Look back five years ago. RIM (Research In Motion)was doing great and Apple
wasn't considered a serious threat to the smartphone business. Now the tables have turned. According to the Sunday Times, RIM is considering selling off its hardware business and keeping its messaging network. It might then open up to Google and Apple to integrate its messaging service onto those platforms.
RIM isn't the only mobile manufacturer facing immense pressure from the changing market. Nokia is also doing badly, relying on its Windows Phone range (The Lumia series) to see it through. Sony Ericsson has also seen better years. The company now barely exists on the smartphone stage. Sure, the Xperia Play made a dent in mid-range smartphones but it's certainly not like it's K800i days. HTC, a company that has only recently surged in popularity, is withdrawing from Brazil.
The market has changed - brand loyalty seems odd now, especially for the Android manufacturers. Most people are oblivious to their phone manufacturer, focusing on the phone itself. Without this sort of dependency, brands have to compete constantly to stay relevant. Apple seem immune to this, with good reason - as they own iOS and no third parties can manufacture iOS devices, users are kept within the Apple ecosystem. With Android, customers can choose from several brands and they'll all have access to the same apps.