Numbers are everything… Can Microsoft reverse the trend?

Numbers are everything... Can Microsoft reverse the trend?

Figures recently released  by comScore reveal a telling story regarding market share for the major smartphone manufacturers in the United States.


Perhaps the biggest suprise is the fall of Microsoft’s share of the market from 5.2%Numbers are everything... Can Microsoft reverse the trend? in November ’11 to only 3.9% in Februrary ’12. Microsoft can only hope that this decline will go into a sharp reverse with the release of the Nokia Lumia 900, complete with a reported $200 million (£126 million) marketing budget.

Where however are the customers going to come from?

Android is going from strength to strength and with the release of the well received HTC  One range and the much anticipated Samsung Galaxy SIII which combined with the Galaxy Note and the new Sony Xperia range provides some daunting opposition.

Apple’s October release of the iPhone 4s and iOS 5 contributed to a modest growth of 1.5% to 30.2% share but with their slick marketing campaigns and massive Appstore this figure too will surely only increase.

Which leaves the struggling Blackberry manufacturer RIM who saw a decline of 3.2% to 13.4% of the market.  With the recent announcement that RIM are going to “refocus” on the enterprise market consolidation can only be the name of the game.

How can Microsoft halt this decline?  As already mentioned, the Nokia Lumia 900 has a massive marketing budget but the key element since the launch of the original iPhone has been apps and here is where Microsoft are struggling.

Numbers are everything... Can Microsoft reverse the trend?

With the massive appstore of Apple and the recently rebranded Google Play, the two big hitters would seem to have the app market all but sewn up.

 

Microsoft needs to hope that the developers start cranking out more apps, price them reasonably and not forget that both Google Play and Apple’s Appstore are almost one-stop shops for all the users entertainment needs.

With smartphone sales expected to top 1 billion (Nielsen) by 2016 the market is clearly there for Microsoft but it would appear improvement is needed in both hardware and apps offerings before the general public will be convinced that Windows phone is the way forward.

 

Nokia Lumia 710 going rather cheap at Carphone Warehouse
Why I think Windows Phone is the future
  • Did the original iPhone even have an app store at launch?

    If apps were the deciding factor when the iPhone was launched then Windows Mobile would still be king.  It had a very large number of apps, an active development community and tons of good free software.  Cheap apps with a one stop shop experience are things that came along later and they are part of the larger reasons for success.  The iPhone has been a success because of ease of use, generally nice packaging and superior marketing.  The app store is a key element of all 3.

    Technologically, until the iPhone 4 came out apple products were a generation behind with the exception of using capacitive touch screens.  Hardware is still only a deciding factor in 2 instances: When it’s bad hardware, when the user is a serious tech fan/spec geek.   For everyone else as long as it works well hardware is more of a style decision.

    I’ve had iOS devices and I currently carry Android and WP7 devices so I am familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each.  WP7’s biggest issue is a perception problem.  Apps are a part of that but it’s the evil corporation persona and the lingering impression that they still build windows 3.1 level products that hurts them the most.  If they can get back to the level of functionality we had with WinMo but with the fluid experience of Windows Phone they should have an unbeatable platform.  The rumors around Win8 & WP8 seem to lean in that direction.  They should also look closely at the concepts demoed by Canonical where a single device becomes both desktop and mobile with interoperability and data sharing between the two.

    • Anonymous

      Well, to be fair, Apple was the first real successful “one stop shop”, and that made all the difference.  Quite frankly, looking back, Windows Mobile 6.x was horrible.  Really horrible.  I had an HTC Diamond when the iPhone came out, and a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 when the iPhone 3G came out.  I could do *some* stuff that the iPhones couldn’t do, but the experience was far from slick.  It was the slickness of the iPhone interface which really revolutionised the smartphone as we know it. 

      When Google finally released the G1, the App Store was coming along, and really made the marketplace explode.  I think you have to appreciate what was done for that market at the time.  Before the iPhone, Smartphones were very cumbersome, and pretty rare, except amongst those who could actually spend the time and mess about with it enough to make them useful. 

      Windows Phone 7, is still, IMHO, missing a few key things, and just isn’t cheap enough to sway most people.  Microsoft has got itself a bad name, and is quite old fashioned in a lot of peoples minds these days.  I think that’s possibly why most people ignore it.