Looks Can be Deceiving: Software vs Hardware

27 08 2008

First of all,  I would just like to introduce myself briefly, as I will probably be writing on this blog from time to time. My name is Hillel, and I work as a Technical Writer for a large telecommunications company in Israel. On the side, I am a gadget freak and a tech enthusiast. I am on Twitter under the name hilzfuld. OK now down to business.

I just wanted to throw a little theory out there. This is something that has been going through my head a lot recently, figured I would put it down on “paper”. In the rapidly changing cellular industry, I am noticing a theme that, in my opinion, reached its climax this week. I am referring to the fact that hardware is really becoming less and less important, whereas the operating system on which the phone runs, is becoming a crucial factor. Let me explain. For months, people were talking about the Gphone. This mysterious phone that Google was going to release. Google, however, as usual, was one step ahead of the game, and was not interested in designing the hardware, but rather the operating system, ie. Android. The big competition in the cellular world is no longer who can make the slimmest handset, it has become an ongoing war between huge corporations like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Symbian (to just name a few in no specific order), who can make the best and smoothest platform or operating system.

This is also very apparent when talking about the IPhone 3G. There were many enhancements included in the second version of the IPhone, but none more talked about then the SDK, or the app store. The enhanced headphone jack or the new slightly rounded sides are not what excited people, or at least not as much as the ability to add applications to the IPhone.

What did I mean about it reaching its climax this week? Well, Palm recently announced the release of their Palm Treo Pro and guess who is not making the hardware for this phone? Palm! They are having HTC design the hardware and they are going to worry strictly about what lies beneath. I don’t know about you, but to me, that seems like a clear indication that this industry is becoming a software-dominated one.

-Hillel

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5 responses

27 08 2008
Aryeh

Although I tend to agree with the main point that software is becoming more important I have a few comments.
1. The Palm Treo Pro runs Win Mobile 6 Pro and has HTC guts, then what the heck is Palm’s role?
2. Design is still a key factor in the average consumers decision process.
3. As much as the operating system is important the advanced users who will actually use all the functions of the software will also be very critical of the hardware, so you need to keep the hardware up to par. For example – Apple not having turn to turn GPS – very disappointing.

Thanks for posting. Keep em coming.
Aryeh

27 08 2008
Rivka

I love the treo, can’t wait to get a pro.

29 08 2008
zwiz

of course , but people will always love new cool sleek looking gadgets that do amazing things at the push of a button. however, The operating system is what consumers will always rave over and talk about on blogs. It’s what makes a phone fun, easy to use and useful. Apple seriously got it right with the iphone. But an iPhone is only awesome if its jailbroken and reloaded with all the apps available to mankind. Apple locked their phone and purposely left out all the good apps so that they can come out with new versions of iphones every 6 months. But don’t be fooled, jailbreak your phone and start using your iPhone the way G-d intended it to be .

1 09 2008
Second Thoughts- Hardware vs Software « Tech N’ Marketing

[…] Thoughts- Hardware vs Software 1 09 2008 I know I wrote before that the cellular industry is becoming a software-dominated market, but there are still some signs […]

26 10 2008
Palm Launches a New Platform - Who Cares? « Tech N’ Marketing

[…] and now with Android, their release will likely cost them millions in loses. We have already seen their phones running on Windows Mobile, so why all of a sudden do they need to release their own […]

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