Google is the "Democratization Engine" for the world's shoppers and consumers. Let's talk Android -
I am leaving the charms of the iPhone and the Apple! If a few decades in the technology industry has taught me anything, it is that closed systems have revenue spikes when they deliver on the unmet need, though quickly lose it as competitors emerge with more standardized and open systems. It is more so at speed now as the consumer is empowered. Sounds cliche because marketers have used "we are empowering the shopper/consumer to make intelligent choices", yet today, the marketer has a tough battle on had. The shopper/consumer are empowering themselves.
My foray into Apple's world was with the Lisa... then came the standardization driven through the IBM PC compatible running DOS and Apple products took their niche spot in the market while a somewhat open and driven towards standardization system of the IBM compatible allowed a world of inventions to become innovations, from hardware, firmware to software.
Can history repeat itself? Yes, it can and will. It is not a claim but reality that the Android based smartphones will trump the iPhone in growth and market share. Unless - Apple decides to change "some" thing(s) in its approach. Its differentiation is diminishing due to competitor offerings, while its lock on distribution through AT&T will be ending in the USA. Its partnership with AT&T perhaps will add to iPhone's decline as Consumer Report recently rated AT&T as the worst wireless service provider, see here. Also, the Consumer Report has declined to recommend the iPhone as well, details at Consumer Reports here.
The activations of Android based devices is growing at 110 million, 5X what they were 10 months ago.
Andy Rubin, head of Google's mobile software recently said, "We are web-centric." This is the reason to believe that Google will be successful against Apple and Microsoft. He further added, "We really understand distributed computing - and I think Apple really understands desktop computing."
For those who may have forgotten or don't know, Google quietly acquired Android, Inc. back in 2005, see Business Week article here.
Core to this transformation in the market will be, as Financial Times quotes Andy Rubin "Leaving developers free to create new versions of their apps, rather than forcing them to "jump through hoops" to seek approval each time, as Apple does, echoes the web's approach to rapid iteration and improvement."
See FT article here.
Next on Google's democratization list, my guess - The SmartGrid!!! I will write more how it can accomplish it soon.