BlackBerry, Microsoft to remain in smartphone business
In the first quarter of this year, global smartphone sales grew by nearly 4%, but despite that, Windows Phone’s market share declined from 2.5% in Q1 2015 to 0.7% in Q1 2016, while BlackBerry’s share shrunk by half to 0.2% in the same time frame.
However, this news does not come as a surprise, especially if we take BlackBerry into consideration. The Canadian firm has no plans of scheduling releases of new SDKs and APIs for its OS, it said last October. Recently several developers, including Facebook and WhatsApp, dropped support for the platform due to its minuscule market share.
This does not mean that the two companies will no longer remain in the smartphone business. Microsoft is aggressively working on building Windows 10 for mobile devices and is probably working on a Surface phone for 2017, but we might not see any more Lumia models in the future.
BlackBerry is confident that it can survive in the smartphone business for some more time with the help of Android. Last month, the company’s CEO said they are working on two affordable Android-based phones. The smartphone market is wildly competitive, and therefore, BlackBerry will have to face an uphill battle in an attempt to carve out a niche for itself.
A tough journey ahead for Nokia
Recently, Microsoft announced plans to flog its feature phone business, and just a week later, Gartner released its damning figures. Microsoft’s revelation coincided with Nokia’s plans to return to the smartphone and tablet markets. The research director at Gartner, Anshul Gupta, believes that even with Microsoft weighing it down, Nokia is not in for an easy ride.
“Nokia’s announced return to the smartphone and tablet markets will not be an easy mission. In today’s market it takes much more than a well-known brand to sell devices. Making good hardware won’t be an issue for Nokia, but users need a compelling reason to remain loyal to the same brand,” Gupta said. “Furthermore, that the smartphone market is slowing down makes it difficult for mobile phone vendors to reach previous levels of growth,” Gupta said.
Google’s operating system accounted for a massive 84.1% share of global smartphone sales in the first quarter, up from 78.8% this time last year. Samsung claimed 23% of sales, compared to 14.8% for Apple, followed by Huawei with 8.3%, Oppo with 4.6%, and Xiaomi with 4.3%.