It has often been said that the mobile space today is dominated by the same big three who dominate the PC space: Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
On the surface this is true, Palm an early leader in mobile phones has disappeared, swallowed and then killed by HP, RIM another leader is steadily losing ground, Nokia is almost non-existent in the smartphone market, its impressive N9 notwithstanding.
In fact Nokia has got into an exclusive, hair brained partnership with Microsoft. According to th deal all future Nokia smartphones will now have Microsoft’s Phone7 OS, with the Mango update.
The decision on Nokia’s part looks decidedly short sighted because even though there would be other manufactures bringing out phones with Microsoft Phone7 OS, Nokia does not have the option to bring out phones running other OS.
This has tied Nokia’s fate to just one operating system, and has made it ditch its superb Harmattan MeeGo based OS, which got very positive reviews from reviewers. Why could Nokia not give a chance to its inhouse software before jumping ship and killing it?
Going with its own software would have resulted in the same kind of tight integration found on the iPhone, and would have distinguished Nokia from the rest of the market. But no.
Despite all this there is reason to believe that the big three dominance in the mobile space is about to get a serious run for their money by the traditional players.
Blackberry has at long last come out with a modern operating system it is calling BBX, and Nokia has demonstrated its engineering prowess with the N9.
Given that the big three have a grip on the mobile market through their software, iOS for Apple, Android for Google, and Phone7 for Microsoft, it is precisely the software that is about to be challenged.
Tie this up with their expertise in the hardware front and the contest really starts to get interesting. Expect 2012 to be the year when traditional mobile companies came back into the game.