One of the best ways for Microsoft to jump-start its lagging mobile business is to buy struggling BlackBerry. Why buy a mobile company quickly going south? There are plenty of reasons — here are the top six why Microsoft should pay up and take over BlackBerry.
Reason 1: Microsoft’s enterprise focus
Microsoft’s core business is in the enterprise — Windows, Office, servers and tools, Exchange, and more. BlackBerry’s core business is in the enterprise as well. But Microsoft has been hurt by the BYOD movement, because it allows iOS and Android devices to make their way into enterprises. BlackBerry is valued by enterprises for its secure networks and servers. The New York Times reports that “In its most recent quarterly report, BlackBerry reported having roughly 72 million users worldwide, most of whom were still generating monthly services fees by sending data over the company’s special closed network.” There’s clearly great synergy here for Microsoft.
Reason 2: increase market share
The latest figures from IDC show Windows Phone with a 3.7% worldwide market share, up from 3.1% a year ago. BlackBerry has 2.9% market share. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a 6.6% market share. Given that it took Windows Phone a year to grow by only .6%, this would be a big increase. Over time, Microsoft would switch users from the BlackBerry to the Windows Phone platform, and grow Windows Phone that way, especially in enterprises.
Reason 3: hardware engineers
Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft is to turn it into a devices-and-services company. Microsoft has not primarily been a hardware company up until now, and so it is not rich in hardware engineers. It takes a long time to recruit and hire them. Buying BlackBerry would immediately bring to Microsoft a sizable core of experienced mobile engineers and designers, who could work not just on smartphones but on other Microsoft devices.
Reason 4: increase intellectual property
The Times notes that “Analysts generally suggested that BlackBerry’s most attractive asset is its intellectual property, including some of its software and its various cellphone patents.” In today’s litigious tech world, patents can be used to harm competitors and get very serious licensing revenue from them. Microsoft uses its patent to extract licensing fees from many Android device makers. It’s not clear that BlackBerry has any patents that could be used in this way. But it’s certainly possible, and growing your patent war chest is always a good thing.
Reason 5: Smartcar strategy
One massive mobile market is currently up for grabs: Automobiles. There’s no doubt that all cars will soon become rolling networks and smart devices. No one dominates that market yet. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a headstart on owning it. BlackBerry owns QNX Software Systems, which built the operating system that powers the BlackBerry 10. More important, though, is that the same operating system is being used by GE, Cisco, and notably General Motors. General Motors uses it for its OnStar service, as well as for its Audi and BMW lines.
The Times says that BlackBerry has plans to “use QNX’s automotive ties and its unique global data network to allow car companies to update vehicle software through wireless networks and to monitor vehicles’ mechanical state.” Microsoft could do that and go beyond it, looking to make Windows Phone or Windows the smartcar operating system.
Reason 6: cheapest cost
It’s clear that by itself, BlackBerry has no future. So the company can likely be bought at a bargain price, rather than at a premium. Microsoft is cash rich. It’s time to put that cash to good use, and BlackBerry would be a very good mobile investment at a reasonable cost.
- Six reasons Microsoft should buy BlackBerry (blogs.computerworld.com)
- Speed is the key: How Windows Phone jumped ahead of BlackBerry (zdnet.com)
- Report: BlackBerry Advisers Eyeing Microsoft (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Where Will BlackBerry’s American Tale End? (fool.com)
- BlackBerry’s biggest strength (news.yahoo.com)
- Verizon pushing Bing app to BlackBerry Storm (reviews.cnet.com)
- The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry? (mayo615.com)
Despite beating Wall Street expectations in terms of shipment volumes, Apple’s share in the worldwide smartphone operating system market posted a year-over-year decline during the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). Meanwhile, Android and Windows Phone both managed slight increases during the same period. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smartphones in 2Q13, up 51.3% from the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. Second quarter shipments grew 9.3% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13.
