Lost In Mobile

Shaun McGill

07412 655899

Lost In Mobile is the continuation of PDA-247 which, under various names, provided news, reviews and commentary on the mobile world for 10 years.

I have been writing about the mobile industry, mobile products, apps and everything else in between and beyond for more than 10 years, and currently write freelance for Imagine Publishing and also undertake one-off projects upon request.

I welcome your comments and thoughts and if you want to get in touch, please do so via the email address or phone number above.

Thanks for stopping by.

Shaun McGill

The state of play (mobile operating systems)

The state of the mobile industry will always be changing and we can naturally expect ups and downs for all of the big players. At this time, however, Android and iOS are very much dominant and to a level that all of the rest are starting to struggle to even get a minimal foothold. Let's look at the operating systems first-

Android- a healthy lead in smartphone market share with some catching up required in the tablet area. The new Google tablet may help along with Jelly Bean, but at this time I can only see Android moving upwards as the year passes. The iPad is doing exceptional business, but everyone I know has pre-ordered the Nexus 7 and this could put a dent in the overall market share for Apple. Whether this matters is open to debate because Apple is still controlling the money and so will be quite happy to continue at the current rate. If Apple does the right thing and releases a 7" iPad, it could seriously dent the competition all over again. I for one would jump on such a device and my current iPad 2 would be out the door. All of the talk about fragmentation on Android and the malware issues are sort of valid, but in the grand scheme of things (and with so many users it is very grand) it matters little to the average Android user. Android captures every area of the potential smartphone market from very low-end budget phones to high-end monsters that you can tweak to oblivion. As I said, Android is on the up and quite possibly the only platform that will continue to grow at a speedy rate through 2013.

iOS- we all know the story of iOS and how it has grown over the past half-decade. The growth will continue and the iPhone 5 will sell in huge numbers of course, but there are some areas that Apple may need to address to keep the momentum going. It may need to make small tweaks to allow users to use their own browsers, email clients and the like and as users become more aware of what their phones and tablets can do, they may have to respond. Apple is not selling to the power user, but to anyone it can sell to and as these people look around and see what phones like the Galaxy SIII have to offer, they may be tempted. Simple solutions like the recent Podcasts app and the (on the surface) small changes coming in iOS 6 are perhaps taking evolution a step too slowly.

Windows Phone- it should have a larger market share than it currently has. With Nokia and Microsoft behind it and a system that really is exceptionally good it has still failed to gain any traction at all. This is likely purely because of the dominance of the above to operating systems rather than any inherent fault with Windows Phone, but we are where we are. I believe that Windows 8 could change things a lot for Microsoft and I would not be surprised to see the company gain market share in both the tablet and smartphone arena. One thing is for sure- they won't give up.

BlackBerry- it would be so easy to just say 'finished', but there has to be more to this platform than that. RIM still has options open to it, but it needs to move very quickly. The platform could be used by other manufacturers and if investment came from a company like HTC, they could help develop it to being BlackBerry 10 to market quicker. However, I can only feel negative vibes to the platform, the hardware and the leadership at this time.

As for the rest, I can't see Bada or any other platform breaking through for some time to come. We are in danger of mobile becoming Android and iOS which sounds bad, but in the past we have only had three players and got through that OK.