Apple and Google Increase Global Domination Efforts – But Why Now?

Google and Apple have taken absolutely no prisoners in the war for Smartphone market domination, having practically wiped Research in Motion (RIM) and Nokia off the face of the Earth.

However, not content with a staggering 80% combined share of the market, the biggest players in the game now have their sights set on the remaining 20%.

Apple is making bold strides toward targeting new markets, having recently introduced prepaid iPhones to the US. Rumor also has it that a reissue of the iPhone 3GS is on its way to a number of developing markets in order to swallow up a chunk of what is becoming a truly extensive and lucrative market sector.

Apple and Google Increase Global Domination Efforts – But Why Now?

Standing Alone

What’s more, Apple’s increased efforts toward software development represents a clear and concerted effort to stand alone in every conceivable area, with the company’s recently unveiled mapping feature signaling an imminent end to their dependence on Google.

Meanwhile, Google has stepped up its own efforts to move away from exclusively software creation toward hardware development. Traditionally, Google has relied on third party manufacturers and developers to create its flagship Android devices and indeed the hundreds of thousands of others carrying the software, though such days may also be coming to an end.

Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility serves as the most concrete indication yet that the creator of the Android mobile OS has every intention of taking full control of its own hardware needs, thus enjoying a huge advantage over third-party manufacturers.

So, why are both companies suddenly looking to move Heaven and Earth to secure even greater success outside their original comfort zones?

Simple – both Google and Apple are fully aware of the massive industry booms to come.

Imminent Market Boom

Contrary to popular belief, while there will be an estimated 1.4 billion mobile phone sales throughout 2012 as a whole, only 35% are expected to be Smartphones. However, this number is earmarked for enormous growth to over 75% over the next five years alone, which means the already lucrative world of Smartphone hardware/software monopolization is about to get a whole lot more lucrative.

Unfortunately the news is not so great for competing brands, as such aggressive and relentless efforts by the two market leaders have all but drained the life right out of both Nokia and RIM. While share value in RIM continue to plummet further and further into the abyss, Nokia this week announced another 10,000 job cuts as the company seeks massive savings.

Underestimation of Power

Analysts have suggested that perhaps the main  reason for rival brands being entirely left in the starting blocks by Google and Apple is the fact that they entirely underestimated the strength, prowess and ongoing popularity of the top two. However, it has also been pointed out that the Smartphone market is one of the fastest moving in the world today and consumer trends/demands could shift at any given moment.

Over the first quarter of 2012, Android accounted for approximately 59% of the total global Smartphone market – a considerable jump from the 36.1% for the same period in 2011. Apple on the other hand climbed from 18.3% to 23%, which is no less astonishing given the limited number of iOS Smartphone options.

By contrast, RIM came out with just 6.4% after falling from the previous 13.6%, while soon-to-be departing Symbian from Nokia plummeted to 6.8% from 26%.

Five Years to Greatness

Both Google and Apple were nothing more than fledgling rookies in the global mobile phone market just a few short years ago, therefore analysts are advising neither to take their current leads for granted.

However, should the intentions of Apple to move into the TC market and Google to move into own-brand Tablet PC manufacture pay off, it is likely to become increasingly difficult for any competing brands to remain in any way relevant to consumers.

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