Apple, Google, Samsung, Nokia, Vizio, Sony, Blackberry, HP, Dell, the list goes on. All of these companies will go under in the next decade if they don’t figure out how to make a product out of thin air.
Let me explain…
- Code is thin air.
- Pixels are thin air.
- Databases are thin air.
- Hosting is thin air.
The last several years have been about the disruptive transformation of hardware devices that have changed the way people consume information and go about their daily lives. This is all about to change. Why? Because in the next decade these technologies, operating systems and hardware devices that are currently being built by the aforementioned brands, will be so similar to each other, the consumer will care less about the actual design of the hardware or its brand. People will just demand a pane of glass, more or less. Glass will just be glass. The ‘wow factor’ will wear off after awhile.
This is exactly why the web will win in the end.
As more and more apps go live in the App Store and Android Marketplace, it becomes more difficult to find the cream of the crop. Not to mention, it becomes harder for developers to get the distribution they need to be able to support their efforts in creating the application in the first place. When developers keep experiencing these problems over and over again to no avail, they will eventually stop developing native apps.
Developers will then have no other outlet other than to move to the web, and leave these walled garden app marketplaces behind. On the web, they’ll be able to optimize for every device, or every single pane of glass, and get better distribution everywhere with a single codebase. And in the coming years, HTML5 and other web technologies will help speed up what we’re now calling the “mobile web” to the point that the user most likely won’t even know the difference.
This is already beginning to take shape.
As developers begin creating awesome applications that work well on the web, more people will return to the mobile web and get used to it, which will lead to these app marketplaces becoming stagnant and eventually losing their appeal to consumers.
As this is happening, there will be a shift in the way people think about consuming/creating content and utilizing applications to help run and manage their public or private lives. My prediction is that more people will care about the openness and the potential of the web and the walled app stores will start to seem old and outdated. This spells trouble for Apple. Especially since Apple and nearly their entire business relies on hardware sales and the revenue coming from their application ecosystem.
People will want to access the same app or site from anywhere, on any screen, at any time. And if it was just an Apple or a Google screen, the experience would always be completely different. On the web, however, it remains the same.
Screens in the future will be just that: screens. Glass. I’m convinced the technology will be so good that we will care less who makes the actual piece of glass, plastic, or whatever it is, from which we view the content. Screens will be ubiquitous and they will be like windows, serving the same purpose for its users.
In the end, it will be the visuals that matter. How quickly and easily can we find our applications, content and the media we love on any screen, anywhere. This is why the web will win and the companies that are taking advantage of responsive design and HTML5 are going to have a bright bright future ahead of them if they stick with it. The companies trying to innovate in TV, computer, tablet and smartphone hardware better start learning how to truly innovate by making incredible products out of thin air.
Thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter too.
Thanks to Jared Erondu for reading & adding thoughts