Re: And because of the walled garden and interface lock down
This: "The things we care about like walled gardens, removable batteries, and ability to customise our OS, are simply not factors for 99% of consumers."
"We" being geeks.
iPhone won in the market niche of affluent consumerism, consumers who don't want to reflect on technology. They simply want a magic box that works and has complete concierge service, because the 'walled garden' isn't just Apple's closed technological ecosystem; it's affluent consumerism itself. The iPhone evolved from the iPod, which was primarily a media delivery device for passive consumption, and now the iPhone is more versatile: an experience delivery device, with unbeatable aesthetics and branding. It's the ideal device for those who want concierge service in every part of life. Would you like another mimosa?
Android has evolved into at least two other ecological niches: the broader low-to-medium end global consumer market of affordable smartphones with decent functionality, and readers of El Reg: geeks who view a mobile device not as a magic black box, but as a customizable technological Swiss Army Knife. (sorry for the zed; that's how we Yanks spell.) Android evolved from Linux as a mobile computer system with a host of tools and a panoply of choices for media delivery without walls. It's an open ecosystem with lots of choices but no concierge service. But it's great for anyone who has the will and the skill to change their own oil.
As for the two extinct species of mobile devices, their failure lies in their evolutionary forebears. Blackberry was a mobile email terminal which didn't even have a telephone at first. It provided email for corporate executives first, then middle managers. But its ecological niche was too narrow and specialized. Instead of innovating, Blackberry tried to continue to justify their obsolescent business model. By the time they tried innovation it was too late, and Blackberry ended up as just another app on an Android phone for which there were better alternatives.
Windows Phone didn't really evolve. It was designed as one component of Microsoft's aspirations for global technological and economic hegemony. It arose about the same time as Redmond's other super weapons: Windows Vista, Zune, and HD-DVD. Microsoft was going to rule the world with DRM, a vision where every person, every device and every media channel paid license fees to Redmond - forever. But the marketplace had other ideas. Cue Peter Gutmann's prescient "The Longest Suicide Note in History" paper and the clip from "Downfall."