What to expect in the mobile space the rest of the year

What to expect in the mobile space the rest of the year

Summary: No question 2012 has been an exciting one in the mobile space, and it is going to continue for the rest of the year. We will see a flood of unique tablets, and the phone space is going to heat up, too.


As the excitement over the iPhone 5 wanes, it is easy to assume the mobile space will get quiet for a while. This isn't going to be the case, as the remaining months in 2012 look to be big for mobile technology.

Tablets on the way

Kindle Fire HD 8.9

While only a rumor, the iPad Mini is expected to arrive in October to much fanfare. In the past it has not been prudent to put much stock in rumors about Apple's products, but given the total leak of iPhone 5 information the small iPad rumors hold more water.

An iPad Mini will set the Android tablet market on its ear. Android hasn't scratched a big share of tablet sales to date as the iPad has owned the market. A smaller version of the iPad would be in a position to grab even more of the market share from Android. The iPad Mini may be the biggest device launch of the entire year.

Amazon recently captured attention with the unveiling of the Kindle Fire HD line, and the 8.9-inch model will arrive in November. The Kindle Fire has already captured a bigger piece of the tablet market than Android tablets, and the HD version should continue that trend.

The hardware packed into the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is very good for the low price, and it should be a big seller for the holidays. It's not really an Android tablet with the proprietary interface from Amazon, and many prospective buyers will go for the simple operation over the more PC-like operation of Android tablets.

The tablet space will see a major happening late this year as the first Windows 8 tablets hit the market. The tablets based on Windows RT should appear with the release of Windows 8 toward the end of October.

Microsoft will have its Surface RT tablet with keyboard case on sale, and it could be a disruptor in the tablet world. That will largely depend on pricing, which Microsoft is not divulging yet.

Other major OEMs will be hitting the market at around the same time as the Surface, so tablets running Windows RT will be flooding the stores. Recent pricing information leaked would indicate that Windows RT tablets are going to be priced on the high side, but we'll see soon if that is the case.

We may seem some Windows 8 Pro tablets running full Windows this year. Microsoft stated its Surface Pro tablet will not be out until early next year, but other OEMs may look to beat that to market. Pricing of Windows Pro tablets is looking to be on the high side, but we should start seeing them late this year.

Tablets are going to be the big story for the rest of 2012, and there will be no shortage of new models to fight for buyer's dollars.

Smartphones poised for release

The big news in smartphones the rest of this year will be the release of Windows Phone 8. We've already been teased with looks at upcoming handsets from Nokia and HTC, and other OEMs will no doubt join the fray. 

Windows Phone 8 is looking to be a capable competitor to the big guys, Android and iOS, and pairing it with hardware that is state-of-the-art will capture attention. 

The iPhone 5 had the expected big release and will no doubt continue to have big sales for the rest of the year. There won't likely be any surprises from Apple coming soon, so the setting is ripe for Windows Phone 8 to get the attention Microsoft is hoping to get.

There will continue to be Android phones released throughout the year, but nothing on the horizon looks to be ground-breaking. There will probably be new handsets from the top players, a Samsung Galaxy S4 comes to mind, but it should be business as usual for Android phones.

RIM won't be releasing its next-generation BlackBerrys until next year, but will likely tease the faithful with regular information about BlackBerry 10 throughout the rest of the year. BB10 is looking pretty nice from what's been shown so far, but the details of the hardware will be the deciding factor for RIM.

Topics: Tablets, Apple, Microsoft, Smartphones, Windows

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  • I'm glad Nokia and MS are taking the time to do it right

    Instead of rushing things like Apple did with their maps, Nokia and MS are taking the time to do this right. Really looking forward to blending my iPhone 4 and to start using my new yellow Nokia Lumia 920.
    • Waiting for Win8 to be released has nothing to do with

      The launch date of the Win 8 phones, Todd?
    • Iphone 4?

      You own an iphone 4??? this i cannot believe :)
    • Waiting for Nokia and MS to get it right

      A smartphone is useless if it cannot do e-mail right and WP7 is an abomination (at least on Nokia hardware). The only item in my wishlist for WP8 is: Working e-mail client.

