BB10-Beats-Windows-Phone-8

Windows Phone Will Grab More Market Share From Android and iOS

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]icrosoft’s struggle in the Mobile space is well documented.

As an OS, its a breath of fresh air and has had the single biggest impact in the evolution of the smart phone since the original iPhone in 2007 (Just think about the big trend towards flat designs and the deep OS-level integration of services; even GoogleNow got its inspiration from here).

Yet it’s common knowledge that Android is cornering the market with iOS only providing dwindling resistance. Now lets be clear, Windows Phone is growing (and it should) but its not growing fast enough and Android is approaching that critical mass where it will no longer matter what the competition does as it would have grown so large as to control the mobile experience as we know it.

Of course, there are other contenders: BlackBerry 10, for example, is currently locked in a tussle with Microsoft for third place. However, with Blackberry announcing that it is bringing BBM to iOS and Android, I expect that we’re going to see an accelerated decline in its market share and consequently, its relevance.

Nevertheless, inspite of Microsoft’s low market share, there is no doubt that it has a future and this is largely due to Microsoft’s ability to lock Nokia into Windows Phone exclusivity; basically, Windows Phone has benefited immensely from the reputation of Nokia. But Nokia alone cannot grow Windows Phone to the point where it begins to see exponential growth at the expense of Android and iOS to a lesser extent. It needs help and Blackberry will do more than anyone else to provide that boost.

Imagine a scenario where, on one hand, we have Nokia innovating for Windows Phone and Blackberry on the other hand, with HTC as an important lesser player. It will automatically elevate Windows Phone to a premium status platform – the only true alternative to Apple in terms of both hardware quality and software experience (We know that Nokia, Blackberry, and even HTC make great devices). Now, Microsoft offered Blackberry the same deal that they offered Nokia but Thorstein Heines chose to give BB10 a shot at the market instead, and I think that they will fail. The fact that they’re willing to open up BBM (the one true differentiation that they have) to other platforms is indicative of this. Yet they cannot afford to keep BBM closed – not with the rise of a plethora of messaging alternatives; damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The last time I checked, Blackberry was worth $7.8B. An offer of $12B from Microsoft should be able to buy Blackberry.

Now, such a purchase needs to be carefully managed; Nokia has to be carried along throughout. The objective of the buyout cannot be to threaten Nokia’s resurgence but rather, to aid both Nokia and Microsoft (and HTC) by strengthening and expanding Windows Phone’s influence and viability as an alternative platform. Blackberry will be allowed to continue to run independently with no privileges over Nokia except cash infusion. BBM can then be brought into Windows Phone as an exclusive first and later opened to other platforms (iOS first and Android much later) Microsoft stands to gain a subscriber base that can be targeted with incentives to upgrade to Windows Phone (Regardless of the OEM). Microsoft also stands to gain several very useful patents which it can license across OEMs in its ecosystem further strengthening and differentiating it.

I love BB10 and what Blackberry has done with QNX and I would hate to see all that effort go to waste so BB10 can be sold off to a player still looking to get into Mobile (Amazon for example) or Open Sourced. QNX could be absorbed into other Microsoft business unit like the Home OS team for example. The Blackberry Enterprise services and IPs could be absorbed into Microsoft’s Enterprise division.

I feel confident that this will bring Microsoft back into the Mobile game in a big way and curtail Androids hydra-headed growth before it starts to do damage to Microsoft’s other businesses.

Let me know what you think.

Written by Nades4c

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  • Chris Silva

    In the valuation department, I think you’re confusing market cap with total company value. Market cap does not include elements that are intangible such as global brand goodwill and value of patents and other IP both used and un-used. It’s simply a reflection of what the market – fickle and prone to violent swings – think’s Blackberry is worth.

    As for licensing BBM, I am not sure this is a move borne of the death throes you paint it to be. While long overdue, there’s potential that this service could prove a trojan horse for converting people to using Blackberry devices. A great example of this is Google, who you cite as a market leader; they’re regularly releasing versions of their services for other platforms, understanding that drawing people into their ecosystem requires familiarity with features and services and shouldn’t be locked to a device or OS choice. Of course, Google’s revenue model is quite different from Blackberry, but their potential upside should be no different. Again, this is a move that should have taken place long ago – think of the impact of getting people hooked on BBM messaging with pictures, group chats etc before WhatsApp and others came to prominence – but I think it’s wrongly characterized as a move of pure desperation.