Smartphone OS Highlights
Android maintained its leadership position, with strong contributions from Samsung and its Galaxy S4. Not to be overlooked were LG and Chinese vendors Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE, which each recorded double-digit shipment volumes in the millions. Combined, these vendors accounted for 62.5% of all Android-powered smartphone shipments during the quarter. Still, the remaining vendors within the Android ecosystem should not be overlooked, as many have developed a strong local presence within key developing markets.
iOS finished the quarter as the clear number 2 operating system, showing that, even without new product launches, demand remains strong. Moreover, Apple added new mobile operators to its camp, boosting short-term volumes and cementing long-term end-user relationships. What remains to be seen is how the new iOS 7 will be received once it reaches the market later this year, as much of the look and feel of the user interface has been revamped.
Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms, and in the process reinforced its position as the number 3 smartphone operating system. Driving this result was Nokia, which released two new smartphones and grew its presence at multiple mobile operators. But beyond Nokia, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for other vendors, many of which have concentrated on Android. By comparison, Nokia accounted for 81.6% of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during 2Q13.
- Wndows Phone shows signs of life while BlackBerry keeps crumbling (news.yahoo.com)
- IDC’s 2Q13 Smartphone Share Report: It’s iOS vs. Android, and Windows Phone vs. Everyone Else (globalnerdy.com)
- The Android Stat That Shocked the Smartphone World (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- Apple loses ground to Android and Microsoft in smartphone operating systems (telegraph.co.uk)
Google’s primary source of profit is search-related advertising while Apple’s is consumer hardware. And Google’s five-front assault on Apple’s profit model takes advantage of that difference.
Here are five of Apple’s fronts and how Google is attacking them:
Apple lags and has lost share in high end smartphones where 426 million units were sold during the first three months of the year. Gartner reported that in the first quarter of 2013, Apple’s global share of the high-end mobile phone market declined from 22.5% in the 2012 period to 18.2%.
Apple is number two to Samsung — which supports Google’s Android operating system. Samsung’s market share increased from 27.6% to 30.8% in the first quarter of 2013.
Android has already taken the tablet market lead from Apple. IDC expects Android to control 60% of the tablet market by the end of June 2013.
It wasn’t always so gloomy for Apple’s iPad. After all in the second quarter of 2012, the iPad commanded over 60% of the tablet market — but that figure has dropped ”to around 40% in each of the third and fourth quarters of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013,” reports Venturebeat.
And Android has been gulping iPad’s market share. Venturebeat notes that between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, Apple swapped the lead with Android — in 2012 Apple outsold Android by 11.8 million to 8 million; while in that same period in 2013, Android trumped the iPad by 27.8 million to 19.5 million.
Moreover, IDC expects skies to darken for the iPad. In the second quarter of 2013, IDC believes that Apple will ship fewer than 19.5 million units because Apple is not launching what CEO, Tim Cook, called its “amazing” new hardware until “fall 2013 and throughout 2014.” Thus IDC expects Apple to ship between 17 million and 18 million iPads — leaving Android tablets with 60% of the market in Q2 2013.
When it comes to competing with Android smartphones and tablets, Apple can either cut price and slash its profits or hold its prices and win fewer new customers. Cook has yet to prove that Apple can innovate its way out of that profit-growth dilemma.
3. Apple Maps
Under a year after Apple removed Google Maps from the iPhone, Google introduced a new version that is simpler and can be customized to each user.
By sharing what Google knows about each individual from other services, Google can customize maps. According to the New York Times, “When users who are logged into Google visit Maps, they will see the places they frequently visit highlighted, like restaurants, museums and their home. Google learns the places they go by drawing information from all of Google’s services — including search and Maps history, Google Plus posts and information in users’ Gmail in-boxes.”
Bernhard Seefeld, the product management director for Google Maps, bragged to the Times, “We can build a unique map for every place and every click.” For those who are worried about Google knowing too much about them, this new service is creepy — but potentially useful.
Meanwhile, the memory of Apple Maps six most epic fails lingers.
Google is going after music streaming through the introduction of Google Play Music All Access (GPMAA) — a service that lets users stream music using Google Play for Android. For $9.99 a month, GPMAA combines “users’ current Play collections with access to millions of additional songs,” according to Fortune.
