Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Aug 2013 17:44 UTC
Windows IDC released its smartphone shipment numbers for the second quarter of 2013, and other than the usual stuff (Android at 80%, iOS down to 13.3% due to lack of a new model), the Windows Phone figures are interesting.

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.

Over the past 12 months, Windows Phone went from 3.1% market share to 3.7%. This means that while shipments of Windows Phone devices are growing, they're barely growing any faster than the industry as a whole. Still, it's crazy to see there's less than a 10 percentages points difference between Windows Phone and iOS.

Another potential problem is that Microsoft is effectively entirely dependent on Nokia. If Nokia falters, Windows Phone falters. Other vendors have essentially lost all interest in the platform, and as such, Microsoft has a a very strong impetus in keeping Nokia going. Still, I'm pretty sure that the Surface phone is ready to go at a moment's notice.

They're going to need it.

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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 7th Aug 2013 18:52 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Windows Phone's problem that Thom correctly highlights is that it needs more serious OEMs. Nokia is one OEM on one ecosystem trying to pull the entire weight in a Samsung-esque fashion.

For example, when you view an individual breakdown of the OEMs (and excluding the Samsung behemoth) a different picture is painted:

LG controlled 5.1%
Lenovo controlled 4.8%
Huawei and ZTE each controlled 4.2%

Nokia controlled 3.1%, or ~85% of an entire ecosystem.

For Microsoft the crucial problem is growing the ecosystem in a much more robust fashion than Nokia can. They need more OEMs putting in effort like Nokia, or a flood of small time whitebox vendors (not going to happen).

I think the prime candidates for this are HTC, Lenovo, and probably even RIM. Get RIM to dump BB10 and go Windows Phone. Sign HTC away from Android.

Lenovo is already a Windows loyalist who knows how to sell devices. The synergy between their Tablet/Phone lines with a WP device would be compelling.

Basically:
- Nokia for its European/Middle East relevance and mindshare
- HTC for its US relevance and mindshare
- Lenovo for its Chinese relevance and mindshare
- RIM for its corporate know-how, strong middle east mindshare and African mindshare

ZTE, Huawei, et are sleepers too.

Edited 2013-08-07 19:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Nelson
by glarepate on Wed 7th Aug 2013 23:08 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

They had 9 OEMs when WP7 was released. About half of those quit offering WP when WP8 was released.

What would you offer OEMs that would entice them to want in on this niche? For instance, Samsung got $97 million in partner payments and some cross-licensing agreements.

You suggest that they "Sign HTC away from Android." What kind of inducements would be likely to make them give it up for a share in such a tiny market segment that Nokia has 85% of?

ZTE and Huawei are already selling WP8 handsets. What might wake them up?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 8th Aug 2013 11:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They had 9 OEMs when WP7 was released. About half of those quit offering WP when WP8 was released.


A lot of these OEMs, for example Dell, were weak players on both ecosystems. LG didn't have the stomach for Windows Phone either. The only top tier ones were HTC and Samsung. It was a hopeful thought that 9 OEMs would take WP serious, but it didn't happen. That was then however.


What would you offer OEMs that would entice them to want in on this niche? For instance, Samsung got $97 million in partner payments and some cross-licensing agreements.


Microsoft has plenty of money, marketing muscle, and valuable property to cross license. Also Nokia's increasing volumes have shown the way for other OEMs and shown that WP was more than a fad. A doubling of sales YoY and strong sequential increases should be seen as impressive.


You suggest that they "Sign HTC away from Android." What kind of inducements would be likely to make them give it up for a share in such a tiny market segment that Nokia has 85% of?


Before Nokia, HTC ruled WP. Also, Nokia can't seem to crack the US market. HTC can and will if they place a serious effort into Windows Phone. They are still a common brand here.

HTC is hurting financially as a pure handset business. Microsoft could subsidize licenses, match marketing dollars, subsidize development costs, and even get some cross product synergy going to launch HTC into tablets. There are many options and HTC at present is in bad shape.



and Huawei are already selling WP8 handsets. What might wake them up?


They will come in strong as the pivot to lower cost models begins in earnest. They are excellent OEMs and I believe will be a large factor on either ecosystem in the medium term.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by chithanh on Thu 8th Aug 2013 00:07 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Sign HTC away from Android.

Actually, what Microsoft did is drive HTC away from Windows Phone. Remember that HTC wanted to produce a WP8 Phablet last year[1]? They halted the project because Windows Phone can't use 1080p screens.

A 1080p phablet would be a much-needed addition to the selection of WP8 devices. But Microsoft will not allow this before Q4 2013 (maybe late Q3).

With this and other and roadblocks to innovation placed by Microsoft, its is rather unsurprising that OEMs are not queueing to sign up for WP8.

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-17/htc-said-to-halt-larger-wi...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 8th Aug 2013 11:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

My comment is about what they must do, and I'd agree that picking up the pace of innovation is one. It boggles the mind to try to figure out what's taking so long.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 09:17 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That can only happen when WP8 runs on MediaTec SOCs. I don't see it happening.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Soulbender on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:46 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The question is, with Nokia as a heavily favoured partner how do you get anyone else even interested?

Reply Parent Score: 3