It started with Google buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn (£7.8bn), which will fundamentally alter the smartphone game. Explaining the acquisition, Google chief executive Larry Page said: “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio. This will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
I see the Google-Motorola deal as a pivotal move that will shake up the tablet market. Analysts are even predicting that Android-based tablets will outsell the Apple iPad by 2013. But there is still a lot of work for Google to do - to generate these big sales numbers, it is going to have to sell to enterprise. Getting this channel in place quickly will be paramount.
As if that were not enough excitement, three days later HP discontinued its webOS device operations, including the just-released TouchPad tablet and webOS smartphones. This shows how hard it is for a company to control both the hardware and the software. HP was lacking a non-hardware ecosystem to support its smartphones; Apple has iTunes, the App Store, and a developer platform.
The market is ripe for upheaval and HP will not be the last to bow out. But the vendor must now communicate quickly with partners on its mobility strategy and how it fits with client devices.
Steve Jobs is no longer Apple chief executive - a third blow in mobility. However, at this early stage analysts seem to think that the company will survive its co-founder’s handing the reins to Tim Cook.
Meanwhile, though, firms looking to deploy or support Apple products still face a lack of assistance from the company and its channel partners. This is a massive enterprise opportunity for Apple or LARs offering after-market parts and services.
The iPhone 5 is expected very soon, and the next iPad some time in early 2012, so Apple also needs to start talking with the channel about this, to open up the enterprise market.
Where should services providers place their bets? One thing is clear: every vendor must develop a channel strategy for smartphones and tablets. Vendors that want to win share with high-margin mid-market and enterprise customers should establish relationships with partners that can secure and manage these new devices for them.
Dave Stevinson is sales director at VIP Computers
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business