73 Comments

Summary:

Current Windows Phone 8 and upcoming BlackBerry 10 handsets look great, but will people switch? Not likely, and even first-time smartphone owners may balk. It’s a perfect example of old phrase, “timing is everything” as most smartphone innovation has already taken place.

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The smartphone industry is at an interesting point in time. In 2007, Apple’s iPhone practically invented — or re-invented, if you will — the current smartphone age with a full capacitive touchscreen and support for mobile apps. Google Android followed in 2008 and although it was slow to catch up, is relatively on par with iOS in terms of usability and app support.

Can Microsoft and RIM succeed where others have failed?

blackberry-10-os-1These incumbents — Apple and Google’s Android partners — account for 89.9 percent of smartphone sales as of the third quarter of 2012, per IDC. Some alternative platforms, such as Palm’s webOS and Nokia’s Maemo software, entered the market only to disappointingly disappear: webOS is now an open-source platform and Maemo became MeeGo, which Nokia abandoned when it chose to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. Windows Phone has been around for two years but has relatively little in the way of sales to show for it.

With Windows Phone 8, however, Microsoft now has its best chance for success. It appears that Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 system, which will be unveiled on Jan. 30, is RIM’s last-ditch effort at relevancy as well. I’ve used, and like using, Windows Phone 8 and I also like what I’ve seen from RIM as it has shared limited details of BlackBerry 10. But I’m unlikely to switch platforms now and based on the timing of these two products, I expect many current smartphone owners to avoid switching as well.

What can a new smartphone platform offer at this point?

There are a few reasons why I think this, with the first being the maturity of the current smartphone platforms. After five years in this current age, all the heavy lifting is done, meaning the biggest platform breakthroughs have already been made. Put another way: All of the recent incremental upgrades to iOS and Android are just that: incremental. The pace of change for a native smartphone operating system has slowed and the changes themselves are mainly small features or minor user interface tweaks.

HTC Windows Phone 8XOf course, it’s always nice to have more options. And in my opinion, some native smartphone features are actually better on Windows Phone than on Android or iOS.

The People hub in Windows Phone, for example, makes it easy to see all of your contacts, their social status, updates and photos. While the approach is sound, and perhaps even better than contact management on alternatives, one could always add Facebook sync to their phone for a similar experience. So the value of the People hub is diminished when making comparisons.

And while RIM employees I’ve spoken with tell me that the BlackBerry fan base is excited by BlackBerry 10, nobody at RIM answers me directly when I ask, “Yes, but what feature(s) will broaden the BlackBerry base?” which has been shrinking over time.

Consumers aren’t buying hardware, they’re investing in platforms

I’ve been saying this for months, if not years: The battle for smartphone dollars is only partially won or lost by the hardware itself. The longer a handset owner sticks with one platform, the more they invest in content and apps that only work with that platform. This lock-in cost — something I mused about over two years ago — is a potential barrier to switching. And for those who invested early in a platform, as much as four or five years, its highly unlikely a switch will occur. Who wants to re-buy premium apps, books, videos and other content?

To Microsoft’s credit, it has more of a platform play than Research in Motion does. Between Windows 8 and its Xbox Live service, Microsoft has a wide range of support for music, videos, games and more. So far, however, that platform strength hasn’t equated to Windows Phone sales. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has the been the best-selling console for 23 consecutive months and total lifetime unit sales hit 70 million as of Microsoft’s most recent fiscal quarter. Yet, Windows Phone shipments in the third quarter of this year are estimated to be 3.6 million handsets. To put that in perspective: 1.3 million Android devices are activated each day. And Apple just sold 2 million iPhone 5 handsets in China during this past weekend.

Maybe there won’t be a third-horse in this race after all

Barring any major smartphone advances by Microsoft or RIM now, neither appears poised to become a third horse in smartphones, at least when it comes to smartphone switchers. Bad timing and prior consumer investment are sure to hold back both platforms, at least in areas where smartphone penetration has already reached the tipping point. Could either of these do well in other regions, however?

Lumia 620

Yes, they can, but the upside appears limited in my opinion. Even in areas where the smartphone population is low, both platforms are competing against low-priced but still capable Android handsets or older, and less expensive, iPhone models. Even so, I think the idea of catering a low-cost device to first-time smartphone buyers — exactly what Nokia is doing with its Lumia 620 — is a smart play at this point. That strategy may not get you or I to switch platforms, but it could rack up sales through first-timers.

Whether you currently own a smartphone or still have an old feature phone, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts: What will it take for you to switch to or initially start with Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry 10?

