If you are old enough to remember the dawn of the desktop computer era in the 1980’s then you’ll understand the Android history redux without effort. If you are not old enough to have lived through it (or remember it) then you’ll understand a timeless lesson that will effect how you purchase cell phones in the future.
The beginning of the modern desktop computer age actually began in the late 1970’s, however, it wasn’t until IBM tossed their hat in the ring (circa 1984) with the ‘Peanut’ that all of business knew there was a future for desktop computing. The name, ‘Peanut’, was used to match Apples usage of an apple to name their new computer, the Macintosh (now referred to as simply the Mac).
Apple was blazing new territory with their young graphic based computer operating system design, in fact, many believe it would have dominated the desktop scene had IBM not entered the market bringing on it’s back a very young Microsoft Corporation. Apple invented a better mouse trap. They came up with a computer platform that business saw as a better investment due to it’s ease of use, however, Apple engaged a greedy marketing strategy attempting to capture all the business associated with their product. Enter IBM. IBM came to the market with a less sophisticated computer but licensed other manufacturers to make products for it.
It was suddenly in the interest of many global manufacturing companies to support the IBM product since they could earn a profit from the IBM desktop computer; they weren’t even invited to the party by Apple.
First American business and then global businesses threw their budgets to IBM’s offering and IBM won the day without much effort. Apple was able to keep a small market share after the dust settled because of the early alliance with Microsoft, the maker of the first ‘office’ suite of software. Curiously, without the Microsoft product Apply may never have survived those early days.
I’m going to fast forward past a lot of very fascinating desktop computer history and cut to the chase. By the early 1990’s, Microsoft was solidly positioned as the world leader for desktop computer operating systems and desktop office applications. In point of fact, Microsoft’s software was always built to work well on the ‘lowest common denominator’, meaning you could keep your aging computer largely until it fell apart all because Microsoft made sure you’d still be able to purchase their latest operating system without the need to upgrade!
Google has invited global business to their party by making Android essentially a free smart phone operating system. Much like Microsoft, Google makes their new Android software compatible to with older smart phones. They are repeating the IBM/Microsoft strategies and have overtaken Apple in world wide sales of Android based smart phones. In time you will see the costly Apple products market share reduced to something much less than what they have now.
To the dismay of cell phone makers, customers are figuring out they don’t need a new, shiny cell phone when a simple software update will give them the same power. I just updated my first generation MyTouch 3G from Android v1.6 up to Android v2.2.1. I can do most things the costlier new phones can do but with money I have already spent.
Did you know the new, shiny cell phone you buy costs enough that you could have purchased a well-above-average laptop computer, netbook or tablet? I predict a new, fast tablet in your future. Perhaps a wifi only tablet that can easily tether to your newly updated ‘old’ Android smartphone.
Thanks for reading this far!