Excerpt from a mobile platform market profile
Barring big surprises, the other contenders—RIM, HP, and Microsoft—are in for a slog: too dependent on mobile devices to give up, yet lacking the tools to make much progress. All lost share in 2010 and have orders of magnitude fewer apps available for their devices. RIM still has legions of loyal BlackBerry fans, though developers routinely complain it's more difficult to create apps that run on those devices; that would help explain why RIM may be working on a technology so its devices can also run Android apps, as Bloomberg News recently reported. HP has the opposite problem: sweet technology and little foundation to build on. The company wowed the standing-room-only crowd that came to its Feb. 9 smartphone and tablet unveiling; attendees oohed when former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein showed how to move a song or contact between phone and tablet just by tapping on the glass. Still, HP has spent years being a member of ecosystems—in particular, Microsoft's—rather than building its own.
Then there's Microsoft, a company that knows from platform wars. Millions of Nokia handsets will someday come with Windows Phone 7, the first model perhaps by the end of this year. Windows Phone 7 wins nods of approval from techies around Silicon Valley. Yet in a poll of developers by brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein (AB), not one named it as their first or even second priority. Nor are the carriers quivering with excitement. "I do want a third strong OS out there," Verizon Communications (VZ) Chief Technology Officer Anthony Melone recently told CNET. "But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7."