  1. I’m a current BlackBerry user that will be probably be moving to the new BB10 system next year. I’ve given IOS, Android and WP7.5 a good try, but I always come back to BlackBerry. For my specific use-case, the instantaneous communication and alerts that a BB device provides can’t be matched yet. All I’ve seen of BB10 seems to indicate that the interface will be better for the constant email/messaging user than what IOS/Android/WP8 currently offers. But despite all this, I still agree with you completely, the ecosystem is just too mature on the two leading platforms to make a dent in them anytime soon.

    I think BB10 may find its niche audience, but in the near term I believe it will remain that way. The question is, will this niche market be enough keep RIM in business?

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    1. The author is obviously an apple fan boy. How can the heavy lifting be done? Are we to go no further than this? RIM all the way.. They are bringing something new to the market and it will not be the same old blackberry. Better browser than many desk tops, tons of apps, use of android apps, awesome UI… January 30 should be a brand new start. But I forgot, it is only cool or good if Apple does it…. even when they do it poorly in their closed system.

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  2. I disagree, I think the important question is if WP or for that even BB – can they reach a critical mass of switchovers to make the trend of switching go mainstream.

    Now that nokia’s share of symbian is so low, that if its WP sales increasing means some of those who left Symbian for Android or iOS are coming back or might be even first time.

    Its not a black and white statement – (just check out some recent Verge forums on critical mass of switchovers) – the question is if they are capable of reaching a crtical mass of switchovers to make it a mainstream trend.

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  3. I’ve been with Android ever since Huawei released small $99 priced models that could tether (Android 2.2). I only use free apps. So I’m not tied to any platform. I’m ready to switch to Win8 with the right hardware. Not impressed with the offering at the moment.

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    1. Dude, what are you waiting for in terms of hardware. I’m not planning to buy a W8 phone but the new ones out are very nice.

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  4. I understand your point I’ve been with apple since the iPhone in 07 before that I had a Samsung tocco light, so I now find myself with the iPhone 5 I had the 4 and the 4s before I also have my iPad and all my music films photos pretty much all my online life is apple associated I’ve been told and read articles at how difficult it is to switch to let’s say android because apple have made it this way to keep you with them so yesterday I took the plunge and bought a nexus 4 smartphone the google android phone and its a great phone but I’m finding it extremely hard to transfer years of data(music,films so on) but I’m going to stick with this nexus and with android as its still nice to have options i wont be leaving apple as all my paid for music and films are in itunes but with blackberry they sort of got left behind and they didn’t think the large touch screen on phones would last and now there paying the price, so to sort of answer your ? Yes it’s difficult to switch operating systems that aren’t and don’t want you to go elsewhere.

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    1. Not to be a Android fanboy or anything but the reason its hard to switch your data is because Apple has made it hard to switch your data.

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  5. I am getting a set of BB10 phones for my family – goes well with the Playbooks and it looks like a great new OS with a twist..

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  6. I disagree. Smart phones are still changing rapidly. The processors in phones are following a similar path to the one that PCs followed 15 years ago. As the processors, and other harware improve, it will open the door to new innovation. I remember thinking and reading that the PC I was buying would be good for a long time only to replace it every 3 years. I am on my 3rd smart phone and replace that every 3 years. I can think of a lot of both hardware and software improvements. Some of the changes I would like are not practical with current hardware. I also think the exact mix of phone / tablet / laptop / and desk top is still being resolved with line blurring between phone and tablet, between tablet and lap top, and even between servers and the cloud. I expect a lot more years of changes before phones become “commodocized”. I would also say that as the phone become more of a commodity, price will play a bigger roll. That will open the door for a whole new set of competitors. I hope both RIM and MS stay in the mix because I think competition will drive the innovation. I already see things in WP8 that both google and apple should copy and perhaps improve on.

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  7. Christian Stewart Perry Monday, December 17, 2012

    For me, it’s a question of integration with my non-mobile digital footprint. I’m switching from iPhone to Android because of Google’s deep multi-platform integration. As a tech geek and founder, I rely extensively on Google products to run my company, and I’m frustrated with Apple’s poor integration with Google products (iCal anyone?). It’s enough to make me jump platforms, as I’ve already done on the desktop, going from a MacBook to Chromebook — because really, a blazing-fast fully-equipped web browser for $249 is about as good as it gets.

