The world is increasingly becoming a four screen world, while most people say the PC is doomed, I beg to differ, but that is beside the point. Apple changed the game with the ipad and they would love everyone to remain a devout follower, but other companies want a piece of the action.
The term electronics Ecosystem is being increasingly used to refer to four screen devices manufactured by the same electronic manufacturers that communicate seamlessly with each other. The four screens here refer to TV, PC, mobile phone and tablets. The big players in this business at the moment are Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Sony.
Each of the companies has their strength and weakness, while apple has consistently been able to innovate while the others have tried to catch up. They still have weaknesses, which show that they have not entirely won the war. It helps that apple creates finished products, usability, hardware, software and services it is all one product where every part is built with the other in mind.
Software is an important oil for the engine of seamless integration of the devices, and for any of the companies to win the war, there has to be a common platform between their devices that runs smoothly on all their devices. They also need to have interested developers creating apps for their platforms, here we not just talking about normal apps, but cross-platform apps that give the same smooth performance regardless the device. Microsoft and Google mainly concentrate on building seamless software that is compatible with all forms hardware allowing integration across the 4 screens and supporting services that keeps everyone on their eco system.
Although Apple, Microsoft and Google sell media content, Amazon has mastered this area, making them a great distribution channel that everyone can’t do without. The introduction of kindle fire only reinforces this role. They are not known for making software nor are they into four screens, but with the way the game is currently played, they might probably venture beyond their comfort zone.
I would hate to be locked into an ecosystem where I can’t legally get the contents I want, be it movies, books or music. Amazon assures me that regardless the platform I will always have media.
The Sony Play station 3 has seen massive updates, which prevent it from just being seen as a game machine, but also a media device. Its ability to play blue-ray, add apps that allow streaming and Sony’s entertainment service makes it a winner. Since the Play station network can sell games directly to the Play station, all Sony needs to do right now is to tie its movie, music and movie service together under a fixed subscription every month. This is a service that should be available across all its platforms. This would be better than third-party services since they already have four screens and a cloud service. Why pay a monthly subscription that entitles you to movies, books and music then pay separately for games. If there is a provider that can give me all including games.
Thinking about all the possibilities, I don’t think anybody has entirely got it right at the moment, which makes it safe to assume Apple can easily be unseated from its current dominance.
It is not necessary to be locked into an ecosystem as each company playing to its strength might push services across platforms, but will give incentive to lock remain locked in.
At this time it is hard to say who the winner of this phase will be, but the competition will always be great for us the consumers