Apple has revolutionized the world of MP3 players, smartphone and tablet computers. In each case it came to control the majority of the market for these devices.
But Fred Wilson, one of New York’s most prominent venture capitalists, doesn’t think the success will last.
“iPhone and iPad have been amazing products that have opened new markets. But I do not think they will own either market in a few years. Android will,” Wilson wrote on his blog, AVC.
Wilson isn’t implying that Apple will suffer the kind of catastrophic setback in did in the ’90s, when the company’s stock price plummeted and it suffered three straight years of losses.
But he does believe that, just as it lost market share to Microsoft in the PC era, Apple’s tight control will mean that more open systems like Android will come to dominant the market — if not in profit margin, at least in size.
“I am encouraging every company we work with to invest as heavily in Android as they invest in iPhone/iPad. I actually think they should invest more because Android is still wide open and the iPhone/iPad marketplaces are leaderboard driven and the leaders have been established and it’s hard to crack into the top ten anywhere.”
One point missing from Wilson’s argument is that developers creating products for Apple only have to think about a single coherent universe.
Working on Android, on the other hand, requires developing for a fragmented marketplace, which can add a lot of cost and labor to the process.
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper