Mobile space to heat up, Windows 8 may benefit from BYOD

Mobile space to heat up, Windows 8 may benefit from BYOD

Summary: There are a number of releases coming this year and early next that will crank up the already hot mobile space. One of those releases may find the BYOD movement will help propel it in the marketplace.


My mobile arsenal
The mobile segment is as hot as ever, and will heat up even more with new releases coming soon. The smartphone space will see some dramatic new products that will keep phones flying off the shelves. Tablets will continue to garner consumer attention with major platform updates that will bring them product awareness. Laptops and tablets will begin to merge with the release of Windows 8, and the BYOD movement may help adoption of Windows 8 ramp up quickly.

In the smartphone world we have seen two big players take over the space. The iPhone and Android phones have prevented other participants from doing much of anything, and that will continue for some time. 

Windows Phone 8 is ramping up to make an attempt at grabbing market share from the other two, and while it has a big task ahead of it Microsoft isn't going away. The introduction of new hardware to run the most advanced version of Windows Phone yet may be able to take customers where it has failed so far.

If you listen closely to RIM you can hear the death rattles, but the upcoming BlackBerry 10 looks to bring the former corporate darling into the modern age. If the company makes good on its desperate attempt to produce a solid platform, the new phones to hit early next year could make an impact if handled correctly.

The iPhone 5 or whatever Apple will call the next version of its smartphone expected in a few months is a wild card the others are watching warily. Apple will sell millions of them but with Android growing bigger every day and the others ramping up totally brand new platforms the iPhone's success is not as guaranteed as it has been in the past.

While the smartphone race is getting more interesting to watch, the tablet space is about to get set on its ear. The iPad will keep owning the market, maybe more so if the rumored little version becomes a reality.

OEMs will keep churning out Android tablets of all sizes and shapes, and the appearance of Google's own model is significant. If the Nexus 7 is the start of a serious run by Google the tablet space will be disrupted. The effects to the market Google can have are wideranging and hard to predict. Combined with the other big disruptor we're about to see in tablets it could be big.

Microsoft is about to take on tablets in a big way, first with Windows 8 and the mobile version Windows RT. The new OS combined with Microsoft's own tablets, the Surface line, can totally disrupt the tablet segment.

While new versions of Windows usually take a while to get adopted en masse, the bring your own device (BYOD) movement may accelerate that adoption. The Surface tablets are natural fits for the BYOD scenario with consumers needing a work tablet that also does fun stuff. If Microsoft plays this correctly from a pricing standpoint, the Surface and Windows 8 can shake the tablet segment like a kid clearing an Etch-a-Sketch.

With all of these new releases, many of them total ground-breakers in significant ways, the mobile space is going to explode. What remains to be seen is how that explosion plays out, and how the major players handle things. The mobile sector is ripe for a big disruption and it's up to the big guys to take advantage of it.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Apple, Google, iOS, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Congrats

    I decided to give this article a go, knowing I typically get more upset than feel informed reading your writing. For once, you have surprised me. You did a good job discussing things from a rather objective point of view. I think this is something you could show a non-tech head and they would actually be prepared for the happenings in the next few months.

    Instead of taking your typically favorable views of Android and Apple and unfavorable view of Microsoft, I think you actually looked at this from an average persons perspective. If Windows Phone and Blackberry can start to compete with prepaid and the lower-end phones, I think they'll start to steal share from Android. I think the die-hard Apple people will continue getting their iPhone, but the vast number of people that get talked into their purchases will be up for grabs.

    I totally agree that the tablet space is about to get flipped upside down. Most people tend to agree that Windows 8/RT on a tablet is compelling, pending pricing. I think it's more than just BYOD that will help RT devices sell. Since RT is closed to Windows Store purchases-only, I can see more people needing limited computing power going with something that's closer to a full computer experience... potentially hook up a printer with a USB cable and grandparents can print emails and photos from their grandkids while potentially using a USB mouse/keyboard or displaying the screen on their big TV. Google entering the race, plus Amazon's pending announcement for an extended Kindle Fire line, will likely put more pressure on price for the lower-end. I will be interested to see how pricing works with the various lines... if features are missing on the $199 model relative to the Nexus, I think Amazon will be out of luck. I also feel if Apple announces a 7" iPad that is priced over $199 might raise eyebrows of people that aren't loyal to Apple looking for a 7" tablet. Let's be announced, one of the main reasons Microsoft has such control of the market is they hit the dirt cheap price points while Apple doesn't come close.
  • +1

    I also give this article a star.
    Ram U
  • Apple will continue to dominate, for a while, until the consumer starts to

    realize that, there is really no need to buy an iPad or an iPhone, when there will be others with similar or better specs and for lower prices.
    • Revelation

      Like more and more people realized there is life beyond Microsoft and Windows? :)
  • Seeing the big picture

    I must admit James is rising in my estimation, admittedly from a fairly low base ;-)

    Microsoft is once again starting a process of standardisation, this time across multiple devices rather than just PCs. One of the benefts of age is being able to remember what it was like before Windows, where each application had a new UI and required significant retraining.

    Having one UI across phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, consoles and PC's just makes sense. It makes even more sense when you realise that you aren't chained to one input method. It might be keyboard and mouse or pen, or gesture or touch or voice and they may all be combined. Sometimes it makes sense to use a keyboard and sometimes it's easier to just touch what you want and there's nothing to stop you opening an app with voice, entering text from a keyboard, using fine selection with a mouse, moving the UI with a gesture or selecting options with touch.

    As to the "controversial" Metro UI, it also makes sense and the hub concept is a breath of fresh air after those grids of stale, static icons leading to siloed apps. If I want People or Pictures or Mail, then they'll be the same dynamic tile on all my devices and content can be shared using Skydrive.

    If you are a Windows user, you will have no reason to choose Android or iOS devices as they are only offering entertainment devices that, with considerable work, might be able to be used in Windows environments. If I want a new tablet or phone, then selecting a device that easily integrates with all my other devices and has the same UI would seem to be a no brainer.

    I understand msot people don't really appreciate the big picture, but it becomes readily apparent when I'm using my Windows Phone, the latest release of Win 8 and sitting on my couch talking and gesturing to my Xbox/Kinect.

    Kudos to MS, it's a herculean task, but someone had to do it, rather than endlessly recycle mods of Unix (OS/X, iOS) and Linux (Android).
    • Microsoft's "standardization" efforts

      The market already gave chance to Microsoft to profit from this all. It was actually IBM who invented this "standard PC" concept. Microsoft just abused it.

      However, today the market is a bit different. Computers are not anything new and magical anymore. They are just tools. And, as with any commodity tools, one gets to select the best tool for the task -- doesn't have to be "standardized" or even "approved" by anyone.

      The key in todays personal computer industry (this includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers) is to offer good enough product for the money. Nobody cares about the OS, the "standard" etc. The thing has to work and work well.

      If Microsoft wants to participate, then they must switch from software-only company to a product oriented company, meaning they all have to design and sell hardware as well.
      Nobody knows if Microsoft is capable of transforming. We should wait and see. I for one, am ready with a big cup of popcorn :)