Competition, competition, competition. It's that simple. I've mentioned it at On Apple and explained to the Apple fans that without the tech consumer giants go for each others' throats, we wouldn't have tech advances today.
Let's see where we would be without market disruptors like the iPhone and competition in genera.
- Without the iPhone, RIM would still be content with making e-mail phones. No touch.
- Palm would still be selling Treos and Centros.
- There would be be no Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows 7 will already be out but not much better than WM 6
- No app stores. Hence, no 99 cent games that would cost $29.99 on the DS and $39.99 on the PSP.
- Touch-screen would generally mean using a stylus.
- No integrated device for play and work with 3D capability, great videos, and gaming.
- Facebook and Twitter might still do well but lock mobile warriors to laptops or desktops.
- No Android. Love my G1 more and more.
- No push towards 4G networks. And no hurry to beef up 3G access.
- No requests and demands for open network for wireless access.
- Obama might not be President.
- Battery life sucks now. Could be much worse.
- Instead of elegant thin devices in our pockets, the apparel industry might have had to adjust to making jeans and clothes with bigger pockets for the bricks we'd be lugging around.
- Wi-Fi access would generally be confined to laptops and no free access at Starbucks for ATT users.
- No Wi-Fi for most devices as demanded by wireless providers.
- I'll still be on my Palm Zire and Dell Axim because I'd find no compelling reason to upgrade.
So, I want Zune HD to mixed things up for Apple, Google, and Nokia. I want it to for Sony to come out with their PSP phone in 2010 instead of 2012 or later to compete. And if iPod Touch, along with Zune HD, continues to challenge the incumbents in gaming, maybe Nintendo will be forced to move up their product timeline DS2.
So, yes, Zune HD must succeed, either as a standalone product or an integral part of Microsoft's greater mobile strategy.
Anyway, those are a few things I thought up that would not have changed by today if not for mobile innovations driven by competition. And believe me, competition continues to be fierce. Right now, Zune, as badly as it has done against the iPod, is the only viable challenger to push Apple's music player.