Dec 31, 2012
Well, it took a bit longer than expected, but it seems like Google is finally going to use their Motorola acquisition to actually make a standout phone for themselves, the “X Phone.” Or whatever the next Nexus device will be called.
The immediate speculation swirling around is that this is finally Google’s “iPhone Killer.” You know, like the other Nexus devices that were iPhone killers. I don’t think that anything at this point will be an iPhone killer. It just isn’t going to happen.
I think the most immediate analogue for the iOS vs. Android battle is like Halo versus Call of Duty. Halo is more of an exclusive club â€“ it’s popular, and very much so, but its audience will have a built-in limitation because it’s only trying to get to so many people, Xbox owners. Call of Duty, by its nature of being a multiplatform game, has bigger success, even standing firm on Halo’s home turf. But the point is that both are doing extremely well. Thre’s room for both.
Halo is a particularly apt comparison, because the term “Halo Killer” has been frequently bandied about, particularly in the days of the original Xbox. Everyone thought they had the game to replace Halo, to crush it outright, to be that much more superior than it, and what happened? Call of Duty kept at it, and started to succeed and become extremely popular on its own merits. Halo hasn’t been “killed” yet, it’s still a major success, but it’s not alone. Same goes with the Mario games: no one ever really killed it.
I think it’s the same situation with iOS and Android. If there is an iPhone Killer, it will be time, people getting disinterested, more so than a sexy new device coming around and overtaking it. Apple in particular has a history of being whittled down over time, rather than outright slain. That might be what happens with Android: it will just grow so large, like Windows did, that it dwarfs iPhone. In particular, its advantage in having a growing international market with tons of low-cost devices is a huge help in the platform’s dominance. But there’s no reason why one has to kill the other. There will be no iPhone killer because such a thing as people want to deem it does not exist.