      The rest is shiny junk nobody cares about.
    • An interesting observation

      paul88026601 keeps spamming every ZDNet article and so does toddbottom3 and yet what paul88 writes is far more interesting . . .
      • sooooo

        This was useful info.....not
        Allen Frady
  • Waiting?

    No. Taking the time to do it right.
    • More like

      waiting until no one cares anymore and forgets about Nokia and WP8... Then Android will scoop up these users.
  • RE: What to expect in the mobile space the rest of the year

    From the article:
    "The Kindle Fire has already captured a bigger piece of the tablet market than Android tablets

    The Kindle Fire is an Android tablet. It's based on Google's open-source Android as Amazon is not a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Thus the Android-based Kindle Fire has already captured a bigger piece of the tablet market than has Google's OHA partners tablets combined. (It's noteworthy that many of Google's OHA partners push derivatives of Google's closed-source Android on their tablets.)

    P.S. It's likely that Barnes & Noble will release a new Nook tablet later this year (guess: November) in response to Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Fire HD. And with B & N's recent partnership with Microsoft (initially given the name 'NewCo'), there could be some interesting developments.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Guess you forgot

    About Samsung releasing a flagship Windows 8 phone. And you made no mention of the new Nexus phones that will be coming out this fall. Overall this was a useless piece.
  • Because they failed already ...

    ... Microsoft is going to have to give away phones for free with the purchase of a Windows 8 optimized counterproductive convergence-of-form-factors craptop/tablet pc in order to gain some sort of critical mass in the smartphone market. It seems to have helped with the "buy a Windows 7 laptop, get a free Xbox" deals.
    • And it worked with the iPod, too

      teh buy a computer, get an iPod deal they have once a year (it seems)
      William Farrel
  • iPad mini grabs the market?

    It will sell very well. But only to those who are already into Apple products or were planning to get them (yes thats hell alot of people). But trying to see any impact on android tablets sales is kinda groundless.
  • ipad minis

    If they release an ipad mini it will sell like hotcakes! Why because the i-faithful are...guess what? Faithful to shell out their bickies no matter what gets released, even with crap reception, bad battery life, map fiascoes and the list just goes on and on. every iphone I have dealt with in support has some major problem but they chant, "We love iPhones, we are faithful, all praise to Steve!"

    Many of us, just are after the best phone based on performance, features and price. I have used an Iphones and G1, G2 and tab (mistake that was) have pointed out to Samsung in no certain terms their errors. However why can't Apple make errors that actually get put in to perspective? Here it is: Apple is the most expensive product because supposedly it is the very best that money can buy. Therefore you expect the very best.
    • Not really

      My galaxy tab 8.9 is hands down the best entertainment device on long flights ever created. It also does the job of a light wt device that's worlds better than an iPad Ii that I can review and prep for presentations while on flights.

      As to you last comment about "the very best", tell that to.my 3gs that got bricked when the iPhone 4 came out.
      Allen Frady
  • Upbeat Apple Article!


    iPad Mini - that will canibalize from the iPad and iTouch.

    iPhone 5 selling well for the year? Be nice if it can get beyond 6months. The 4S had a better start and made just over the 6month mark. Hope it trends counter to forecast.

    Lastly, what about the Win phones? Those could go big... Then the next Nexus.
    • iPhone 5 start

      Think the 4S sold 3 mil at start, 5 sold 5 mil. Can't find the ref I saw the data in but think the 5 was the best start ever. As for longevity, who knows.
  • Nexus

    I, and i don't think i'm alone, am looking forward to see the new family of the Nexus devices will be made from different Google's partners. Besides, i think we can expect something very interesting from Jolla and Blackberry (but this is not gonna make it for the end of the year..).
  • “Just Wait For Windows Phone 8.5!”

    That will be the ultimate Android-and-Apple killer, you’ll see!
    • hahahaha you make me laugh.

      hahahaha you make me laugh.