BlueStacks has developed a product that is capable of shredding some of the barriers between operating systems and devices, which could dramatically change the field of competition between big OS players like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Bluestacks’ software allows computer users to access Android apps on their computers, and now they can do so from Apple computers and Windows PCs, and the technology to do this is being pre-installed in some computers by the likes of AMD (NYSE:AMD) and ASUS.
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The program has the potential to change the way app developers decide for which platform to design. Android could be a big winner here, as apps designed for Android, the most widely used mobile OS in the world, could still reach users on Macs and PCs. Giving a taste of Android to PC and Mac users may sway them away from their loyalties to Apple and Microsoft just as mobile devices — particularly tablets — are becoming an increasingly more important part of each of their portfolios.
CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Who is winning from this product?
One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework focuses on catalysts that will move a company’s stock. While BlueStacks may not see a shift in shares — it’s a privately-held company — Google, Apple, and Microsoft could see some movement if app developers move their focus toward Android apps.
How will this affect the smartphone war?
As apps are a central part of smartphone success, a booming app market could help Android steal sales from the competition. Apple’s App Store is currently the largest of the big three, but that could change. Meanwhile, Windows Phone could be dead on arrival, never having grown its app offering to begin with, and already losing out as consumers opt for Android phones for a seamless, app-filled computer-smartphone pairing.
However, one potential drawback is that some Windows and Mac users may be satisfied with access to Android apps on their PCs and Macs and then feel no need to get an actual Android device on which to run the apps. In that way, BlueStacks could actually cannibalize some Android device sales.
While BlueStacks’ impact remains unclear, it seems likely the program will influence app developers more than actual users, which would mean a more populated app marketplace for Android, and increased sales and shares for the likes of Google, Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and other Android-device makers.
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