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Are Windows 8 Phone and BB OS10 doomed to fail?

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?

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  • Daniel

    However well established something is it can always be swept aside by something that becomes the latest thing. Facebook had almost zero functionality when it was launched: it was locked down to a few users, it didn’t have a wall, or chat, or photos much larger than stamps, or the ability to know if a message had been read – it was years before it caught up with MySpace and yet blew it away even before it had.

    So really it depends on BB and Microsoft’s ability to be ‘cool’.

    Microsoft – don’t make me laugh. It’s not an x-box, the phones are tied to an OS with a reputation that stinks, they don’t have a hope.

    BB have been cool in the past, but if they’re planning to go ahead with the ideas for the launch campaign that I was asked for my opinion on two months ago – they’re doomed. The whole marketing project is being run by drones, who admit they don’t know what they want but refuse to let anyone else have a decisive say on. No matter how good the phone, the launch is going to be pitiful unless something changes dramatically in the next few weeks.

  • Tom

    The lines between phones, tabets, laptops, desktops, the cloud, and servers are becoming blurred. If you add up all those devices and look at existing market share, the playing field changes a lot for microsoft. I have never been a fan of linex, apple, or windows but for different reasons. I believe that any or all of the three will end up surviving. I think google (linex) will win the consummer battle, and apple will become the “high end” niche but I would bet on microsoft to win the business segment. If apple or google go too far down the path of marketing to businesses they may lose the consummer segment because most of what we hate about microsoft is there to surve those business clients.

    I personally hope that they all survive to drive competition.

    What I do not understand is the bias against Microsoft by analyst. I have to assume noone would read any positive news about MS because no one writes any. I think of Microsoft like a great athelete that everyone wants to lose. They cannot separate the facts from the emotions. I can dislike MS but recognize they are better than both Apple and Google at a lot of things. Dealing with businesses is one of those things.

  • Dan Hugos

    Blah, blah. Same old punditocracy, echo chamber baloney. I get it, we’re all supposed to pile on and hate Microsoft. Guess what – the Lumia 920 to me looks like easily the sweetest phone out there. Apps work great, display is beautiful. OK, 120,000 apps compared to 600,000? I’ll go out on a limb and predict that MS catches up and that having 46 of the top 50 apps will do ok for now.

  • paul

    Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 is a great smartphone, The Camera is excellent the apps are increasing inc top apps like Deezer, Whatsapp, Facebook,Twitter, Youtube, Nokia Maps (and a great sat nav), Linked in, Bing Maps, Xbox Smartglass, Xbox Games, Skype, Microsoft Office, Instacam, Foursquare, Flixster, Dropbox, Tune in Radio..the good apps just keep on coming, many more tops apps are due in Q1 2013 also the phone has voice texting very handy, lots of emoticons built in for SMS, Windows Phone 8 has only just launched give it some time before knocking it….really pleased with my purchase so are many people i know…

  • the mad duke

    Let the haters hate. What people seem to forget is that the same apps that run on a windows phone work on windows desktop. Massive selling point although Microsoft marketing is still very poor and not as good at communicating as their competitors.

    They will get there on day and take a big slice of the ‘apple’ just a matter of time… haters


  • seenoland

    I’ve had an iPhone for years and just switched to a Lumia 920 and love it. I hear about how many apps Apple has and just laugh. How many apps do you actually use? Most of what are in the iTunes store are just ads or junk. By the way, didn’t Apple poo poo Microsoft having so many more apps for the PC? My Lumia has a great screen, great camera, great style and Office…not Office “compatible” but the real deal. Microsoft is going to do just fine. Having a growing number (can’t be stopped) of desktops with the same user interface as tablet, phone and Xbox is a very strong position plus, there is just to much real software available with Microsoft that will never be available on Mac or Android. I think you’re going to see that growth graph be steadily moving uphill for a long time to come. I wouldn’t even consider going back to an iPhone.


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