Apple’s flagship product the iPhone 5 is out and Apple will continue to capitalize the market. This market capitalization is not because of how superior the iPhone is (at the beginning it was, but not anymore). It is because of the ecosystem Apple has built around its products and the ease with which a user is able to pick up from where they left off on another completely different type of device.

That is the power and appeal of the ecosystem.

Apple will continue this march towards tech world domination, because the only serious challengers to its leadership are Microsoft which has been slow to adapt to the ecosystem, and Google which hasn’t quite figured out exactly how to compete with Apple.

Apple understood this shift in consumer demand a long time back and has been catering to it for some time now. With the ability of a user to transfer between the iPad and iPhone, it was only a matter of time before the desktop also became part of the equation – or ecosystem. Apple’s Mountain Lion update to its desktop operating system completed the magical trifecta.

Apple’s ecosystem allows the user to move between its smartphone and its, tablet to the desktop/laptop without ever having to use a product or service provided by a third party.

Google, with its android OS, could achieve similar results if it was to play its cards right.

To start with, Google needs to unify its Chrome OS and its Android OS into a single product and stick with the name Android. The new unified OS should operate on desktops and laptop computers as Google did with the Chromebook.

The new personal computer OS (preferably titled “Android Desktop OS” or something like it) could be partnered with device makers to power a new generation of laptops that could interact with Android smartphones and Android tablets in its own seamless ecosystem.

Google’s successful execution of such a pivot on the Chrome OS to build a unified ecosystem would give the company a fantastic competitive advantage in what would surely become a “battle for ecosystem”.

Google displays an understanding of the importance in creating an ecosystem through the Chrome browser. But that simply is not going to be enough when, next year, Microsoft will be pre-installing its Windows 8 OS on every new piece of hardware out there, including smartphones and tablets. This, makes Microsoft’s windows a more viable competitor to Apple’s ecosystem.

Microsoft seems to have a greater understanding of this reality and the shift in the market towards ecosystem dominance. This is probably going to be the major selling point for Windows 8 when it is released later this year. Microsoft would then have a unified ecosystem between its smartphones, tablets and PCs.

I would like Google’s Android to become a great ecosystem. Android OS and Chrome browser already has the hallmarks of a great ecosystem, but at the moment has not quite gotten there. Google would do very well to continue to move in this direction.

Muju Naeem

Muzaffar ‘Muju’ Naeem is an Online Brand Management Consultant, media strategist and marketer. He currently works for Semicolon Pvt Ltd in Business Development.

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