Apple turns the iPhone launch into a global event, as Palm sells off amid underwhelming sales figures. HTC logs record numbers as Microsoft kills off its Kin platform before it even gets off the ground.
Google establishes Android as a powerhouse in less than a year, claiming large portions of the North American and European markets. Yet AdMob reports that just two platforms, Android and iOS, account for nearly half of its mobile advertising traffic.
At a time when sales of smartphones are rocketing, the number of platforms is shrinking and those that lead are gaining market share. Much like the booming PC market in the late 1980s and early 1990s brought the death knell for the likes of Commodore and Amiga, so the maturing of the smartphone market appears to be consolidating around a decreasing number of platforms.
While Palm and Kin have been the first to go, other platforms could soon find themselves being pushed out of the market as consumers settle into familiar environments and hardware vendors seek compatible platforms for their product lines.
The growth of the PC market saw platforms pushed out when systems vendors settled on Microsoft's DOS and Windows platforms, and the same could happen in the smartphone market.
Among the biggest turns in this battle could come from the world's top smartphone vendor.
Nokia controls the lion's share of the smartphone market, but questions over what software will power those handsets remain. The company has seen a drop in market share and recently announced that it will be dropping Symbian in favour of its MeeGo platform.
While Symbian will remain on Nokia's low-end handsets, that is hardly the ideal place to be in a rapidly evolving market. Should MeeGo fail to catch on, Nokia may consider a major shift to Android which could dramatically change the market.
Ironically, one of the first companies that looks to suffer from consolidation in the smartphone market is the one that made its fortune from the consolidation of PC operating systems.
The Windows Mobile platform has arguably paid the biggest price for the growth of Android and iPhone, and Microsoft's mobile ambitions took a significant hit when the Kin was killed off just three months after its launch and considered a complete flop.
While the company is still hoping that Windows Mobile will claim back market share and woo developers, the effort may be too little too late, and Microsoft could well end up pulling out of the smartphone OS game all together.
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