The last week has seen a lot of action in the mobile space. HP announced its upcoming webOS line-up, Nokia finally dropped the charade that it has any meaningful mobile OS plans and teamed up with Microsoft, and rumours emerged that Apple is making a mini iPhone to target low-end shoppers. Yes, things are really heating up in the mobile space.
Many pundits have framed this battle as a three-way contest involving Apple, Google, and Nokia-soft, all but writing off RIM and HP as viable players in this future battle. On the surface, it seems reasonable to do so.
Apple and Google are both already shipping popular phones and gaining significant market share. Meanwhile, Nokia—although not a leader in the smartphone OS race—still has volume; by default, it will get Windows based phones to millions of users.
This leaves us with the so-called losers: RIM and HP. Both companies are currently shipping phones, but neither has offerings with significant consumer demand. RIM holds onto market share via its lock-in with enterprises and a core group of consumers who love BlackBerry messenger. HP is barely on anyone’s radar and, with no new products till summer, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
So are the pundits right? Is this a three-horse race that RIM and HP are destined to lose?