Market analysts and pundits just love a good negative story. So much so that they will disregard obvious and consistent rules when it comes to consumer behavior. I tossed the idea back and forth and decided to go ahead and pen this article. Okay you got me; this is less an article and more a response to what I see is an underwhelming trend to ignore proven rules when it comes to the mobile space.
Nobody who reads these articles has Apple envy. We are aware of the great alternatives that exist on Android and, now, Windows Phone. We go about our daily lives without the slightest desire to jump ship and join what I humorously deem “the society.” Whether you’re a fan of Nokia, HTC, Samsung, or Motorola you know there is something great you can get your hands on and be more than happy with your user experience.
Bigger & Smaller?
Riddle me this: How can something get bigger and smaller? Of course we know this to be the infamous work of camp Cupertino. I guess when you run out of magic you take liberties with reality. Answer: When Apple’s arrogance gets bigger while their contribution to mobile advancement has dried up. Like the topic says, Apple logic at its best.
Slide over iPhone, there is a new type of envy? Say hello to Lumia Envy.
Windows Phone fans, even techies who respect great devices, have been up in arms on the Nokia Lumia 920 exclusivity to AT&T. Some commenters have went so far to say that they are so frustrated pissed off that they are jumping ship from the Windows Phone platform if they can’t have access to the Lumia 920. How’d you like to be monitoring Twitter if you’re a HTC or Samsung employee looking for good signs of adoption? Among other anecdotal evidence that there exists real Lumia envy is the fact that there is a trending Twitter movement by Verizon customers to get Big Red to bring the device to their lineup.Finally, WPCentral had to post a FYI to let T-Mobile customers thinking of purchasing an unlocked Lumia 920 that it does not support T-Mobile’s 1700 AWS band. Can anyone tell me how you can have a hotly desired device in a still rapidly growing market, be within 30 days of retail release, and be considered too late? Apple Logic. If it was too late to launch a premium device there wouldn’t be so much buzz about additional GSIII colors and the new Nexus devices. Apple Logic!
Who’s On Third?
Carriers have been positioning Windows Phone as the 3rd Ecosystem that the market needs to keep the market from stagnating. Luckily the story is nowhere near as boring. RIM has stepped up and publicly stated that they think they will be the 3rd ecosystem, not Windows Phone. I’ve been keeping tabs on the BlackBerry scene for the past year trying to gauge how in God’s name their subscriber base keeps rising while their fate and execution worsens. In the end I’m left with respect and awe. There is no such delusional fan base on the planet. I’m talking Premiere League level of fan devotion. People who were testifying to the glory of QWERTY keyboards are now talking up the best-in-class virtual keyboard. Never mind none of them have seen any evidence that its on equal footing with the market leaders. No, that would be too much reality for their BlackBerry distortion field.
Here is the deal: if Windows Phone had a hard time getting people to accept a different way of interacting with their phone, there is zero chance the corporate execs at BlackBerry will get down with the one thumb movement. Furthermore, if recent reports of yet another delay to have the first devices launching closer to March than January are correct, that’s just turned whatever large hill RIM was facing into Mt. Fuji. We all know there will be a spring refresh in the works for Windows Phone that will involve even newer devices and that Microsoft will be prepping a windows phone update. The best thing BlackBerry has going for it is loyal fans. Hardware should actually be quite nice (L-Series) but it’s nothing everyone else won’t have had out for at least 3 months. Microsoft is throwing its money behind everything Windows and retailers (including carriers) are lining up to get in on the spending spree. We’re talking about a billion dollars and product integration while BlackBerry will have the PlayBook to point to. In this situation I’ll just let the Hulk deliver the message:
The Windows Are Coming
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock you know that October is the month Microsoft kicks off a succession of major product releases aimed at reimagining all things Microsoft. Not just Windows 8, but Windows Phone 8, Office, Server 2012, and Surface hardware. Ballmer released a letter to Microsoft employees reaffirming that Microsoft is a device and services company going forward. No, they are not trying to imitate Apple; they are just realizing what it will take to remain the true tech giant in the near future.
Microsoft is estimated to be spending between $1.5 to $1.8 Billion dollars on advertising for the Windows 8 launch. Folks I have news for you: I expect Microsoft to spend close to the neighborhood of $5 Billion dollars in the next calendar year on marketing its products and services. That includes the continued opening of new retail stores and don’t expect to turn on the tv with any regularity and not see a commercial.
In another sign that the might and halo effect Windows 8 will carry big weight we also see that AT&T is lumping anything within arms reach of Windows 8 gets tagged as the New Windows. Want to know what the carrier is recommending for business users? Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 tablets/PCs and Android! No where on the page does it even begin to mention iPhone. BlackBerry? Nowhere to be found, but then again they’ve been MIA from relevancy for the better part of two years. I’m revising my MobilityLeaks market share prediction for Windows Phone 8. I expect for the platform to reach a whopping 15% of the market globally by the end of the 1st quarter of 2013. If they don’t feel free to laugh and mock me. If they do, I’m pretty sure I’ll be having smiling emoticons littered all over the place.
People can piss and moan all they want about how badly Microsoft is screwing up, the truth is that if the folks from Redmond, WA was irrelevant people wouldn’t care to even write about it. This is a good sign when people get so emotionally attached to software and devices that have yet to launch. Android is still going strong and I suspect will continue to do so without much resistance. Then again if Samsung keeps pulling shiite like giving devices names like Galaxy S III mini it might just be a different story. Just like that I see there still is a smidge of Apple envy. Come on Samsung you’re better than that! As always drop a comment below and lets get the conversation started. The views expressed in this article are entirely mine and welcome any and all counterpoints.