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Open vs. Closed: the iPhone's Future or Folly?

Aug 31, 2009, 21:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)

"To put a finer point on it, the question isn't whether Motorola and other Android adopters can woo iPhone owners away from Apple, since their numbers are still very small relative to all cellphone users - just as the number of Navigator users was tiny, when Netscape was the dominant browser company, compared to those that did not yet use a browser.

"No, the real test for Apple will be whether the 55 million customers that are expected to buy their first smartphone between now and the end of this year will buy an iPhone, or one based on an open source platform such as the Android platform launched by Google, or the Moblin OS initiated by Intel). After the early adopters (i.e., those who probably already own an iPhone), that has a lot more to do with marketing, partnerships and handset discounts than with which platform has the most apps. If the answer is Android or Moblin, then the apps will follow, and Steve Jobs will have called the closed system long term coin toss wrong once again. On that topic, see my analysis from a year and a half ago, titled Steve Jobs' Endangered Second Act."

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