When it comes to the current smartphone industry, there are three major players. Apple owns the premium end of the industry and the majority of profits. Samsung comes in at a distant second place, but since the company sells hardware components, too, makes money when Apple– and other manufacturers– succeed. Third place is own by state-sponsored technology companies in China.
Regardless of how manufacturers stack up on the marketshare wall, or where they end up each year with profits, there are more new smartphones trying to unseat iPhone’s lofty and profitable perch.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The guy who started Android, and sold it to Google, and then copied iPhone’s designs, has another company that makes smartphones. Andy Rubin’s Essential hasn’t done too well, but they haven’t stopped trying to re-invent what it did not invent in the first place.
Think of that old, long and slender iPod nano but with a phone inside.
Would you ditch your iPhone for that?
Is it an Android smartphone? Only Andy Rubin knows and he ain’t saying much. That might be good. If it runs Rubin OS, then the device is doomed. Smartphones are about applications, and if it ain’t running Android OS or iOS, then it is doomed.
Rubin’s phone will flop worse than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Maybe worse.
Let this be a good lesson in what can go wrong in the lives of very smart people and how they get rewarded and how karma works.
Rubin worked at Apple. Co-workers called him Android because he loved robots. As Android’s co-founder, Rubin received plenty of money when it was bought by Google, but Android went nowhere. Fast. Until Apple introduced the iPhone.
Google’s engineers then changed Android’s course and developed an iPhone look-a-like OS called Android, and gave it away free. Suffice it to say that Rubin has been well rewarded for failures.
Yet, what goes around comes around and his Essential venture has produced uninspired designs– different, yes, but a robotic chimpanzee that can swing from tree to tree and eat bananas would be different, but not successful.
The rules of product marketing haven’t changed much. To defeat an industry leader, a competitor needs a much better product priced about the same as the leader. Or, a competitor needs to have the same product but priced much lower than the leader. That was Android OS vs. iPhone.
After Android copied the iPhone.