The recent acquisition of Nokia’s Devices unit by Microsoft has been a game changer in the mobile ecosystem. Nokia was the key distributor of Windows Phone for Microsoft (MS). And for Microsoft to become a device player; MS had to make this move. Microsoft’s aim to be an end-to-end mobility player by owning the IP and having the control to market the services themselves is achieved by this deal.
In one of our earlier blogs on Upcoming Mobile Trends in 2012, we had predicted that three horse race of iOS, Android and Windows Mobile will dominate the smartphone market. This trend seems to have come true with RIM (Smartphone maker of BlackBerry devices) taking a major hit, and Microsoft and Nokia decided to be one single unit.
So, how will this deal influence the other Smart phone world? – With constant evolution in technology and new features added by other smartphone makers of Android OS (Specially Samsung) and Apple (iOS), we expect Google’s Android will continue to be the leader with Apple’s iOS being second and Windows Phone OS being distant third in the race.
According to a recent report published by IDC in August 2013, Year-on-Year growth of Android phones shipment is ~74%, iOS is 20% and Windows Phone is ~78%. Others are on a decline.
For Windows Phone OS to fast catch-up with iOS and Android, Microsoft will need to convince Application developers to build on their platform. Our recommendation to Microsoft is to invest primarily in four areas:
- Build a developer ecosystem and proactively give incentive to App developers to adopt the platform.
- Build enterprise focused hardware to support enterprise mobility use cases such as in-built bar code scanners, magnetic swipe readers etc.
- Build devices beyond phones and tablets such as Smart watches, Smart glass, Smart surface etc.
- Build innovative ecosystem which will help, to seamlessly and easily transfer data/screens across devices like tablets, phones, PCs, laptops etc. Example – through Air gestures.
Nevertheless, we still believe it is an uphill battle for Microsoft to survive in this highly competitive environment.
It will be interesting to see how acquisition between two giant companies will shape up the mobility landscape.
Director and Co-Founder, RapidValue Solutions