If you are shopping for a new smartphone today, the chances are that you are looking at either an Android or iOS handset. That is the feedback we are getting from many of the UK retail stores before Christmas. Both of these platforms account for almost 90 percent of all sales in Q3 2012, according to IDC.
Whether you like Apple or not, there is no denying their marketing capabilities and sales figures. Google have caught up well in the last couple of years and they have the support of many partners, with a wealth of smartphones available this year worldwide, and at reasonable price points.
Research In Motion, once one of the market leaders have been struggling for years now and their release of BlackBerry 10 OS next year may very well be their last attempt to improve their flagging sales figures. They plan on launching it on January 30th and they seem confident that it will attract a wider audience. Analysts worldwide don't seem to share their confidence however.
Microsoft may rule the desktop operating system market, but in the mobile space they have never had much success. Windows Phone has been in the market now for years, but their sales figures have always been poor.
The big question is ‘do we really want a new smartphone OS now?' A wide audience seem happy with iOS and Android and both operating systems are mature, stable and very popular. Unless Windows 8 or BB10 offer something dramatically new and different there is little reason for a consumer to move to a completely new platform.
Recent research has shown that both Apple and Google smartphone users are very happy with their purchases and have no plans on moving to a completely new smartphone OS. Additionally, Android and iOS have very strong online store systems and research indicates that many users have bought at least 10+ applications which may not be available on either Windows Phone 8 or BB OS10. Application support now is critical to many users before they part with their money.
To be fair, Microsoft are building their store system as we speak, but it is still years behind both iOS and Android.
Microsoft have had great success with their Xbox 360 console, total lifetime unit sales are now topping 70 million according to their last fiscal report. Windows Phone shipments in Q3 this year are estimated to reach 3.6 million handsets. It sounds a lot until you realise that 1.3 million Android devices are activated each day. Apple have just sold 2 million iPhone 5 handsets in China last weekend.
I could be wrong, but I feel neither Microsoft or Research In Motion will be able to mount a serious challenge to either Apple or Google. They will both strive to get enough sales to make their presence worthwhile, but it does look bleak for both companies.
Kitguru says: Are you interested in Windows 8 or BB10. Would you switch from iOS or Android to own one?