    I used to hate Microsoft with a fiery passion, but lately I’ve come around more and more to them. Perhaps it’s because they’re becoming an underdog in a field where they once reigned supreme, and acting less dickish as a result. I think they have a fighting chance at winning the coveted third horse title in the mobile space. If I were in their shoes, here’s what I would do:

    1) Build a channel partnership with Intel, who is making an aggressive push into the mobile chipset space. Microsoft and Intel have a long and close relationship in the world of PCs, and could make a formidable partnership in mobile.

    2) Focus on gaming. iPhone became a gaming platform more or less by accident. With an install base of 70 million Xbox users, why not make a mobile OS that integrates into the Xbox experience? It would distinguish the gaming platform from its Japanese rivals, drive tons of revenue by the addition of a Mobile Arcade, and open up games to endless multi-platform opportunities. Microsoft is already stepping in this direction with SmartGlass, but it could go a lot farther.

    3) Out-google Google. Make a suite of cloud apps that are so good, they get users to switch over. Gmail and Google Docs are great, but there’s no reason why Microsoft couldn’t do better — or just as good — while empowering users with a multi-channel experience that runs seamlessly across phone, desktop, tablet, and phone — and maybe even the Xbox console.

    With bazillions of dollars and some of the best engineers and product visionaries in the world, mobile is Microsoft’s game to lose.

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  8. I think RIM has a chance because BBM is still popular and they have a small market share already in the US. Blackberry is popular in South America, Africa and the middle east. Rim only need to find mild success in America so keep a large market share in developing countries.

    Likewise WP is supposedly popular in Asia.

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    1. RIM is toast. Their user-base didn’t wait for them. Enterprises are embracing other solutions and BYOD en masse.

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      1. re: RIM is toast. Their user-base didn’t wait for them

        Their user base has been increasing by millions every year, what planet have you been living on for the past 5 years?

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    2. RIM’s problem is that post-sale revenues are now necessary to make a smartphone business model work, and the regions you name won’t give them enough app sales and service revenues to subsidize the rest of the business while hardware margins fall of a cliff for everyone in 2013.

      Sure, RIM’s service business is still running at $1 billion/quarter, but it’s coming under margin pressure as the customer mix continues to shift from high-end business users to third world teens, and as Google, Apple and others provide similar service without the fees.

      Mcbeese is right – they’re toast. An asset sale at best, and in such a sale we’ll see that you can’t sell the same horse twice; their patent portfolio and their service business overlap too much to realize full value for both.

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  9. I am defiently switching to windows or bb10. Apple hasn’t done anything ground breaking and nether has android. These two companies don’t warrant the higher price tags especially apple.

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    1. Good for you Kevin, I did and love Windows Phone.

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  10. Kevin, as a US based smartphoe user I did switch to Windows Phone (7.5). I used Android as my primary phone for 2 years – and am not religious about my smartphone platform. I just looked at what would work for me (and I hated MS Windows Mobile platform), but I saw a fresh breath of air in Windows Phone. Also the prospect of something new whihc makes my tasks easier was one consideration.

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  11. this is a very poor article. you are commenting on a platform’s relevancy when you don’t even know what’s in it. I am shocked how did the editors allow you to publish this.

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  12. I am holding out for webOS phoenix. I love my Touchpad and palm pre. They were enterprise ready right out of the box.

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  13. I am holding out for webOS. I have too much time invested in my touchpad and palm pre. It balances enterprise level work (pc) and iOS simplicity. I do have hope for bb10.

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  14. Jared Westfall Monday, December 17, 2012

    There are people invested in the MS platforms. Gaming can draw them in if they can leverage the phone and Xbox. I prefer the windows interface and I like and use other MS products already including a Win RT tablet and WIN 8 computers. I gave my Mom and inlaws Windows Phones because they are so easy to use. Also there is still the Enterprise. They need to recapture it by making Exchange and other enterprise software do great things for their phones. Make the phones so easy to deploy. BB has an issue in the added server costs,

    Its time for MS to look at the whole picture, the whole portfolio f products. Make them work seamlessly together and leverage the heck out of them.

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  15. My issue with Android is the apparent instability of the OS. Force closes, instances of the OS bogging down, sporadic updates, all of this has combined to not make me “hate” Android but instead has driven me to want to embrace a more put together platform such as WP8.

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  16. With an existing base of 80 million subscribers, it is possible for trade up sales to be substantial. It might make for a very successful launch (in terms of numbers) without necessarily increasing market share in the first year. I’m good for one.

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  17. William Wallace Monday, December 17, 2012

    I would buy either just to spite you and your smug self-righteous attitude.

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  18. Ive used iOS android and WP I just upgraded to WP8 having used all three for about a year each I LOVE windows phone! so much more efficient than the other OS’s

    People ask me why I like WP instead of IOS or Android I say this phone is not my “toy” it is my life! meaning I dont need to be tinkering with it all day like many people do.