Meanwhile, Google was able to secure content deals with three major record labels—Universal Music, Sony, and Warner Music Group — and beat Apple to market with the streaming service that iTunes has long-been rumored to be developing, says Fortune.
The most important front where Google is trouncing Apple is innovation. To be fair, under Steve Jobs, Apple’s approach to innovation was to introduce a much better product in an established industry. The result was big success from great products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes.
But Google Glass’s big media splash suggests that creating entirely new categories of products can also be a way to spur growth. We can also speak about the Google Cars that can for sure impact also IT solutions.
Google certainly needs help there — since its traditional markets are slowing down.But it looks like Google is winning the war for the future: Google is offensive and Apple only defensive.
- Google’s Five-Front Assault on Apple (forbes.com)
- Who can rescue Google Wallet? Apple. (sivag1.wordpress.com)
- Google’s Five-Front Assault On Apple (soshitech.com)
- Google’s Getting Its Game (Console) On (newsy.com)
- Report: Google developing an Android-powered console (polygon.com)
- Why Apple, Google want to make consoles (stuff.co.nz)
Atheer company, based in Mountain View, Calif., employs 20 people and is not venture capital funded so far. Atheer hopes to integrate its augmented reality and gestural control platform into existing mobile operating systems, such as Android, iOS, and Xbox.
Atheer’s technology demo at D11
Stealth startup Atheer came out of the shadows at the D: All Things Digital conference here, unveiling its wearable 3D augmented reality platform that works on top of Android and potentially other mobile operating systems.
Atheer’s technology employs stereoscopic glasses and a 3D camera to track hand movements to manipulate virtual objects in real space, similar in concept to the portrayals of gesture control in movies like “Minority Report” and “Avatar.”
“We are the first mobile 3D platform delivering the human interface. We are taking the touch experience on smart devices, getting the Internet out of these monitors and putting it everywhere in physical world around you,” said founder and CEO Sulieman Itani. “In 3D, you can paint in the physical world. For example, you could leave a note to a friend in the air a restaurant, and when the friend walks into the restaurant, only they can see it.”
Another startup: Meta
Another startup, Meta, is making similar claims about commercializing 3D glasses and gestural interfaces with mobile features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, accelerometer and voice control. But unlike Meta, which grew out of a Columbia University project, Atheer doesn’t want to go the route of Apple, creating a new, proprietary device.
More power efficient than SmartPhone
“We are aiming to make it significantly more power efficient than a smartphone,” Itani said. “We want to create a portable device you can put in your pocket and the interface is as big as possible.”
Atheer’s platform, which has been in development for a year and a half, is a bridge between existing mobile apps and games and those purpose-built for 3D augmented reality and gestural control. The platform will work with apps built on the open source Android platform, and could be integrated with Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Xbox, or Windows Mobile if they grant access to Atheer.
For Android apps not optimized for Atheer, users see a virtual tablet in front of them that they can manipulate by touch, just like a physical tablet. “This is important for people moving to a new platform. We reduce the experience gap and keep the critical mass of the ecosystem,” Itani said. “We don’t want to create a new ecosystem to fragment the market more. Everything that runs on Android can be there, from game engines to voice control.”
User experience like better than reality
Like other 3D augmented reality pioneers, Atheer, is facing an uphill battle and dependent on partners making the devices low-cost and easy to use. “In the end, it’s all about giving an experience will make their live easier and happier, whether a doctor or someone selling sandwiches,” Itani said.
One of the significant barriers to adoption for the wearable augmented reality glasses is creating an immersive user experience that doesn’t make it feel like a worse version of reality.
About Atheer and Meta
- Atheer bringing 3D augmented reality and gesture control to Android (news.cnet.com)
- Atheer Labs unveils 3D augmented reality mobile platform and a natural human UI (hands-on) (engadget.com)
- Atheer Looks to Add Human Touch to Futuristic Wearable Computers (allthingsd.com)
- Atheer’s Augmented Reality Glasses Tech Looks Cool (techland.time.com)
The chart at right represents the worst case scenario for Apple’s share of the global SmartPhone market.
