This is big news to the obvious players of AT&T, Verizon, Apple and Google. That’s an easy one. This move finally breaks the logjam that is supposedly keeping the iPhone from taking over the world and shuffles the deck for these large players. If there were ever some marketing departments that will be busy in the next few months these are the ones (except Google of course because they can’t even spell marketing without an algorithm).
But what does this mean to the rest of us in the Internet marketing space? If you really think about it hard I bet you will come to the same conclusion I have. It means nothing.
Nothing you say?! What?! You mean that the tectonic shift in the mobile space doesn’t impact every marketer on the planet because, you know, it really should?
Yup that’s what I mean. Why is this? It’s because this table as far as marketing is concerned was set a long time ago (in Internet years that is). The delay in the iPhone getting to a wider market allowed the Android ecosystem to evolve to the point where it is real and it’s not going anywhere. Now, it’s just a matter of market share for Apple and the rest of the smartphone makers in the world. As marketers our position in this thing was pre-determined well before this announcement.
As Internet marketers we have already been resigned to the fact that any true marketing effort is going to need to address both platforms. If it doesn’t there is significant market share that will be ignored. So significant in fact that if companies are deciding to only go with one or the other platform now I would say that is short-sighted and downright suicidal in a marketing kinda way.
If app developers were only enamored with one platform then we would have an issue but that’s not the case. The development community enjoys the openness of Android and that alone is enough to ensure that these two will be platforms will be slugging it out for some time to come. How could that change? If Apple became more open and there is an entire underworld that would need to freeze over before that happens.
So while the wireless heavyweights slug it out over market share of devices and wireless plans it is really just business as usual for the marketing space. Marketers can be provider agnostic in most cases because it’s the platform that matters.
What will really be of interest is where the BlackBerry users who are waiting to play with the cool kids go. I think it will be pretty evenly split between the Android and iPhone crowd because there are plenty more wireless providers out there that can’t touch the iPhone but can make attractive plan offers to bring that group to the Android side of the ledger.
So for all the prognostications about big trouble for Android I say that we are doing what the media does best which is making something out of nothing really. Life will go on in the online marketing space and the mobile world will have plenty of room for iPhones and Android devices. Marketers will have to have their feet firmly in both camps in order to get adequate coverage of their markets regardless of who has a slim lead in the platform wars.
So here’s to business as usual for the vast majority of marketers in the new world order of the iPhone unleashed.
What’s your take?