Mobile Mechanics

Mobile is a microcosm for market mechanics.

mobile-os-logos-275wIn recent weeks we witnessed the mobile market churning in seemingly random directions, but each has actually affirmed fundamental and very mechanical aspects of every market. If you are interested in mobile marketing check out white label SMS reseller, you will be able to send text messages to your clients for appointment reminders along with other things.

When Nokia makes a bold move by adopting Microsoft’s mobile operating system, it asserted one market imperative.  When HP and Google forced Apple to blink, another market realty was at play.  As Google’s Android OS heads toward ubiquity, yet a third force of marketing was displayed.

Commoditization: All markets commoditize over time as competitors provide similar or identical features.  In the mobile market, Google is the major force toward commoditization as they emulate what Microsoft did with desktops (indeed, the rumor that Android and webOS will one day appear on phones, pads and laptops has caused Microsoft to publicly panic).  More to the point, Google is forcing features down the price chain, assuring that Apple, HP and Microsoft follow, reducing differentiation between mobile environments.

Differentiation: With Android now leading mobile OS shipments and displacing Nokia’s Symbian OS as the top platform, Nokia sought differentiation without ruinous investments.  Adopting Microsoft’s mobile operating system provided them market differentiation because, frankly, nobody else was using Windows Mobile.  Nokia had only a few options aside from being assimilated into the Android universe, and one of those options — continued development of Symbian — was not working.

Whole product partnerships: Content will drive much of the mobile market as witnessed by music, e-books and magazines.  Apple, as they are want to do, tried too hard to control content, hoping to get a slice of everybody’s pie as they did selling tunes. Magazine publishers (part of the mobile whole product mix) resisted, insisting that Apple share subscriber information.  Google and HP (webOS) took the other path, giving publishers subscriber info and a larger piece of subscription revenues. Apple was forced to do likewise, reverting back to the industry norm that every participant in a whole product gets to do it their way, keeping control and money.

The marketing lesson herein is that market mechanics and forces are always stronger than any vendor.  As strategists, we always maintain awareness of each market force and pick alternatives that ride market forces, not fight them.  Nokia will attempt to ride a differentiation wave, Google drives the commoditization wave, and Apple bows to whole product realities.

It is as predictable as a politician’s promise is unreliable.


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