I'll also just observe more broadly that it's really impressive how much Microsoft and Google are, in their different ways, spending on an unwillingness to leave well enough alone. The Search/Maps/Mail troika of advertising platforms is a great business for Google and Windows/Office is a great business for Microsoft. But Microsoft is determined to get into search and Google is determined to get into social networking both for reasons that don't strike me as particularly well-articulated.While Matt Yglaesias wrote this in reference to Google's acquisition of Meebo, I think the same can be said for websites rushing out to make their own smartphones. It's safe to say that Facebook will, at some point, release a smartphone. Today, a report came out claiming that Amazon will be producing a smartphone. In my view, both actions are "for reasons that don't strike me as particularly well-articulated."
At the end of the day, the smartphone market is dominated by iOS (Apple) and Android. BlackBerry (RIM) and Windows Phone OS (Microsoft) have quite a bit of catching up to do before they will become competitive. However, merely catching up (RIM/Microsoft) or marketing a smartphone with a single selling point (Facebook/Amazon) are both failing gameplans.
Android and Apple both gain users by pushing cutting-edge, top-of-the-line features. Every now and then, one company has to catch up to the other one, but playing catch up is not their sole business plan. If Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, or RIM want any shot at breaking into the smartphone market, they must innovate.