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.