Around a week ago, we heard from the analysts at IDC once again, as they gazed into their magical crystal ball and provided exact percentages (ahem) for 2016 smartphone market share. What a job those guys have.
The most disappointing thing was that they reckon little will change between now and then, with Windows Phone creeping into third place – largely at the expense of Android. Meh.
I figured I’d take a quick look into my crystal ball (i.e. my insane brain) and see how things might look over the next – I dunno – year or so. I’m not going as far as 2016, ‘cause that’d be silly. Obviously.
With all the talk of Apple’s iPhone profits having “likely peaked” and what have you, one analyst recently proposed (this much is true) that the Californians must fire out another must-have device.
But how do you follow up the iPod, iPhone and iPad? An iPad nano? An iPhone maxi?
Answer: the Apple iGame, essentially a souped-up 5in iPad with elements of the Nintendo DS and PS Vita – most notably dual analogue sticks and proper buttons for gaming.
The Apple iGame is compatible with all existing App Store apps, but the enhanced internals pave the way for awesomer games without the shackles of purely touchscreen controls.
A series of Apple iGame exclusives (including Chair’s Infinity Blade X and Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. Zero) and an uncharacteristically reasonable price tag make it a must-have for mobile gamers.
Google upsets Samsung
Samsung is very much a finger-in-every-pie type manufacturer, something Google is all too aware of, as evidenced by a – shock horror – “leaked email”.
Google executives discuss their fears over the promiscuous Samsung, suggesting that it might be a good idea to “even the playing field” and show consumers that there’s “more to life than Samsung”. Eek.
Indeed, in long run, it might be nice if Google’s own Motorola was “the new Samsung”.
Eric Schmidt and crew fly to South Korea to assure Samsung that the email (complete with spelling mistakes galore) was planted by Microsoft, in an effort to upset the Android decorum.
Samsung is initially appeased, but the untimely mention of a Motorola Nexus device infuriates JK Shin, who promptly has Schmidt and team unceremoniously removed from the building. Shin is heard to scream: “Samsung IS Android, you piece of Schmidt!” (or words to that effect) from a 23rd floor window.
Motorola Surface smartphone upsets Nokia
In the lackluster world of Windows Phone, ailing Finnish manufacturer Nokia can at least take some consolation in being the unofficial flagship WinPho OEM.
That is until Microsoft itself steps into the fray, with the much discussed Microsoft Surface smartphone.
Much to Nokia – and everyone else’s – chagrin, the Surface smartphone touches down with a number of exclusive Windows Phone 8 features rumoured to have been kept to the side for Microsoft.
Nokia feels dead sad.
With Samsung upset over the Android thing, it weighs up its options and decides that – no way! – Windows Phone is the future of all things smartphone, hoping that consumers will throw their money behind the manufacturer rather than the OS. They’re right.
Consumers fail to comprehend the magnitude of the various behind-the-scenes goings on, and happily embrace the Windows Phone-based Samsung Galaxy S V. Joe Average thinks “Samsung’s new tile thing” is really cool. If only it had been around years ago…
Sony goes with the flow, doing an HTC and straddling both Android and Windows Phone.
Meanwhile, poor neglected Nokia is rumoured to be in talks with Jolla about Sailfish. Lo and behold, it’s only freakin’ true! It’s a marriage made in heaven, with Jan describing the first Nokia Sailfish handset as the “best thing ever. It’s everything the N9 should’ve been and more”. Jan replaces Stephen Elop as Nokia's CEO.
That leaves Motorola as the only exclusive big-name Android manufacturer by default, while Chinese OEMs such as ZTE and Huawei keep Google’s smartphone market share afloat.
I can’t quite make out the date, but here’s how the percentages look at, er, some point in the future:
- Android (Motorola, LG, ZTE, Huawei) – 29.1%
- BlackBerry 11 (RIM, Samsung) – 5.2%
- iOS (Apple) – 15.6%
- Sailfish (Nokia) – 18.4%
- Windows Phone 9 (Microsoft, Samsung) – 29.2%
- Other – 2.5%
The above is utter nonsense.