by September 27, 2012 0 comments

Which platform eco-system do you recommend for Enterprises who’re going for multiple kinds of devices?

Kishore: Choice of platform is not easy for a large enterprise, so a hybrid model works for everyone. BYOD is a popular trend today, which allow users to bring their own devices. Here, either the organization can control it to a very large extent, by defining what sort of devices users can bring (Android based or iOS based, etc); Or if the organization can control and manage all possible devices, then it will lead to a very large mix of devices. The second option will be driven by the personal choices of people working for that organization.

Alok: CIOs typically get their budgets sanctioned by CFOs for such projects. CFOs would approve cost cost effective projects that will get the job done. Here, I see Android winning absolutely and clearly as a cost effective option. In BYOD, choice of device is not made by enterprise, but by employees. Here again, the masses are divided between Microsoft and Android, and less of Apple because it’s not economical.

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Abhishek: Traditionally RIM has had a strong hold in the enterprise segment in India. This however, is going to change because RIM is not in the brightest spot in their history. So now, when CIOs look ffor alternatives when they deploy new mobile devices. In my opinion, that alternative will be Windows phones because most organizations are already on Windows stack-Exchange, SharePoint, MS Office, etc. Enterprises would be able to give a seamless experience across Windows desktops to Windows Phones.

PKR: A lot of enterprises continue to be on BlackBerry for very good reason-security, email, secure messaging, etc. I don’t think there’s enough reason to change that yet, even though RIM seems to be in troubled waters. As of now, they still have a good offering, but I don’t know if the situation will remain the same a year from now. Currently, large enterprises are still going with RIM, but apart from that, most of them are moving to a BYOD, where choice of device is left to employees. So for existing enterprises, it’s going to be a mix of RIM and BYOD.

Which platform is the right choice for consumers?

Kishore: iOS is most popular for consumers, and one reason is device design, while the other is existence of a very rich app store, with content of all kinds–educational, recreational, or informational. The only thing that goes against iOS devices is their higher price, as compared to some Android devices. Other than that, it’s pretty much iOS all the way.

Alok: Some consumers have a passionate choice for brand pull. They may not use more than 5% of the features, but the charm of carrying an Apple phone or Samsung (which is also approaching a brand pull situation) means a lot to them. It’s also a matter of habit of what the consumer is used to. So the consumer might go for BlackBerry simply because of the Messenger. I would say 60% of business comes from what consumers are used to, 20% comes from aspirational value, and the balance 20% comes from extremely cost sensitive consumers, where Android based smartphones and tablets are the default choice.

Abhishek: Many users go by market share numbers, where Windows is dominant, so it makes sense for them to go for a Windows 8 RT tablet (releasing globally in a few months) and a Windows phone based device. Moreover, if you have a media center at home or you’re a gaming fan, you’ll buy an xBox to complete the eco-system. A lot of time, devices are bought for their hardware, and I’m hoping that in due course of time, a lot of form factors would emerge, and new range of Windows 8 devices will be available in the market, unlike an iOS eco-system.

PKR: Consumers don’t go so much on the platform, but the device. I see 2-3 different types of consumers. First is the very aspirational kind, where they aspire to buy iPhone, and recently, even other phones like Samsung Galaxy SII, SIII, Galaxy Note, etc. Second type of consumer is driven by the application. Here, the app is unquestionably BlackBerry Messenger. RIM has sold a lot of phones to consumers for that alone. This of course, is aided by the fact that phones are cheaper and BB plans are very affordable-Rs. 99, 299 etc. Third type are consumers who aspire for higher end phones (like Galaxy SII, SIII), etc, but can’t afford it. So they will go for something like Galaxy Ace, which is at less than half the price, looks similar, has similar features.

Which platform is right for developers developing apps for multiple devices?

Kishore: From what I’ve seen personally, when a developer is working on Android, it’s a very painful task of compiling and recompiling code to make it work across a plethora of devices that work out there. For iOS, the developer can get away by developing once and deploying on all devices that exist. The new trend that will come up with Windows devices remains to be seen. Users are extremely comfortable with their desktop, which in most cases is Windows. If they get the same experience on a Windows tablet, then that’ll be the choice for them. Another choice is to go with a platform agnostic approach, like HTML 5, which gives users a reasonable experience, but it’s not as rich as a native app.

Alok: From a money perspective for individual developers, I would choose Apple’s environment, because it assures business comes on an ongoing basis. But if I’m an organization like a small developer studio, I’d like to be in the business of either MS or Android based development. Because typically, as a developer your ability to explore independent options are much higher on Android, more constrained on the MS environment, and the worst in the iOS environment.

Abhishek: for developers, Visual Studio development tools are unarguably the best out there. The first release of Windows phone, was less adaptable and couldn’t grab a decent market share, which is why developers went to platforms that had higher market share so they could get more buyers for their app. But that will change in due course with partnership between Nokia and Windows phone as the horizon will expand. Moreover, shared code of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 would come into picture because you can code once and deploy on two different platforms.

PKR: Developers will have to follow the market. They see where the market growth/share is, and where the money is. Globally, the money seems to be clearly in iOS, because Apple users have a higher propensity to pay, which are otherwise free on Android and elsewhere. Second would be ease of development and eco-system and so on. iOS has a significant edge because there’s a single device to develop for at the end of the day. But then, Android gives you a huge base of devices and users, so you can’t ignore it as a development platform, and likewise for BlackBerry. So it’ll be a question of how big the market is for that particular device, and the propensity to pay of the people who use those devices.

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