Firefox could face similar difficulties, he predicted.
A battle has broken out, too, over the processor chips that run the smartphones.
Santa Clara, California-based Intel is offering new high-performance chips to break its way into smartphones, of which almost all now use chip technology licensed by ARM, based in Cambridge, England.
The potential rewards for Intel could be rich: The market in processor chips for smartphone applications was worth nearly 7 billion euros (US$9 billion) last year, IHS communications technology analyst Francis Sideco said.
Despite robust growth in smartphones and tablet sales the mobile industry still faces a major challenge moving customers over to new ultrafast fourth generation, or 4G, networks, which can offer speeds similar to a fixed fiber-optic connection.
“There are 3G networks in many parts of the world like in Sweden that have been overcrowded and then you have parallel 4G networks that are almost empty,” Rehle said.
Network operators need to convince their customers to pay a little more for the faster speeds, he said, pointing to videos as the “killer application” to lure people to the system over the longer term.
If the operators succeed, they can make more money and invest in greater capacity, the analyst said.
“Otherwise, they will have problems,” Rehle added.