Posts Tagged ‘war’

iPhone OS 4 Announcement Initiates the Battle of Five Armies

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Things are about to get crazy in the mobile landscape after the iPhone OS 4.0 Announcement. With one fell swoop, Apple has launched a direct assault on Google, Adobe, social gaming networks like plus+ and OpenFeint, and various advertising networks that have been seeking to monetize iPhone impressions. Make no mistake about it, the gloves are now off.

First on the list is Game Center, an apple managed social gaming network promising to be “Xbox live for the iPhone”, with features such as friend discovery, player matching, leader boards, and achievements. In the wake of this, one wonders how existing networks like OpenFeint and Plus+ will fair in the new, vastly altered, landscape. Emails issued from existing networks such as these sound optimistic and appreciative of the announcement, but this seems to me a brave front and an effort to phase out with grace. I personally hope that the developers of OF and the like weather the storm well.

iAds, an integrated advertising network for the iPhone OS, was another massive announcement. There is no denying that some element of this is a power play against Google, who has thus far dominated the search and advertising spheres…a counterstrike for the Android’s encroachments on Apple’s mobile territory perhaps. Google’s ability to reprise is hampered due to current legal issues regarding its acquisition of mobile advertiser adMob, a fact of which Apple is no doubt aware.

The announcement of iAds also included some more interesting information; Ads must be created the way Apple wants, in HTML5 (read as NOT flash). This in itself could be seen as a jab against Adobe, but it pales in comparison to the uppercut that accompanies it: iPhone apps created via the soon-to-be-released Adobe CS5 will NOT be accepted onto the app store! This is a crushing, tirade inducing, blow to Adobe, who has no doubt wasted a great deal of resources on a now obsolete key feature of CS5.

As in a game of risk, it is often unwise to provoke multiple powerful opponents simultaneously unless you are absolutely sure you can defeat them immediately…but it appears that Apple may have waited until just the right moment to strike. I admit this is the sort of Evil Empire move that frightens me to some degree, but yet I can not deny its tactical grace.

So there it is, the war is coming: who will stand, and who will fall? I await your comments.