    I use it to do what I need to do for work or communication. Yes a few games when I need a little break but I can use my phone to get what I need accomplished faster!

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  19. As on a consumer point of view ,,the only thing that matters is the pricing of the products ….give what you have and price it right on a consumer scale and the competitive market u r indulging in ….BHAM!! YOU have the market share you were looking for…..its a simple logic …that most of the big shots miss out .

    This particular option was … the point of concern on many surveys that has been conducted.
    No matter which platform or hardware u choose the …its still going to be outdated sooner or later :so whats the point in pricing it sky high …and loosing it out to the competitors.

    P.S : Have been using ios untill recently when got hands on galaxy s3…:)

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  20. Maybe Kevin you are missing over the number 80 million and growing. I am a blackberry user and will definitely move to bb10. It is too early to say that bb10 will challenge apple’s iOS or Android OS for glory but one thing is sure it can definitely hold third place in smartphone place. BlackBerry 10 is new and fresh. Apple and Android have peaked and are lacking innovation.

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  21. This article lacks the depth for such comparison of smart phone. RIM & MS can’t compare in same ground. Don’t see any credible facts but only an individual’s opinion. Some opinions are clearly arguable and wrong. MS have wide platform across devices and Android will fail if they don’t expand beyond mobile platform.

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  22. For me all it took to switch was curiosity; iOS had become stale for me and technology is best when combined with a sense of joy.

    It’s lack of apps does surprisingly little harm to Windows phone 8 as things like the unified concepts of “people” and “messages as well as the lively interfaces and innovative live tiles make this phone genuinely fun (and effective) to use.

    I’m using the Nokia Lumia 820 and i wont be switching back – although i do now feel a sense of duty to convert as many people as I can to ensure the platform succeeds.

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  23. Reblogged this on Blab It Canada and commented:
    Are you happy with what you have or curious enough to think about switching in the New Year?

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  24. architect95125 Monday, December 17, 2012

    Kevin – I agree that current iOS and Android users will most likely not switch to WP or BB10. However there’re still a huge number of feature phone users in the world that may be attracted to them. That’s the market segment that BB and WP should go after, not the current Smartphone users.

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  25. Correct analysis, its a 2 horse race now. I have invested in ipad and android phones, and was burnt in the past by windows mobile.

    Game over.

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  26. I wouldn’t have minded windows phone as much if the interface didn’t look like something fisher price designed.

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  27. I feel Blackberry has become sort of irrelevant with the rapid changes around. The features that can make a case for its existence are already there in current versions like BBM, so what new is BB 10 going to have.

    I have also expressed similar views in my blog http://cmrindia.com/why-bb-10-might-not-be-a-game-changer-for-rim-in-india/

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    1. They will have BBM which will attract people but in addition, their new User Experience will not turn off people who like BBM. Many BBM fans switched because the rest of the phone had gone stale. That was their downfall and it will be eliminated with their new phones next year.

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  28. WP and BB10 are going to have hard times to reach one of them or each a 10% of the actual market but without doubts they’re coming out with great products.
    Two alternatives are just about to launch their products too: Firefox and Jolla. They are strongly pushing to get support and to get adopted from carriers as they are some ofthe few companies right now who can in some terms compete with Apple and Google’s platforms by promoting, offering or selling services, apps and contents online.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if telecom giants like Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, TMobile and others start to sell own branded phones which won’t rely anymore on Google’s Android kind of walled garden in the coming future, starting to support the open structure of HTML5 (Firefox OS) or Qt-MeeGo (Sailfish OS) that Mozilla and Jolla are soon going to offer.
    It’s, in the short term, unlikely that this platforms can damage iOS/Android actual world but they could surely slow future BlackBerry or Windows Phone adoption.

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  29. Current BB User Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    I am a current corporate BB user and in the market for a new phone. I waited for the new iPhone and while it is a beautiful device it was underwhelming when test driving for a day. I stopped at a VZW store last week to look at the new WP8 and stood in line to be helped behind 3 people switching from iPhone to WP8. I knew one of the people from a local store that she worked at and asked why she was switching. She said because her plan was up and WP8 just felt better. iOS felt old and tired and operated similarly to all of the other choices. While I agree that switching will be less common it is happening. Choice and variety are great and we need it to foster innovation which will drive economic advance.

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  30. There will be no third horse.

    Even more disturbing, there may not be a second horse.

