Verizon CEO: Third Ecosystem Battle Coming - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
03:56 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
4 Keys to Improving Security Threat Detection
Dec 15, 2016
In this webinar, Ixia will show how to combine the four keys to improving security threat detectio ...Read More>>

Verizon CEO: Third Ecosystem Battle Coming

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform has a chance to overtake RIM's BlackBerry platform and become the third major smartphone platform.

The current market has proven that it can't support an unlimited number of smartphone platforms. But there's still some consolidation to go, believes Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam.

In January of this year, you could argue that the top mobile ecosystems were Apple's iOS, Google's Android, Nokia's Symbian, RIM's BlackBerry, and HP/Palm's webOS. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 (merely months old) was but a blip. That was too many for the carriers and the market. At least one or two of the platforms/ecosystems had to go down.

The industry has done a good job of shaking things up this year, there's no doubt of that. Nokia's Symbian platform was the first to get the boot when Nokia ditched it for WP7 in February. It was followed more recently by HP/Palm's webOS, which HP decided to ax in August. (Though HP is considering what to do with webOS, it is for all intents and purposes defunct.)

With two down, that still leaves four major mobile smartphone platforms battling for carrier and consumer attention: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and WP7. This is still too many, and further consolidation is likely to occur. Android is the leading platform, and iOS isn't too far behind. They are both here to stay.

That means Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry OS are left to battle it out for the spot as the third major ecosystem.

"The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem," said McAdam at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference on Wednesday, reported FierceWireless. "Over the next 12 months I think it will coalesce and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem."

Which will it be?

There's no doubt that RIM is in trouble. It has misfired completely with the PlayBook tablet, and its latest batch of BlackBerry smartphones--while capable little business machines--are not the revolutionary type of product that most users want.

Can Microsoft really step up and fill RIM's enterprise and consumer shoes? A recent report from Connected Enterprise paints an uncertain picture.

Its data shows that 45% of consumers aren't even aware that Windows Phone 7 exists. Of those who at least knew that WP7 existed, most indicated that they didn't know enough about it for the platform to garner any real attention. Others said they were afraid of lock-in with the WP7 ecosystem, with 21% saying they had already invested too much time and/or money in competing platforms.

With RIM's missteps, Microsoft has a real opportunity here to become the third major player in the smartphone space. If the company can get around its marketing problem, it just might have a chance.

UPDATE: A portion of McAdam's quote inadvertently contained a sentence that didn't belong to him. McAdam didn't specifically state that he thinks WP7 will beat BBOS. Text adjusted above to account for this mistake.

Attend Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara, Nov. 14-17, 2011, and learn how to drive business value with collaboration, with an emphasis on how real customers are using social software to enable more productive workforces and to be more responsive and engaged with customers and business partners. Register today and save 30% off conference passes, or get a free expo pass with priority code CPHCES02. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll