Friday saw confirmation of BlackBerry’s near-billion-dollar loss. BlackBerry and Nokia both tried to muscle their way back into the smartphone game, essentially by imitating the closed model used so successfully by Apple and which they themselves had previously done well by. The grip of the established app stores however, ensured that neither of the impostors would be able to win over either customers or developers to their cause. Another closed platform simply holds no appeal to a market very much enthralled by what’s already available.
For an alternative model, look to the Firefox phone. Mozilla’s project is built on an open model, leveraging open standards and existing HTML5 development to quickly grow a developer market. Despite the lack of lock-in, or more likely in part because of it, Firefox phone continues to succeed. Furthermore, their open approach in all areas will allow them to adapt and grow with the changing marketplace and go on succeeding as changes leave closed markets behind.
For a fuller explanation and analysis of closed vs open strategies, see Simon’s InfoWorld article.