Technology

Still room for Windows Phone, BlackBerry smartphones

February 02, 2013

NEW YORK, Feb 2 — The latest figures and forecasts show that despite Android and Apple’s dominance, there’s room in the global smartphone market for BlackBerry and Microsoft too.

The BlackBerry Z10 is already getting rave reviews but potential buyers may be put off by its long-term future in terms of popular app support. — Reuters picThe BlackBerry Z10 is already getting rave reviews but potential buyers may be put off by its long-term future in terms of popular app support. — Reuters picDespite lavish launch events, intuitive operating systems and cutting-edge handset design, many consumers will be thinking twice about taking a chance on a Windows Phone or BlackBerry handset due to the dominance of Android and Apple and the perception that the smartphone market is essentially a two-horse race. 

However, according to ABI Research, although Android will indeed account for the lion’s share of global market for some time to come, of the 1.4 billion smartphones predicted to be active by the end of 2013, 45 million, or 3.2 per cent, of that total will be Windows Phones and 1 per cent (20 million) will be BlackBerry.

As senior ABI analyst Aapo Markkanen comments: “2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry. For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”

But while a comparatively tiny marketshare, especially compared with Android’s predicted 57 per cent share (based on 798 million handsets) and Apple’s 294 million device 21 per cent share, Microsoft’s and BlackBerry’s shares will still be sufficient to keep developers engaged and involved and therefore continue to make apps for both platforms. 

“The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success. Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms,” says Markkanen.

So for consumers in the market for a handset that bucks the trend but who are worried that this show of individuality could saddle them with a smartphone with no apps and no future sixth months later, don’t panic. At least, for the moment. — AFP-Relaxnews