Mobile battle lines are drawn and will media owners will be the biggest winners?

This week saw one of the final pieces of the mobile jigsaw slip into place for what promises to be a monumental battle in the next few years. With Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia, the three major mobile OS players – Apple (iPhone), Google (Motorola) and Microsoft (Nokia) now all own a hardware ecosystem upon which they can reliably build out their integrated solution.

The first striking question here is what this means for another major hardware vendor Samsung. Well CEO J.K.Shin has recently made interesting statements that they feel the new Samsung OS Tizen is a viable alternative to Android. Is this just posturing or does this really mean Samsung will itself be a forth OS/Hardware vendor too? If so it starts to be an extremely complex buying market for consumers and a lucrative one for media owners because all four organizations are not shy when it comes to buying market share through marketing.

The second question is what possible exit route now exists for Blackberry. Rumors this week suggest a quick sale for the once hot shot mobile player  and bullish statement on the potential value. This frankly looks like wishful thinking because this market is crowded and Blackberry’s value proposition is now severely weakened. Now none of the major players need another hardware solution and Blackberry with its own OS seems marginalized at this point. And they simply don’t have the deep pockets to market themselves back into the mix.

Finally what of the other hardware companies? Most like HTC, LG, Sony Ericcson and ZTE are best off backing both Android and Microsoft platforms until any clear winner emerges. Smart money of course would back Android since it’s starting with such a significant advantage both in terms of installed users and manufacturer relationships. In terms of marketing, these brands will need to spend big too, but most likely can leverage the OS manufacturers budgets to support specific platform versions. Yet more potential revenue for media companies.

The one guarantee out off all of this. Start looking at what agencies hold these accounts and make some friends. They will for sure be the biggest global marketing spenders for the next few years.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc. 

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