The Dangers of the Duopoly
This duopoly that's on the rise brings dangers with it. Apple doesn't have much to worry about as the hardware and software is all their property. They're further merging their devices with the use of iCloud and integrating all their devices to work smoothly and interactively. Apple made a smart choice in building the iPhone from hardware to software. This doesn't stray very far from their original line up of Macs, creating their hardware and software in one computer.
Android on the other hand is a different type of beast, developed by Google as an open source operating system, it is available for any hardware that has the required specifications. In a sense, it is very similar to Microsoft's Windows operating system for computers. Manufacturers focus on the hardware while they pre-package the smartphone with software. This comes as a double-edged sword as it doesn't require as much research and development as building a new system, but manufacturers now rely on a third-party for their operating system. This reliance can easily lead to a lack of innovation at manufacturers, and it can almost be seen now with so many similar smartphones being released one after another.
This is dangerous territory for smartphone manufacturers utilizing Android, as Google may ultimately decide to build hardware. In addition, consumers could be turned off by the lack of innovation. If a customer is dissatisfied with the iPhone and Android, their options become rather limited. While BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 7 are alternatives, decent smartphone offerings with them installed are difficult to find. Ultimately, this duopoly that's forming for mobile devices may be bad, not only for smartphone manufacturers, but for consumers as well. Hopefully smartphone manufacturers will realize the danger they're putting themselves in by relying on Android OS and work to create their own operating systems on the side. Unless the companies feel like becoming nothing more than shells for Android, like computer manufacturers.