    This race now has a clear winner, and that’s Google. Already far ahead in phones, watch it overtake Apple in tablets too. The percentage of Apple’s marketshare is declining. Where will that end? It’s possible that Apple could eventually be knocked out of the race altogether.

    One school of thought is that Apple can run its phone and tablet business like it ran the Mac business, and survive with a small percent of the market. But that was in the PC era. Now the dynamics are different. People will migrate to the platform that gives them the most, and much of that data comes from crowdsourcing. The new dynamic may make it unviable for a platform to have less than 10% market share.

    The Windows Phone 8 handsets are going to fail, just like Windows Phone 7 did. Microsoft suffered Apple envy, and tried to copy everything Apple did, when its real enemy was Google.

    Golden rule #1: You can’t beat an open incumbent (ie Google) with a system that is more closed (ie Windows Phone 8).

    Golden rule #2: This war is about smartphones. Win in smartphones and you’ll win in tablets. Without a winning smartphone platform, you can’t win in tablets. Microsoft is approaching from the reverse direction, which won’t work. Microsoft has a top-down approach, trying to use its PC monopoly to win in tablets, by forcing the mobile user interface on users. It won’t work. It can’t work.

    And apart from Microsoft making the wrong platform for the wrong purposes, the biggest reason for Microsoft’s failure is timing, as the article said. Microsoft is six years late.

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    1. It’s funny, in the scenario you describe, with the cloud and the web mattering so much, the best way for APPL and MSFT and AMZN to survive is to unite against Google. Wouldn’t that be funny. THen again, I’ve had it with Google’s attitude, I’m using DuckDuckGO now. Not into any tech company acting like the CIA and FBI rolled into one, and having the tude to match. Just stop going to Google, and they’re screwing up Youtube as well. The brouhaha about Instagram is a perfect example. People are tired of these aholes thinking they own the world.

      I would say Apple should go back to the power users that saved their bacon, but that market isnt what it used to be either. Personally, I’ll find it hilarious if all these tech companies drive their business to such tiny profit margins, they fade away like all the industries they’ve helped to destroy, and maybe those industries can resurrect their value with these tech murderers down on the floor.

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  31. My company launched as an iOS accessory (hardware + app) play in 2009. At the time, we received occasional requests for support on Blackberry, Android, and webOS – a few a month for each platform. Over the course of the next year, webOS requests dried up completely, and Blackberry requests remained about constant. But requests for Android support skyrocketed to the point where we were receiving several requests each day. In early 2011 we released an Android app, and things got quiet again.

    Over the last couple of months we have started seeing a significant increase in requests for WP support. It’s not several a day yet, but it is several a week. I think we are starting to see WP pick up steam – wouldn’t rule them out just yet.

    On the other hand, we still only get a couple of requests each month for Blackberry support. Software aside, I think many people have lost confidence in RIM, and don’t want to be stuck with them if the house crumbles. In this case, I don’t think it’s a question of platform locking in customer base, as much as it is fear of the failure of a platform that is keeping people out.

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  32. While I think there’s some truth in what you say I think you forget that for many people a smartphone is a phone. I care a lot more about how the phone works than about apps I’m not planning to use or an ecosystem. I recently switched to WP8 and it transferred my contact list from Android (really well, actually) and it has what I need – a good driving app, email, maps, a browser and good voice-to-text.

    I picked a Lumia 810 because after reading reviews I decided the sound quality and phone quality were tops. Indeed I love it. Compared with my prior android phone the speakerphone is way better and the audio quality (mic and speaker) is great. The few 3rd party apps I really care about (like Urbanspoon) are nicely done. I’d like a few improvements to the built-in apps but nothing I care that much about and no more or less than I felt with Android.

    So, I’m not convinced we aren’t instead getting to a point where OSes are interchangeable for most users and it’s not the OS it’s the phone.

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  33. 3 years ago, I switched from BB to Android, because I could only find the form-factor I needed on Android, and Android was coming to a point it was matching my need in terms of software feature-set (and the freedom I received from this process was the final nail that prevented me from ever looking back). I can see people looking for something very specific (be it hardware or software) – like me at the time – switch from one plateform to the other.

    But it requires someone with the time and willpower to “learn the new plateform”, and I’m sure those inclined to do so will be only few.

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  34. As Windows 8 becomes installed on 10′s to hundreds of millions of PC’s the similarities of the user interfaces between devices begins to hit consumers in that familiarity bone. I can agree with much of what you said, except one.

