The smartphone industry has never had such a rich offering of players, products and services.
Apple has multi-screen assets including the iPhone and iPad, a sticky iTunes, and an increasingly discontented following of developers and content publishers. Google is stretched across many battle-zones such as search, local, browser, social, and payments while also being occupied by strengthening Android through the Motorola acquisition. Microsoft is under pressure to develop mobile, tablets, cloud services and Bing in order to stay fresh, while at the same time extracting the most value from Windows and Xbox. Amazon has diversified from books to offer Web Services, Kindle and if rumours are correct, an upcoming tablet.
In the backdrop, a valuation bubble is enabling easier access to capital and fuelling new innovation and faster global penetration for US high growth startups. New emerging names with billion dollar valuations include Dropbox, Square, Spotify, AirBnB, Zynga, Groupon, Pandora to name a few. Venture capitalists see mobile as the next big area for venture growth.
The pace of change is undoubtedly going to accelerate. This is a truly exciting time for the industry and consumers.