Baidu.  Chinese vendor, looks like Google 10 yrs ago. Vendor to watch.

Google. Vendor with broadest scope. Weakest point is social networking but getting into that with G+. Innovate without considering consequences. Purchase of Motorola has annoyed other android manufacturing partners. Not aspiring to be enterprise vendor? Security not high on agenda. Android has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese.  Most influential of these vendors.

Microsoft. Lagged in mobile space. Not doing anything of note. Tablet won't be there till windows 8, and will be enterprise not consumer product. Nokia partnership is interesting, and may increase use of windows mobile. 

Nokia. Very strong play in emerging markets as well as established ones, eg in India. Symbian going. 

RIM in difficult situation. Losing the corporate market, not big in consumer market. 

Samsung being hit by patent challenges by apple over Samsung tablet. Could be a serious challenge. They are big in other devices, fridges etc, could exploit this.

HP in a mess!

Some future scenario likely to involve  3 big players and lots of small ones, no middle ones. Need big ecoomies of scale to compete. So will be limited choice of vendors to deal with. 
Also, vendors not will not be classic enterprise vendors but consumer first. Consumer vendors behave differently. So, we will have to change as well.  No roadmaps. Rapid change. 
Go for platform neutral architectures. 
BYOD will be huge. 
We need to pilot innovative tools and services from key vendors and ensure we have the skills and tools to do this. Agility is critical. 
Vendors will continue to move into new areas. Keep an eye on them. 
Consumer products evolve rapidly. Have to live with it. Also brings real opportunities for innovation. 
Always have an exit strategy!

Mobility is an opportunity for innovation, we need to create the environment to discover it. Examples:
New ways to communicate and share information
New ways to delight customers
New roles for mobile devices eg as sensors
New services eg m-payments

Mobility is the best chance for radical innovation we'll have in a decade.

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