updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed September 9, 2009
Ostracizing software-only strategies
Profits in the smartphone market are increasingly linked to a single business model, says Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf. At present there are two distinct approaches: integrated hardware and software, used by companies like Apple and Research in Motion, and a software licensing focus, favored by Google and Microsoft. The integrated approach is clearly winning, says Wolf, as evidenced by the growing control of BlackBerries and iPhones, and the secondary status of Android and Windows Mobile devices.
Software is thought be of critical importance however, mainly in terms of luring people to a platform through applications. In this regard the iPhone is "destined to play the role of the lead bull," according to Wolf, who notes that it already has a much larger number of apps than any of its competitors. Apple is not yet dominant in the smartphone market, but soon could be, the analyst says.