    It would be interesting to see the Blackberry legacy emerge as hardware expertise – a la Nokia – as that’s where, traditionally, the bulk of the legacy RIM revenues came from. There great deal of loyalty for the Blackberry brand and experience that’s dependent on services and features and, therefore, software. BB is not the only keyboard-based game in town and, as such, would be reluctant to take a backseat to another software company by just being the hardware portion of the equation but the market has forced stranger moves than that. We shall see.

  • blacklightning

    I don’t want BlackBerry to be sold at all. As Apple and Google have adapted to Enterprise from Consumer, BlackBerry needs to move from Enterprise to Consumer. That’s the only problem BlackBerry has right now. Once they figure that out, they’ll be back in for the long haul.

  • ATInsider

    The only benefit I see regarding Microsoft buying BlackBerry is they MUST TRASH WP8 in favour of the Superior and More Secure BB10. If not, then stay away MS.

    BB10 is the greatest mobile platform in existance. Its new, fast, fresh and flows remarkably well. Its the only OS that is Real Time and a True Multi-Threader. It outperforms anything in the industry and is the most secure.

    • Ben A

      Sorry. Bull. WP is most secure than bb 10′ and way superior. Look at blackberry s crap, failing and failing with no popular apps even enterprise apps. I don’t care about real time os windows phone 7 done that with windows CE which is a real time OS and multi threader on WP from day 1 so it first outperform and its not industry most secure.

    • michael99uk

      Some of your claims are wright while some r wrong + BB10 cant run on low end devices as of now, And thats how Android got to get 80% market share of which 60% of the 80% Are low end android phones.

  • cybersaurusrex

    Windows Phone OS will be replaced, but not with QNX. It will be replaced with Windows RT. It’s pretty obvious that that’s where Microsoft is headed.

    As for BlackBerry… I actually think that Microsoft SHOULD buy the company, both for the patents and the hardware portion. Why? So that Microsoft-Nokia could focus on the consumer market, and Microsoft-BlackBerry could focus on the enterprise. Microsoft could release an enterprise-centric Windows Phone on hardware created by BlackBerry. They could bundle them with Windows tablets and target the enterprise.

    But if they’re going to do this, then they need to do it quickly. Windows Phone is finally gaining some traction, but they need to keep the momentum going. Creating a BlackBerry-branded Windows Phone may just be the way to do it.

  • cfab

    MSFT should buy BB and should develop two independent mobile OSs in the market and be such that the underlying architecture is same and apps, games would be shared on BB OS and WP OS. It would be so awesome. We can see BB OS on nokia phones and WP OS on bb phones and vice versa ofcourse :)
    I want both BB OS and WP OS to succeed.

    • Yuan Taizong

      Similar to the extend that they wanted Windows Phone and Windows Mobile (marketed as ”Windows Phone Classis”) to co-exist for high- and low-end devices, although Samsung both sells Windows Mobile-devices and Windows Phone-devices, neither have dented the market and Windows Mobile is slowly dissapearing into Windows Phone (despite the lack of app compatibility, I would say that they’re the same in case of services).

  • Yuan Taizong

    The only thing I’m afraid of in this scenario is that Nokia will react to Microsoft the way Samsung reacted to Google when they bought Motorola’s devices division. Symbian was given to Accenture a VERY CLOSE partner of Microsoft, and both Symbian and (THE FORMER-)Windows Live Cloud-services are now deeply integrated into each other to make migration to Windows Phone easier, as Symbian is ”the Android of the Past”, in that before Symbian ruled supreme countless of smaller O.S.’es were absorbed into it, Android found an ”empty” landscape easy to rule after bloathed Symbian and Bloathed Windows Mobile became Windows Phone, which like Vista is doomed due to bloathedness.

    Nokia has another party to fall back on, Jolla, MeeGo was also superseded by Windows Phone in Nokia, but some employees working on MeeGo didn’t stand it and fought for their beloved system, thus they spun-off and created their own company, if Microsoft will purchase Blackberry, Nokia could simply re-hire the Jolla employees and produce new Sailfish O.S. based phones (although MeeGo is still owned and supported by Nokia, they’ve moved all development, both internal and external to Windows Phone).

    A deal between the 2 could be either successful if Microsoft playes it cards right and decides that Blackberry won’t compete with Nokia, but it could also land horribly if Nokia will support another O.S. even Java, Asha or S40 could come to mind, note that all were replaced by Windows Phone excluding Asha which was bought when they purchased Smarterphone.

