Google deemed 'most disruptive' in mobile market

Google is set to disrupt the Mobile Information and Communication (M-ICT) industry with its Linux-based Android mobile operating system, according to Strategy Analytics.

The Boston-based research and consulting firm identified Google as the M-ICT industry's "most disruptive firm" in its Global Forces Program research. Google topped the list based on a study of more than 100 firms, including mobile OS players such as Microsoft, Apple and Research In Motion, Strategy Analytics announced last week.

According to Barry Gilbert, vice president of Strategy Analytics, "disruptive impact" can be defined as a new business model, or product, that has collateral impact on other companies with similar technologies.

"No one would have dreamed that when Apple introduced the iPhone that it would have such an impact on the mobile communications market," said Gilbert in a telephone interview. "Likewise, who would have anticipated Google would enter the space with a handset product and OS [Google Android] that would blow that marketplace wide open."

Gilbert said Strategy Analytics uses a sophisticated algorithm that scans patent records, venture capital investments, new chipsets, developing technologies, and other datasets to identify companies or new offerings that might have a significant impact on other companies in the same space.

"We've developed an early warning alarm system to help companies deal with unforeseen changes in the marketplace," Gilbert said. "Google's foray into operating systems, handsets, application offerings is certainly going to have an impact on the mobile information and communications market."

Google had significantly higher disruption rates than Apple or Microsoft, both of which were given high scores for "behavior that caused stress, aggravated competitive dynamics, and threats to [other company] profits," according to Strategy Analytics.

"Clearly these other companies are going be taking a very close look at Google, especially in addressing the needs of the consumer market," Gilbert said.  "The ante has been raised with the introduction of [Motorola's Android-based] Droid [mobile phone], and the anticipation of Windows Phone 7, which I think will be competitive, but there's plenty of room in this space."

Gilbert said that Strategy Analytics will continue to monitor dynamics in the M-ICT space. The factors being monitored include product adoption rates, company behavior, distribution policies, pricing, corporate structure and more.

"The market is growing at a rapid pace, and there will be a lot of innovation from the top players," Gilbert said. "It becomes a race and the question is who will win the race and how long will they be able to hold that position."

About the Author

Herb Torrens is a freelance writer based in Southern California.

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