re: Windows Phone Steals Third Place From BlackBerry
Yeah, Windows Phone will probably be battling BlackBerry for third for
the foreseeable future; it'll be a while, if ever, until either is in
position to challenge iOS for second. It's interesting, though; for all
the companies making smartphones, only Samsung and Apple are making any
money. Apple is still benefiting from a head start to some extent, and
when people talk about the success of Android, they're really talking
about the success of Samsung and the popularity of cheap devices in
emerging markets. It will be interesting to see how stable the leaders'
foundations are over the next two to five years, as several disruptive
forces are brewing.
The fabled low-cost iPhone is one, and who
knows, maybe Johnny Ive's iOS redesign is another. If Samsung is drawing
some former iPhone users because its Android implementation feels
fresher and more innovative, then an iOS refresh could swing the
momentum in a different direction. Windows, meanwhile, will release
Windows Phone Blue at some point next year, and seems heavily invested
in the idea that users like to move tasks from device to device. If it
really gets that feature figured out better than anyone else, that could
mean something for the Win 8 ecosystem. Not sure BlackBerry can keep
pace with these three, but their CEO is talking a big game, so we'll
see. Maybe he knows something I don't.
Speaking of ecosystems,
and looking further out, there's forthcoming connected tech (Microsoft,
Samsung, and Apple-branded wearable technology; Microsoft's next xbox
and Apple's rumored TV, etc.) to consider, as some of it might influence
whether users stick to a single ecosystem for certain devices, or
whether a mutli-OS user trends force tech companies to indulge a certain
amount of interoperability. This sort of stuff won't be figured out
this year-- but it will be a factor sooner than some people realize.
Developers are moving beyond the first generation of mobile apps, and
the platform that figures out the next, context-aware generation will
hold a lot of cards.
Two years ago, no one could have seen that
Android would rise in popularity so quickly, and three years ago, no one
realized what the iPad meant for iOS. For all the ways Android and iOS
seem entrenched at the top of the mobile space, there's still plenty of
potential in coming years for realignment.
- Michael Endler, IW Associate Editor