Using Apple’s own numbers for fiscal Q2, we calculate that iPhone sales grew 7% year over year in a sell-in basis while the overall smartphone market grew by about 36%. The net result is that Apple’s share of the global smartphone market fell from 23% last year to 17% share this year — the largest year-over-year decline in the iPhone’s history.
The situation won’t get any better by June. Based on Apple’s fiscal Q3 revenue guidance, we estimate Apple will sell about 25 million iPhones in the current quarter. If the overall market grows 30%, Apple’s share will fall to 12.3%. If it grows 36%, Apple’s share falls to 11.7%.
Given this, how can be maintained a $600 price target for Apple and an Outperform rating?
- Apple’s market share typically troughs before new offerings… Apple’s share could increase dramatically with the introduction of a lower priced device, and meaningfully with the addition of new carriers. We estimate that adding China Mobile would boost Apple’s global smartphone market share by over 100 bps in the first year, and that a successful low end iPhone could boost share by 500 bps or more.
- iPhone is still growing healthily. As gloomy as these market share forecasts appear, we model iPhone unit sales growing 15% in FY 2013, and 10% in FY14, and our model does not include the introduction of a lower-priced device. Yes, Apple is growing at a fraction of the market – because it is not participating in the fastest growing, low end segment – but we still expect it to grow.
- The size of the total iOS ecosystem remains staggering on both an absolute and relative basis – and Apple’s customer base remains intensely loyal. In short, iOS is in no risk of going away… Moreover, our consumer surveys point to iPhone repurchase intentions of over 90%, notably ahead of competing ecosystems, including Android.
- Market share does not necessarily correlate with profitability. Currently, Apple’s iPhone positioning is increasingly mirroring the Mac, which commands just 5% PC market share, but is highly profitable, accounting for an estimated 40% of total PC industry profits.
- Philip Elmer-DeWitt: Analyst: Apple’s smartphone share in single digits by Sept. (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- CHART OF THE DAY: The iPhone’s Market Share Is Dead In The Water (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Analyst: Apple’s smartphone share in single digits by Sept. (forums.pinstack.com)
- Analyst: Apple’s Smartphone Share Could Drop to 9% by Q3 2013 [Chart] (iClarified.com)
- IDC on Smartphones in Q1: Android Dominant , WP up , iOS down (techysants.wordpress.com)
- Verizon iPhone First Take (reviews.cnet.com)
- What does the iPhone 5 mean to Android? Not a lot (reviews.cnet.com)
TOP4 Internet Browsers on Laptops
For last 5 years, main evolutions are Internet Explorer (IE) position divided by 2 from 68% to 32%, Chrome started from nothing to the first position with 38%, low reduction from Firefox from 28% to 24% and low progress for Safari from 4% to 8%.
TOP3 browsers in 1st pos. by country
It is very interesting to see that the first Internet Browser is very different from a country to another. In USA, Canada, Australia, China and all south African countries, IE remains the TOP1 Internet Browser.
Chrome is the first Internet Browser in Central America and South of America, in all European countries expect Germany, Poland and Finland, in Russia and all old Russian satellites, in India, in Pakistan, in Morocco, in Egypt.
And finally, Firefox is in the first position in most of North and central African countries, in Germany, in Poland, in Finland, in Iran, in Indonesia & in Madagascar.
Future tendencies for the next 5 years?
Positions of browsers of mobile devices are probably the most important indicator for the tendency of browsers position for the next 5 years, if we take as valuable hypothesis that the future of computers are mobile devices.
Chrome is also at the first position (Android) with 30%. Opera has reduced from 28% to 15% in 5 years, Safari (iPhone) from 22% to 24% has slowly progressed.
Firefox & IE don’t have any position on mobile devices currently. But it could change in the next 5 years, with high progress of Windows Phone with Nokia, and the launch next summer 2013 of Firefox OS, the mobile OS of Firefox.
