How to Beat Apple and Google!
Rita is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Every game has a set of rules. The players need to abide by the rules. But once in a while comes a player who is better at breaking these old rules and creating new rules, thus changing the game altogether. Can you think of such players in the handheld devices space? Right! Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Apple started creating needs instead of satisfying them. With its innovative offerings, Apple was not scared to challenge the then champion Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and won the battle, proving itself to be a deserving champion. With this started the downfall of the Nokia Corporation. Then, the next series of blows were from Google. The Android platform caused heavy damage to Nokia’s business. These two new entrants made Nokia look old, slow and out of date.
(Source: Yahoo Finance)
Since 2009, the stocks of Apple and Google have done more or less brilliantly, where as Nokia has been moving on a downward path only. Apple and Google captured the pulse of the market which Nokia failed to do. These players were successful since they changed the rules of the game, adopting themselves well to their own rules, while Nokia failed to play with the new rules. But, how long will these players rule? Will no new player come with new rules to change the game again? Surely will.
The next possible game changer
Anyone who knows what Michael Porter’s Five Forces model is, will know how important is the threat of a new entrant. The mightiest of organizations have been reduced to dust by the power of new entrants. So, who or what has the likely potential to compete with the existing giants?
I feel Mozilla’s Firefox OS has the potential. Why? Well, because of the strategy. Mozilla has kept what is good in Android and Windows Phone platforms, subtracted the bad things from those platforms and added a totally new flavor by making the platform HTML5 based. If you ask me, I feel this is going to be a game changer. Till now we have experienced handsets which came with pre-loaded software based operating systems where upgrades were available from time to time, but with limitations. But now, the Firefox OS will scrap all that we have experienced. The OS is totally web based. Everything that appears on the screen will have an HTML5 code behind that. This platform will truly bring together the hardware world and the cyber space, thus creating a totally new breed of OS.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has a dream of creating “Converged devices.” This means smartphones, tablets, personal computers and ultrabooks; all will be connected through one platform from Microsoft. Microsoft is in the process of developing Windows 8 and the Windows Phone 8 which will work together to bring overall synergy. Now, what if even Mozilla plans on moving along similar lines. In fact, Mozilla will have an upper hand in this. Since Mozilla’s platform revolves around HTML5 codes, it will be very easy to develop an OS not only for smartphones, but also for personal computers, tablets and ultrabooks. This concept is already out there in the market. A company called Jolicloud is already working on this OS concept and Mozilla can surely adopt this new strategy.
Imagine an OS which is web-based and thus can be accessed from all corners of the world, even from someone else’s device. Mozilla can provide a user with a username and a password which can be used on any gadget. A user will sign up with Mozilla and create his own desktop or home-screens and he will have access to them from anywhere in the world. Say, the person is using a smartphone. Then he can use the account information to use the Firefox OS on his phone. Now say, he owns a laptop. He can again use his Firefox Account to access the OS on the laptop. Say, the person changes his smartphone. He will have no trouble in customizing his handset anymore. He can simply log on to his account and will get back everything instantly. Or say, a person forgets to carry his phone. He can use someone else’s handset to log on to his account, obviously after taking permission, and get the work done. One OS for all gadgets. That is what Mozilla is capable of building. All Mozilla needs to add to this is cloud support.
We have seen amazing things happen in this highly competitive smartphones space. Old winners have been replaced by new leaders and with time even these winners will be replaced by newer ones. Survival of the most adaptable and innovative is what is constant in this dynamic world. Maybe a step like this on Mozilla's part is all that is required to make its mark and take on the competition. Surely Apple and Google are going to face difficulties if Mozilla can pull this off. Who knew the world's largest online search provider can actually prove to be a worthy competitior to Apple until it came out with Android. Similarly, maybe Mozilla can change the rules of the game and emerge as a winner.
analyse360degree has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Nokia. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.