The smartphone wars could look a lot different soon if giants Research In Motion and Nokia align themselves with new platforms.
Nokia is reportedly considering aligning with Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7, which would be a HUGE win for Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 got good reviews from critics, but has not been a big commercial hit. Support from Nokia could be very helpful.
Meanwhile, Research In Motion is in the process of moving to a new BlackBerry platform called QNX, which can reportedly run Google Android apps. If the BlackBerry PlayBook and forthcoming BlackBerry smartphones can run Android apps, that could be a big boost for Google’s mobile platform.
Here’s a chart of last quarter’s mobile smartphone market shares (left) and a hypothetical chart (right) of what the new alliances might look like, all else being equal. In theory, this could put pressure on Apple, especially if developers eventually pay more attention to Android and Windows Phone 7 at Apple’s expense.
But, of course, there’s no guarantee that the market will necessarily turn out this way. For instance, Nokia and RIM’s moves could both easily spell disaster for the companies instead of success. Change is never easy, especially big mobile companies making transitions between software platforms.
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