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Smartphone Vendor Lock-In Is Not A Risk For 5 Years

palm_mainTake that to the bank.

There has been a lot of news and a lot of “advice” to Apple that they should be aggressively lowering their prices and partnering with Verizon to maximize distribution of their iPhone platform and achieve “vendor lock-in”.  To those people, I say this:

It is the first out of the first inning of the game.  Just because Apple is winning, doesn’t mean it is a sure thing.  Despite the pure awesome of the iPhone, this technology is still in its infancy.

While everyone talks about the application market as a key to vendor lock-in in the smartphone market, I don’t think there has been a single application that is so insanely differentiated and “must have” (Flight Control?) that people are buying an iPhone for it.  In fact, I suspect that what we are seeing is the long-tail at work and no single application will have some mass market dominance (Facebook?)

smartphone-market-shareFurthermore, the industry is still set to experience massive change.  And I am not just talking about Verizon’s 4G network.  Technology like WiMax could completely devastate the cellular market.

Finally, I think from an application perspective, application vendors are more cognizant of vendor lock-in and making applications available across a range of platforms.  Also, customers remember their Microsoft experience and are pushing open standards.

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