    “neither appears poised to become a third horse in smartphones”

    Microsoft indeed, appears poised to become a third horse in the near future, and a dominant player in time, because their ecosystem is increasingly becoming cohesive, coherent and complete. It’s about 80% there. From the living room to the PC, to the Bluetooth car stereo, to the tablet, to the phone, the experience is extremely consistent and getting better, not by the year, but by the day.

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  35. So I am guessing I am unique then right? I switched from an iphone 4s to a nokia 920. My father switched from an android phone to a nokia 810 and my mom got a nokia 810 also

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  36. Have already switched to Windows Phone, most trouble-free mobile experience I’ve ever had. Oh and it looks and feels like something fresh and modern, unlike the other offerings.

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  37. When you can integrate management of mobile devices into current server configs, then yes, there is something new that MS can offer the market. It’s also the reason why corporate phones will be Windows mobile in the future, and spill down to personal phones from there…

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  38. I’ve never paid for my Android phones (2 of them) and only bought a few apps. MS may have a great product in WP8, but they will have to give the phones away in order to catch up. Apple and Google have saturated the market already.

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  39. I don’t see how a third platform will be viable. Both ios and android have too much of a head start in terms of apps and functionality for a third competitor to catch up.

    Also with these two platforms you have the entire price/feature range covered, from the cheapest to the most expensive. I don’t see any niche left for a third competitor to come in and exploit.

    I think the smartphone market is a lost cause for both Microsoft and Rim.

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  40. greatartiststeals Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    guess it depends on your target audience. Consumers who have invested in a platform will find it less appealing to switch. Corporations on the other hand are balancing their policies to accommodate BYOD but many are still with BB due to security and control concerns with Apple and Android. many of these companies are looking at Windows and the integration with Active Directory as a wholistic solution to manage mobile devices. This is an area of opportunity for Windows to leverage.

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  41. SIR, NO DISRESPECT BUT—

    BLACKBERRY 10 IS A GAME CHANGER. THINK WHEN APPLE INTRODUCED THE FIRST IPOD. GAME. CHANGER. OR EVEN BETTER, THINK ABOUT WHO “REINVENTED” THE MOBILE INDUSTRY BEFORE APPLE. RIM DID IT.

    BLACKBERRY 10 IS ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED PLATFORMS TO COME IN YEARS. RIM TRULY HAS REINVENTED THE WAY WE INTERACT WITH OUR EVERYDAY DEVICES. NO LONGER WILL ASK THE QUESTION OF “WHICH PHONE IS BETTER?”. BUT NOW WE WILL SIMPLY THINK TO OURSELVES; WHICH PHONE WORKS BEST FOR ME? WHICH PHONE MAKES MY EVERYDAY LIFE EASIER, MORE PRODUCTIVE, AND MORE ENJOYABLE.

    THE FACTS STILL REMAIN. RIM IS A GOOD COMPANY. THEY’VE SLACKED FOR SOME YEARS NOW AND NOW THEY ARE BACK. SIMPLE.

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  42. Apple brought basically two things to the Smartphone industry, an OS designed around simple Touch (fingers not styli) and an ecosystem with a strong revenue model and Microsoft and RIM both missed this and are still struggling to catch up, so in principle I agree with the author, but I think he inaccurately correlates Android to iPhone and they are simply not the same.

    I have been an Android user for almost 3 years, and I don’t have that large of an investment because Android has traded revenue for market share basically giving away the software at all levels and as a result many of that base will never be premium users, so loyalty or lock-in is minimal at best.

    I think both Microsoft and RIM have an opportunity to take share from Android, but the battle will be deeper with Apple base and to be perfectly honest, I haven’t seen either company bring something truly new and strong to the table.

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  43. I have a Windows 7.5 phone. The Nokia Lumia 710. I love it other than the screen is a bit too small at 3.7″ You just can’t appreciate “Live Tiles” until you have and use them for a week or so. They are addictive. I am loving how Microsoft has completed it eco-system with the release of Windows Phone 8. I will upgrade to that OS when my current contract expires. I hope Blackberry and Window Phone can co-exist and take on Android and Apple in a combined effort rather than fighting each other for third place. JMHO.

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  44. Jennifer Matthews Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    adf

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  45. People are always changing their OSes and hardware and often upgrade existing software apps. Why would this be any different?
    I remember spending $2,000.00 to upgrade from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 so people spending a few hundred dollars on apps in addition to the phone itself to be able to get the latest and greatest OS and phone is not a big deal.
    If people think it is cool enough or has better features, it will sell, regardless of whether they have to buy apps again.
    That is what history has shown us. Why would it be any different this time around?