We have finally to notice important progress of UC Browser from 0% to 10%, a very fast Browser working with all mobile OS. Is it the future main browser for all mobile devices?
See more statistics
- http://gs.statcounter.com/ (statcounter.com)
- Safari boosts mobile browser market share, retains top spot (itproportal.com)
- Browser Trends April 2013: is Chrome Unstoppable? (sitepoint.com)
- Web browser war: The early 2013 report (zdnet.com)
- Internet Explorer mobile browser: Sleek, but weak? (reviews.cnet.com)
The previous photo shows the TOP5 SmartPhone on Feb 2013: Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia, iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4 and Motorola Droid.
1 main winner if we compare Feb 2012 & Feb 2013: Android with Samsung phones over 50% everywhere.
In American countries, the progress of Windows is not significant. Black Berry OS and Symbian are not representing anythink in 2013. In Mexico, the progress of Android in incredible from 25,9 to 55,8 in one year.
In Europe, there is 2 main winners. Of course Android with Samsung phones over 70% in Germany! But also Windows with Nokia phones more that 5% everywhere and more than 6,5% in GB and Germany. In Italy Windows is over than 10% with 13,1%. Symbian is nothing in Europe now. RIM is over 5% in GB and Germany.
- Android continues to grow as iOS and BlackBerry shrink (androidcommunity.com)
- Android And Windows Phone Gain, BlackBerry Loses In Smartphone OS Share According To Kantar (techcrunch.com)
- New Quad Core Android Smartphone from China Challenges Leaders Supremacy (prweb.com)
- Windows Phone Increases US Market Share Ahead Of BlackBerry (techweekeurope.co.uk)
Mozilla Foundation announced Sunday it will launch in mid 2013 its widely anticipated Firefox operating system for smartphones in a direct challenge to the duopoly of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
Mozilla, which campaigns for open development of the online world, showed off the first commercial version of the Firefox OS on the eve of the opening of the world’s biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain.
Smartphones equipped with Firefox OS look familiar to those on other systems, with an array of apps, or application programmes, to be made available on an online store, and a mapping programme developed by Nokia.
Mozilla, which aims to take third place behind Android and iOS, said it had already lured 17 operators including Sprint, China Unicom, KDDI, Singtel,Telefonica, Telenor and Deutsche Telecom.
The foundation said it was working with handset manufacturers South Korea’s LG and China’s TCL and ZTE on Firefox OS-run devices, with China’s Huawei to follow later in the year.
All the smartphones would be run with Qualcomm Snapdragon application processors, which use an architecture licenced by Cambridge, England-based ARM.
- First look at Firefox OS/Mozilla interview (androidauthority.com)
- Firefox smartphone system challenges Android, iOS (technology.inquirer.net)
- Hands-on with Mozilla’s Web-based “Firefox OS” for smartphones (arstechnica.com)
- Mozilla CEO: Android, iOS leave lots of room for Firefox OS (reviews.cnet.com)
- Firefox smartphone system challenges Android, iOS (dawn.com)
Using the data from December & January, we get the following market share split by platform.
This projection is likely to be somewhat conservative for Android tablets. Display shipments in February are likely to be closer to January’s figures, as compared to December, which puts the iPad’s market share under even more pressure.
In addition to this, rising demand from emerging markets is likely to continue to boost Android tablet shipments. Meanwhile, Windows 8/RT tablets seem to be following in Windows Phone’s footsteps.
See more details
- Android tablets projected to outsell iPad for first time in 2013 (bgr.com)
- 7-inch Android tablets to overtake iPad in Q1 2013, analyst says (androidauthority.com)
- Sales of Apple iPads to be overtaken by Android tablets (telegraph.co.uk)
- Android tablet sales to overtake Apple iPad for first time in 2013: Report (news.in.msn.com)
- Apple’s iPads to fall behind Android tablets this year: IDC (news.yahoo.com)
- BlackBerry has big plans for 2013; Includes tablet and phablet device (mobigyaan.com)