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Mobile Device Forecasts – Short-term & Long-term

This synopsis is a quick prediction of what the short-term (6 months) and long-term (3 years) trends are for each platform. Since we are constantly bombarded with expert research from reputable companies like Nielsen, Forrester, Gartner, etc. this summary is designed to give you a view into what to expect.

For this blog entry, we are only considering mobile phone devices. It is worth noting that tablets are clearly on the rise (especially the iPad), and other browser-based non-phone devices are clearly on the decline (especially the iPod Touch).

iOS: Over the past year, Android has clearly taken over market-share from the iOS platform. In the smartphone world, the iPhone held more than 75% of market share, but it is down to less than 50%. With the imminent release of the iPhone 5, we forecast the short-term forecast for the iOS platform to be quite rosy. Unfortunately, iOS will not be able to sustain it for 3 years. They will fight Android, Windows Phone and maybe even a new emerging platform.

Short-term:
Long-term:

Android: The future king of mobile devices, we expect Android to easily exceed other platforms worldwide. We expect Google to improve the overall Android User Experience which will translate in increased loyalty. Over the short-term, Android will sustain its market share (albeit barely), but over the long-term, it will extend its share mostly at the expense of iOS and RIM. Surprisingly, we expect most of its competition to come from Windows Mobile.

Short-term:
Long-term:

Windows Mobile: Microsoft has invested heavily in promoting its Windows Mobile platform, and it will finally start reaping some results. Unfortunately, it won’t be until 2012 that Microsoft will start gnawing at some of iOS, Android and BB’s share. Over the short-term, we expect Windows Phone to have a small uptick, but over the long-term, we expect it to be a winner.

Short-term:
Long-term:

BlackBerry: At one time, RIM was the powerhouse in smart phone devices. Unfortunately, their market share has fallen to less than 10% and is going down fast. The outlook is grim. They simply don’t have the coolness factor or the features. Their following is small and is taking on a ‘cultish’ persona. They remain popular with lawyers and a few corporate IT departments (we are not sure why). We think RIM’s days as a formidable mobile platform are numbered.

Short-term:
Long-term:

Other Platforms: There are other platforms out there. Notable are Palm (recently bought by HP), Symbian and MeeGo (owned by Nokia) and a few other prorietary mobile Operating Systems. We don’t expect much noise from these (although we are secretly hoping for a dark-horse to emerge).

Conclusion: The battle for mobile phone supremacy will be between iOS and Android over the short-term, but we expect Windows Mobile to start gaining market share in 2012. Between the three of them, customers will have plenty of choices of mobile phones. It’s a good time to be in the mobile business!

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