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  46. Jennifer Matthews Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    I’m sorry but I really don’t understand how people like this author come to the conclusion that Microsoft is dead in the smartphone race. I am one of the first Iphone users and I’ve enjoyed all of the iphone iterations up until the 4s. Recently, I had to renew my AT&T contract so I took a peak at the Nokia Lumia 920 just for fun but also because I always felt something was lacking in the iphone. All I have to say is WOW!!!! The Windows Phone (particularly this Lumia 920) is just amazing and blows away the iphone in almost every important category. Screen Size and resolution is better; Camera and Video capabilities are much, much better; Hardware and design is absolutely breathtaking and modern; the windows live tiles are so much more powerful and useful than iphone’s static icons; Social aggregation is just amazing and productive — no need to go to multiple apps (e.g., facebook, twitter, linkedin) to quickly find out what’s going on; skydrive is amazing and perfectly integrated with all my devices; and last but not least, I get all of the Microsoft Office products that work great on the phone. I agree that blackberry will have a terribly difficult uphill battle, but Microsoft will eventually win market share over time. They already have a better product than Android and Apple. Now it’s just a matter of marketing and brute force (and leveraging the Windows 8 ecosystem) which Microsoft will have no problem doing. And for all those out there saying that Windows Phone doesn’t have enough “Apps”, I respectfully disagree. They have tons of apps and the ones that are most relevant to me are already there. And for those few important apps that people might point to, they will certainly be on the platform soon.

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    1. I agree. Your comment takes me closer to the Windows Phone plunge.

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  47. In 1984, many were convinced that “most PC innovation has already taken place,” and advised people to stick with their Commodore 64s, TRS-80s, and Atari 800s rather than buy a new-fangled PC or Mac as well.

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  48. “the first being the maturity of the current smartphone platforms. After five years in this current age, all the heavy lifting is done, meaning the biggest platform breakthroughs have already been made.”

    Of all of the stupid quotes I’ve read on tech sites, this one is one of the most absurd. The concept of personal connected computing devices is in its infancy and has decades of changes. In just ten years we’ll look back at the iPhone and Android as archaic devices, as Win95 looks today.

    The door is open for anyone to move past the static iPhone era icon grid…

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  49. “What will it take for you to switch to or initially start with BlackBerry 10?”

    Edited, because Win8 isn’t even a remote possibility, but:

    1. Rapid adoption in hardware and software of OpenGL ES 3.0 & OpenCL full profile

    2. Steam App support

    3. Personal use of the BBOS10 work profile for multiple identity management

    4. Smartwatch support via sync apps that work with Metawatch/Pebblewatch devices

    5. Large screen devices (4.7″ and larger)

    That should cover it for this N9 (meego/harmattan) user.

    If BBOS10 cannot manage all or most of the above I will have a hard look at Jolla when it arrives

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  50. The hardware only lasts so long. If you buy an Iphone, the battery is ‘toast’ after a year of usual use. People will move, when they’re ready and when they are fed up with their platform. Same same mobile operators.

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  51. I was a iPhone 4 user that made the switch to the Windows 8 HTC handset, after 1 week I was desperate to off load & get back to iOS, It was Ok, nothing was majorly wrong it just didnt feel as sleek & professional. I know it’s still early days for the device & platform the problem is as a long time smartphone user I don’t want to feel like I’m BETA testing the device & sending reports back to windows to fix problems that shouldn’t exist, anyway, found a poor gullable sould with an iPhone5 who wanted a straight swap, happy days for me, think he’s regretting it now but no chance am I switching back, BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW

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  52. What is comes down to here is what works the best for you? Barring market share and popularity, what phone has been consistent in its stability and use for your personal preference? I started with a Windows Smart Phone back when it was running 5.0, 6.0 and 6.5 It wasn’t until the iPhone 4 where I made the switch to an iOS phone. What I found was that Windows Phone was stable, it worked real well and did what it did best – phone calls and e-mail. When I got the iPhone 4 it was very difficult for me to get used to it. The reason being is that I didn’t use the non-phone/e-mail features much at first and that is what was hard to deal with. Now, I have an iPhone5 and the reason I have gotten to like iPhones in general is because it does the job of making phone calls and e-mail well. It also has apps, gps (Waze), internet, and social that works great which is what I have become accustomed to. I want to try to a new Windows Phone, but the caveat here is what I have allowed myself to become used to in my phone. My phone holds over 30 GB of music, syncs my pictures to iPhoto, links with Messages on my Mac, is a simple BT experience in my car … etc. If I can get that kind of connectivity out of the box on the Windows Phone, and make it all work, then switching isn’t a second thought. But it is. For tablets I use Android, for desktops/laptops I use Macs/PCs. But the game changer for me here is my Windows 8 RT tablet. It is causing me to re-think my gadget eco-system and making me want to take the plunge on a Windows Phone but the most compelling issue has always plagued Windows Phone and now Windows RT – apps! No apps is why Windows Phone will languish, just like BlackBerry had and will. The bad part is that the Windows eco-system is ripe and the devs need to realize that and help it to grow. Windows can be the game changer as long as Microsoft keeps the momentum going with it.

