The Smart Phone Wars rage on with the big five lining up for the ultimate prize. So who will dominate business mobility in 2010? The Android army is everywhere – Sony, HDC, Samsung, LG, Motorola; one by one the manufacturers sign-up to Google’s Mobile platform.
Not so far away the Microsoft Empire seem to be holding back from the fight until their new Windows Phone 7 is ready for the counter-attack; instead the company is doing deals with Nokia to run Microsoft software on the Nokia Smartphones.
Meanwhile, the Apple Empire is preparing to launch its latest Smartphone weapon. No it’s not the Death Star but the Apple iPhone 4 due for imminent release. The iPhone 4 won’t obliterate entire planets, but it may just bring Video Conferencing to the masses and make conscripts out of us business users.
Business mobiles need business applications so we wait to see if Apple can use the hugely successful AppStore platform to promote and distribute business applications with its Smartphones. The business Smartphone market is currently dominated by the BlackBerry mainly because of leading the way with its mobile email capabilities. It will be interesting to see if RIM will be leapfrogged by the new Apple iPhone with its improved battery life and tightened security or if RIM can create new capabilities for their devices and maintain their lead in the business space.
According to Gartner, by the end of 2009 the BlackBerry had 20% market share with iPhone at 14%, Windows Mobile on 9% and Android on 4%. By far the biggest market share was Symbian with 47%. It is predicted that Symbian and Windows Mobile will lose market share in 2010 and iPhone, Android and BlackBerry all gaining in share. The big question is – who will gain and lose the most market share? My guess would be that the Apple iPhone enjoys the biggest share increase, followed closely by Google’s Android with BlackBerry a distant third making only a small gain. The big loser will be Symbian (making up mostly of Nokia).
However, the picture is more complicated than this because Nokia still has the largest market share in mobiles worldwide but many of these devices are not “Smart Phones” so as the world moves from using dumb phones to the more capable Smart Phones it is only natural that the market share of Dumb Phones as a total of all devices will decrease and hence Nokia’s own share will decrease with it. One thing is for sure, the Smart Phone Wars have plenty of sequels yet to play out.