Know when to fold em.
Kevin Tofel over at GigaOm wonders if it matters that Window Phone has over 100,000 apps.
The answer: It doesn’t.
It might help to think of the smartphone market as a poker game. When the iPhone launched 5 years ago, there was no blind needed to play the game. Apple had created a new game, they were making up the new rules of what a smartphone was and anyone could play. RIM jumped in with the Storm, Palm with the Pre and Google with Android.
Fast forward to 2009. RIM has folded, Palm and Google are still playing but Apple has changed the blind. Now in order to play you need 100,000 applications for your mobile OS. Google and Palm still have a lot of catching up to do, but they’ve both convinced the house to let them continue to play as they hustle to hit the six-figure mark for apps (spoiler: Google doesn’t hit it until 2010).
2010. Microsoft shows up late to the game with Windows Phone. Everyone is expecting them to show up hungover and in last night’s tux, but they’re looking surprisingly crisp. Like Google in 2009, they don’t have the required 100,000 apps, but they have a ton of cash, so they’re allowed to play.
2011. HP (Palm) folds.
Fast forward to now. 2012. Apple still has the biggest pile of chips and a ton of applications (I don’t know who has the most now). Both Google and Microsoft have the money and the apps. But there’s a problem. Now it’s no longer enough to just have a mobile OS, a lot cash and over 100,000 apps. Now the smartphone game is being played on television and the viewing audience gets to vote on who gets to stay, American Idol style.
And no one is voting for Windows Phone.