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  53. As a left wing Israeli, i will never buy a phone named BB … :)

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  54. For me it’s the apps’s that make a phone, it would be really difficult for me to switch from apple as my phone, iPad and iTunes account have so much money already invested, having said that if something came up which offered to improve my experience I would consider it, I tried this back when the Samsung galaxy s2 came out, my business uses many google tools and the attraction was better integration, but after 6 months I could not get the galaxy to do what I needed it to do, so went back to apple.

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  55. Have 2 Windows phones, and one Andriod. I haven’t used the iPhones excepts as tests just to try it out (nothing long term), but the usability of the Win phones have the others players cold…just so easy to use. Of course they screwed up by not making all of the Win 7.5 apps not auto run in Win 8, so they have to be ported, will not as-is…another set back. Having 10K apps vs. 600K is not going to cut it.

    Philosophically, to me it’ll be far more interesting to see if the anti-eco-system strategy (that is the opposite of how the PC industry evolved) a la Apple, but I suspect it will not pan out, and the far more partner-friendly (free, more devices, more retailers, etc.) model of Andriod will win out in the end and dethrone Apple and Microsoft…though it will be a bit messy because there is going to be more and more fragmentation, but that’s the way the PC originally beat out the centralized, deterministic way of Apple, and to a lesser degree, now Microsoft.

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  56. former iPhone user Sunday, December 23, 2012

    I bought a Nokia Lumia 920 (Windows Phone 8), and ditched my iPhone 4. The Windows Phone is like having a dedicated GPS navigation system and phone in one. The iPhone was totally useless in comparison

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  57. Just got back from the UK doing a Exchange migration and one of the things that were noted when we were transferring all their BlackBerrys to Exchange was that the reason our international operations stick with it is because the data costs are very very low compared to other smart phones. RIM does a good job compressing and delivering data then other phone platforms.

    Not a big deal in the US but everywhere else its adds up to big bucks per month cost.

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  58. My prediction is this

    Android will dominate 70-75% of the market
    Apple and windows Mobile with share equally 25-30%
    The rest will be insignificant.

    Apple products are nice but the company is morally and legally corrupt with their patent crap.
    MS mobile ‘live tiles’ seem to be simplistic and child like UI in this modern era. Granted I have only play with it and don’t own one to really test it out.

    I reckon MS should bring back Windows mobile 6.5 and enhance this OS and it should capture more market share. I missed the venerable HTC HD 2 windows 6.5 era….not really, my Galaxy Note 2 with JB is pretty much a phone/pc on the go…..

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  59. I’m typing this on my new Samsung ativ with windows 8 and it is better than bberry, android and iPhone combined. I know this because I worked as a cell app tester and have used all these devices. No one wants an operating system that looks like ish (android) and stays the same (ios) or runs like ish (bbrry)

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  60. Windows Phone has great features but the app community doesn’t see enough potential there to develop for the Mango OS — so I went from BB to Windows Phone to iPhone and will stay with iPhone because I’m also an iPad user and love the compatibility.

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  61. Smart phones are the natural evolution of personal computing and mobile communication combined — both product categories still in relative infancy. Isn’t this like claiming the big innovations in automobiles were solved by the 1920s, and that everything that followed was “incremental”? I personally yearn for the return of the tactile keyboard. Either that or type-correction software that learns my personal idioms and can conjugate a freaking verb.

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  62. You sir, are drunk.

    Your comparison between Windows and Android is highly subjective.
    The People hub comparison is ridiculous to say the least. Did you just say that getting a Facebook App makes for an adequate substitute?

    You would have probably snowballed Facebook’s Instagram purchase and told Siri get a room and talk herself to death cause you have Voice Actions for android.

    Needless to say you’ve also given no thought to the minimalist & functional nature of Windows phone. I don’t think I’ll be needing a pesky Task Killer on a windows phone.

    Can’t comment on Blackberry 10. Because I haven’t given it a thought.
    This article needs some though.

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  63. BB 10 seems quite promising, look at this article
    http://apmornings.com/2013/01/15/most-anticipated-smart-phone-blackberry-10/

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