Consider the Windows 8 smartphone ecosystem. Nokia is known for mapping, HTC now for audio with Beats Audio and Samsung will like be know for integration with smart appliances. So whom else would fit this picture?
It has been long rumored that Facebook will come out with a smartphone. It would definitely lead the pack as the socially inspired device. What about Electronic Arts or Activision coming out with a gaming inspired device? What about a Disney or Warner inspired phone? How inspired could a Virgin Mobile device really be? What if RIM went Win 8 and came out with an enterprise information worker inspired device? Would they still lead the pack? Coca Cola spends millions researching daily patterns of consumers to optimize the ‘aah’ moment. What would a Coca Cola inspired phone be? How about a phone inspired by an automotive giant? Real time readings on oil viscosity, wireless engine tuning, etc.?
HP has announced that they will get back into the smartphone game, but who will they inspire? What will their uniqueness be? How will they differentiate, when hardware, form and usability have become commodity? Will HP allow another brand (maybe one listed above) inspire their device or will they bring to market a portfolio of inspired devices for different market segments?
At the end of the day yesterdays inspiration gets consumed by the ecosystem and becomes commodity. Device manufacturers need continue to evolve and inspire consumer sin new ways. In this sense the game has become even more competitive and unforgiving.
I would predict that Apple will lose out because how ever inspired they are they cannot ultimately compete with the aggregated inspiration of an ecosystems. Apple is also too locked down and Android is too open… Win 8 is just right.
What kind of phone do you inspire to have?