September News Heats Up Mobile Market

Carrie Sylvester
Sep 20, 2013

Image credit: ZDNet

iOS (iPhone) in the News

Apple once again held true to its history of a September iPhone introduction. There was much speculation around the impending announcement and Apple delivered by introducing two models on September 11th — the iPhone 5c and the 5s. Although the overall excitement for some seems to be waning that never stops the true Fan Boys; the very day the phones were announced, there was a guy in Tokyo that lined up in front of his local Apple Store and lines continue to form wherever the phones will be available even though they will be available  on September 20th.

The smartphones come in two flavors — The $99 (w/2 year contract) iPhone 5c is a relatively inexpensive handset with an 8 MP camera and comes in five colors (yellow, light blue, green, and white). Although the design looks quite different and some say “looks too plastic”, the company hopes to change the way we think about plastic. According to Apple they chose this design because the rich and particular colors they wanted to infuse into iPhone 5c wasn’t possible with metal. But Apple said they had no interest in imitating the typical, fragile plastic phone. So instead they built the iPhone 5c around a steel-reinforced frame, which is also said to act as an antenna and laser‑welded them together for a precise fit.

The iPhone 5s is the “Cadillac” version and features a metal construction that comes in 3 tones silver, gold, and gray for $199 (16GB). Some of the cooler features of iPhone 5s are that it has a Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, an A7 processor chip, and the iSight camera with a larger 8MP sensor. Both models are running iOS 7, the latest version of the Apple operating system.

Windows Phone in the News

The other big thing happening in the Mobile industry is that the Windows market is beginning to heat up. The most notable announcement was that Microsoft acquired Nokia and quickly scooped up its CEO Stephen Elop and other top level executives. Although the jury is still out on how this will ultimately affect Windows Mobile’s future, it certainly shows without question Microsoft’s commitment to Mobile and the acquisition had a positive impact on Nokia’s shareholders.

Again the press gave a lukewarm reception to the Microsoft/Nokia announcement some asking if it was  A Marriage Made In Hell while others touted its positive impact with Nokia Shares Surge 40 Percent On Microsoft Takeover. It is still unclear, however, if either company will notice much gain as a result. Both companies have their eye on the prize —holding onto their top positions, but Blackberry will likely be feeling the most with Windows nipping at their heels to break into the Top 3 in terms of operating system adoption. According to the 2013 InfoTrends Mobile Imaging study Android, iOS and Blackberry have comfortably held the top 3 spots for the last 2 years, but Windows is behind BlackBerry only by a nose.

Source: 2013 InfoTrends Mobile Imaging End User Survey

Windows Phone Gets Nods from HP and Governments

HP, a company that has mobile roots although has been missing from the game for many years, is rumored to be coming back to the smartphone market sometime in 2014. Rumor has it that the first HP smartphone will be running Windows Phone, which is surprising albeit a little puzzling because HP has already supported the Android platform with their Slate tablets. If the technology giant does choose Windows over Android that will be a serious nod to the Windows Phone platform. But it will need to bring with it more than a nod to be successful, it will need some app developer love. Engaging mobile apps are key to a mobile device’s viability. As of January 2013, iTunes had 775,000 apps available, Google Play/Android had 800,000 and Windows Phone Marketplace is well behind with around 130,000 apps. Windows is ahead of Blackberry World in terms of apps which hovers around 70,000.

Because the Windows Phone market is still small but growing, this could be making it a more attractive option for HP instead of trying to compete in the more crowded and competitive Android landscape which is already dominated by Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Sony. An HP Windows Phone would compete against a smaller group of manufacturers like Nokia and HTC.

Another thing that happened to Windows in September is the announcement that the OS has received all nine FIPS 140-2 validation certificates that are necessary for Windows devices to be deemed safe devices for use by U.S. and Canadian government employees. This could be huge for Windows Phone if the governments chose to standardize and promote use of Windows mobile products.

InfoTrends Opinion

Nokia has been the biggest supporter of Windows Phone to date, but nothing that has made a huge dent in Android’s or iOS’ user share. It is likely that Android and iOS will continue to be the top operating systems for the next few years, but it is conceivable that in the near future Windows will take over the number 3 spot from Blackberry and edge its way towards the number 2 spot held by Apple. InfoTrends will continue to keep its eyes on the mobile OS race. If Windows plays its cards right they could be in the top 3 by 2014, InfoTrends suggests that the other horses in the race stay ahead of consumers’ wants and interests or else they could find themselves falling out of the Top 3 operating systems.

To learn more about the 2013 InfoTrends Mobile Imaging Study please visit our report store or contact Matt O’Keefe to learn more about InfoTrends’ ongoing research into the Mobile Imaging industry.

 

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