    Microsoft is in the same boat as Blackberry, doomed if they do and doomed if they don’t, but Windows Phone has much potential depending on a fused platform with Windows 8 (something already in the works) and Google’s streght on the market comes from hardware partners with no history in software O.S.’es and many of them still produce O.S.’es themselves like L.G. and Samsung, and Android’s flagship’s producer, Samsung also makes Windows Phones, as well as H.T.C. which’s H.T.C. One is considered the #2 Android device.

    At present the market is too chaotic on the Microsoft side and too well organized for their competition to aid either Microsoft or Nokia, but I can see WIndows Phone steadily growing at the expense of iO.S. which is losing ground.

  • Yuan Taizong

    Of-course in a scenario where Microsoft purchases Blackberry, perfectly arranges how it’ll work, they’ll probably end up giving the hardware division to Nokia, some older Blackberries will remain supported as Microsoft suddenly searches for ways to make Windows Phone emulate the apps into going into the Windows Phone Store (which takes a lot of time and even more money) and how to use BB’s technology and patents into improving both Windows Phone and Windows R.T. it’ll be a large gamble, it can certainly pay off, but Nokia, Microsoft’s biggest partner could easily invest into the Asha O.S. or Sailfish O.S.

    Microsoft should purchase Yahoo!, Accenture and A.O.L. then make their applications exclusive to Windows Phone, most Asians still use Yahoo! (at-least in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia) and A.O.L.’s divisions and patents can easily excellerate Microsoft’s growth if played right.

  • Jason

    Blackberry only announced they were going to release BBM on Android/iPhone so they could increase the valuation of their company right before selling it. They needed to show the purchasing company they have a valuable asset (b/c their phones/software is useless). This really p*ssed me off. I have been a loyal blackberry fan for YEARS (I still even carry a BB phone) and for them to pull this stunt just to increase their valuation makes me want to never deal with them again. Seriously, how can you NOT get a grip on your OWN software and remove the unofficial bbm software release after 1 week?? Is your software team stupid or something? Or why cant you release your Apple version in the mean time?…there were no unofficial software releases of this version.

    Let me tell you why: b/c it is a LIE. It is just a publicity stunt to see how many global people are interested in BBM. Now they can do their calculations (from the recent data gained by using the world as guinea pigs) to make their company more valuable from speculation. As I said already…I love blackberry…but after this bullsh*t they just pulled…I am slowly losing my respect and credibility for them and I may just drop them FOREVER.

    Seriously, from a business perspective, just release your software already and charge everyone $5/month to use it and everyone is happy. I know this is why you did the publicity stunt last week so you can see how much you can charge per month for the software (I am okay with paying a monthly fee for BBM on iPhone)…just don’t lie to us with a stupid lame a** story.

  • utg001

    This is the only article I’ve found that reflects my thoughts. Android may rule the world, iOS may be regarded as the most advanced, but folks, we’re talking about MS here. Has anyone considered why we have so fallen in love with smart devices? Its because they can do so much that we used to do on a Desktop or Laptop computer. And that is the area of the expertise of MS. WP8 is so deeply integrated with Windows 8 that I can regard it as half the desktop OS I’m used to. And this will only get better in coming days. I can say WP shall be complete in 2 to 3 years and we’ll see massive influx from Android in no longer than 5 years. I’m not trying to bash Android or anything but i see it fast becoming Symbian of today with each update to Windows.

    • Jody A Morgan

      Agreed. I have been a strong supporter of the WP for sometime now. I feel that it truly is a compliment to the MS ecosystem. With that said if the Google OS keeps gaining momentum it could be a severe blow to MS ecosystem all the way around negating all of what this article hope MS can achieve with the WP platform in the future. I hope not as I am not a huge fan at all of Google and would prefer to see Apple and MS remain the top 2 ecosystems. I am afraid though that this may be a futile desire. we shall see.

      • utg001

        People keep saying things like Android is updating fast and it will stay ahead of the game from WP, but fact is, MS is not sitting idle. It knows it has competition and its serious about it. The fact that no other Smartphone OS gathered 200,000 apps after iOS and Android besides WP is enough alone.
        I know that WP has some problems in even the simplest of tasks, but what they’ve already done is unmatched. And digging a little further you will realize that Microsoft’s Windows Phone has a stronger base in terms of software. It has the capability to do things that Android can only dream of. Android is based on Linux, whereas WP is based on same kernel as the Desktop OS!
        Maybe not today, not tomorrow, some day, We might just be able to run Desktop apps (if requirements allow) on WP!

  • Ron PlayBook

    Android/google is like malware in my opinion, I will never knowingly own an Android device. I think of it as the walmart of smartphones and will always be there for people with modest incomes. But there is definitely a market for those that want better.