updated 03:55 pm EDT, Tue September 23, 2008
Piper on Android iPhone
Apple and Google are aligned to lead mobile computing, however Android will not likely have an effect on iPhone sales in the near future, according to a Piper Jaffray report. Android has the potential to take significant market share from the iPhone in the long-term, depending on how both companies evolve their platforms.
Both systems offer scaled down but practical browsers for mobiles; Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome. They also share music and media purchasing portals, iTunes and Amazon. Users could be attracted to Amazon's lower pricing on certain tracks or unprotected DRM-free content.
Apple has chosen a completely closed system for its phones, requiring developers to purchase an SDK and restricting the content to its own device, the iPhone. The tight control has drawn criticism from developers who have had their apps removed because Apple considered them competitive, without offering explicit guidelines for permissible software.
Google has taken off in the opposite direction, leaving the Android operating system open source for developers to enhance or modify. The company is not charging for a SDK, allowing any person or company to make applications for free. Android can be made to run on a multitude of devices, potentially reaching a much wider customer base.
Google has just begun its foray into the mobile market, but has positioned itself to climb the ranks. The success of Android remains to be seen, and although Apple might not have to worry about the competitor today, they will be keeping a close eye on Google.