Re: Or the fourth option...
"...the competition does exist, and is ready to take over if they stumble.''
Not sure that's true even though we wish it was.
Mobile has essentially been a two-horse race between Android and Apple for quite some time now. Either punters can empty their pockets and pay the Apple tax for a quality experience or they can take their chances on the roulette wheel that is Android - at any given price point.
Although we hate the iPhone there's no doubt it wins hands-down in many ways over Android. That said though, both fail to offer a satisfying experience with each hurting their customers in unique ways.
We wish for something else badly but have to use a so-called smartphone because there is no viable alternative. Even the basic form of these devices is an exercise in dull conformity: a 'one-size fits all' that fails to please a great many.
Besides, given the maturity of the technology and the industry's continued push towards services as its main bread and butter, isn't it about time the whole hardware/software realm was opened and freed up? After all, other industries aren't encumbered by such things in order to survive: for example, the last time we looked the construction industry didn't seem to be paying patent royalties on bricks and cement...