Apple has been known to push the envelope on innovation. Their releases of personal computers long ago (back in the 1980s) with the Apple II/IIe and especially the Macintosh were innovative for their time. However, because they only ran on a particular platform controlled by Apple, the IBMPC compatible with Microsoft Windows operating system quickly took over.
By the 1990s, the only people that used apples were the education sectors, those with special multimedia application requirements, and the die-hard Apple fans. Most users went on the PC/Microsoft Windows bandwagon. Almost every electronic store you go to you will see various PC brands like Dell, HP, Compaq, Acer, ASUS, eMachine, Toshiba, and IBM.
I see the same pattern with Apple again. This time it is with the iPhone; and this time the battle is against Google’s Android operating system which is run by many smart phone platforms. The race is starting to heat up with the recent release and highly marketed DROID phone from Verizon. Most recently, there has been very strong buzz around Google’s Nexus One.
From what I can see, features and capabilities that the iPhone have the Android phones also have. Right now Apple touts over 100,00 apps for the iphone, while the Android has tens of throusands; but because of its open architecture, I foresee Android applications quickly surpassing the iPhone in application count. And from the standpoint of availability, the Android operating system is more available from more phone service providers than the iPhone, which is limited only to AT&T.
I predict that within three years, the Android-based cell phones will completely dominate the smart phone market. The iPhone will continue to thrive, but only for those die-hard Apple fans. Check back in 2013!