Tag: blackberry

The Evolution Of Smartphones, By The Numbers [And Why Apple May Dominate The Next Round]

In 2007, Apple energized the smartphone industry with the introduction of the first-gen iPhone. Within a year, they had gone from a non-player in the cellular phone market to an innovative industry leader. Indeed, Apple’s tremendous success in the marketplace is exemplified by their capture of 48% of the Q1 2010 mobile phone revenues, despite being limited to GSM carriers and garnering only an estimated 3% of the total handset market.

If rumors of a CDMA phone in 2011 are correct, Apple is poised to once again make an historic leap, this time not for its innovative technological advances, but in terms of a significant – possibly even dominant – market share increase. In order to explain why this might be, we need to understand how smartphone adoption has evolved (very rapidly) over the past 3 years.

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Counting Down To The Top 3

Ouch. First Microsoft unceremoniously kills the Kin device, and now the press buries the first Windows Phone 7. If sales will tank as predicted, is MS long for the mobile market?

Lackluster Windows Phone adoption will ultimately reduce the smartphone competition to Apple iOS, Google Android, and the forthcoming BlackBerry 6.0. As for WebOS? HP does not plan to focus on smartphones and will instead push for it as the embedded OS on all their future appliance platforms (particularly tablets).

Soon there will be three. (And quite frankly, I am seeing RIM wilt quickly under the weight of the  iPhone/Droid onslaught. If Corporate America ever concedes their love affair with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server as a means of Draconian IT control, BB is toast.)


Smartphone Tethering

Long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, computers went on-net – whether “on net” was “the Internet”, CompuServe, or (for the old-timers) something like FIDOnet – with a device called a “modem”. (Modems got their name because they MOdulated and DEModulated analog telephone signals to transmit binary data.)

In  these days of digital high-speed broadband and FIOS, a genuine “mo-dem” is somewhat of an ancient relic in the vernacular. However, if you have a smartphone, it can act as an analog (no pun intended) of an old-school telephony modem for getting your laptop onto the Internet when there is no other access available.

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Tethered Tablet

RIM is rumored to be working on a tablet device to compete with the Apple iPad. But the interesting, or should I say, puzzling decision is to make it a tethered device that still requires a BlackBerry for communications.

I think Apple addressed my “do I really want to pay data fees for yet another device?” concerns by providing an OnDemand no-contract activation. So is the fact that a BB tablet must be tethered to a BB phone a clever solution, or a major inconvenience? I favor compact & self-contained, so I tend toward the latter…


Ready For The Enterprise? Uh, Yeah.

Is Android 2.2 enterprise-ready? Ultimately, with input from the usual suspects like Gartner, Information Week concludes “yes”. My favorite quote:

“iPhones and Android are coming to the enterprise, whether IT likes it or not.”

Um, they’re already here. The small- to mid-size firms have already elected to skate on that bleeding edge. Most of the features the pundits say are lacking are mainly a concern for only the largest of organizations bound and determined to command their IT with an iron fist (and a Blackberry Enterprise Server). And I have a sneaking suspicion that once the powers-that-be in such an org actually get to see/use something like Android or iPhone, the ‘standard’ will turn on a dime. Or more hypocritically, the standard will remain the same for all, but that exec will get a special dispensation from IT.


Android As *The* Mobility Platform

In 1Q 2010, Android unit sales surpassed the iPhone. Is this a harbinger of Android as the dominant smartphone platform? And what of mobile computing in general? The iPhone OS already has migrated to the iPad, making it an excellent “mobility platform”. Certainly, Google is going to compete. The Microsoft offering, despite the major-play backing, is still barely a blip on the radar. webOS is a potential player depending on what HP decides to do. And RIM is in danger of being an also-ran with Symbian. So who will win the mobility race?


Palm Admits Slow Adoption of webOS

Palm execs are admitting lackluster webOS sales. Per analyst remarks, their window of opportunity may indeed be closing.

In my little corner of the world, I can confirm the lack of traction. There was tremendous initial interest when Pre came out, but no continued excitement so far with Pixi or Pre Plus. In fact, Android – specifically the Moto Driod – is Number One with a Bullet.

I haven’t seen any iPhone users abandon ship, but there has been a Droidfully noticeable migration away from BlackBerry and Pre. Now Windows Mobile 7 Series is getting the buzz. This may have been Palm’s last gasp, and I think even RIM may have to watch out.


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