So here we have the real challenge to Android: partnership with defeated incumbents whose ability to build profitable and differentiated products is hamstrung by the licensing model and whose incentives to move up the steep trajectory of necessary improvements are limited.
In other words, Android’s licensees won’t have the profits or the motivation to spend on R&D so as to make exceptionally competitive products at a time when being competitive is what matters most.
There is of course the opportunity that what has happened in the last three years will happen again over the next three. But the signs are that those who are partnering with Google are those who were dead or dying over the last few years (aside from HTC of course).
Aside from possibly customers, there will be only one real winner from Android, and it isn’t going to be be the mobile phone companies who Horace is referring to here.