Can Google's Android strategy be compared to Microsoft's tactical offensive against Apple in the late 1980s?
Well, a team of financial analysts at Trefis claim to have identified "strong parallels" between Google's strategy in the smartphone market and Microsoft's campaign against Apple which helped Windows become the dominant operating system in the PC market.
"Microsoft licensed its OS to any PC manufacturer that was interested and Google is doing the same with its Android operating system and mobile phone makers. This suggests that iPhone's market share may not increase as much as we forecast," a Trefis spokesperson explained.
"[Now], in the late 1970s, Apple launched the Apple II computer which become one of the most successful computers (in homes and schools) throughout the 1980s. In the 1990s, however, the situation changed and Apple started to lose market share to PC makers running Microsoft's Windows operating system...and declined to less than 5%."
According to the spokesperson, Android is already compatible with the majority of mobile phone manufacturers - such as Motorola and HTC - that do not have proprietary operating systems of their own.
"The first Android-based mobile phone was sold in October of 2008, more than a year after the iPhone launch. Despite the delayed start, Android-based mobile phones have surpassed the iPhone in the US smartphone market. [Still], we forecast that Apple will continue to gain market share and reach about 11% by the end of [our] forecast period.
“However, given the parallels between Microsoft's MS-DOS/Windows licensing strategy and Google's strategy to distribute the Android operating system to a wide range of mobile phone makers, it is important to consider the potential impact on Apple of lower than expected mobile market share."