After a hectic few weeks of financial reporting and launches, the mobile landscape is changing rapidly as the players align themselves for the battles to come.
Samsung Heads the Smartphone Field
With the latest round of mobile launches just having finished, its time to have a quick shakedown of the numbers, and see where the crazy world of smartphones, tablets and other devices is heading next.
According to new Strategy Analytics research, Samsung managed to ship (not sell) 27.8 million smartphones in the last quarter, taking some 23.8% of the smartphone market, way ahead of Apple’s 17.1 million (14.6%). Apple will say that people were waiting for the iPhone 4S, and that its new lower-priced range of iPhones will better compete against Samsung's wider range of devices in the future.
Nokia sits in third place at 14.4% but will be looking to its two new Windows Mango phones to boost its share with an imminent European launch and a 2012 U.S. launch. Samsung will soon be leading the way in the high end with its Galaxy Nexus model, wondering what the iPhone 5 can do to top it.
Tablets Take Timeout
On the tablet front, word is that makers are having trouble producing a retina-class screen for a 10-inch iPad -- lthough Samsung has made a prototype screen, it might be more interested in keeping that for its own devices. That could push any iPad 3 launch further back, or force Apple to produce an interim upgrade, although having sold 10 million iPads in the last quarter, it won't be in too much of a hurry.
On the brighter side, HP's TouchPad, which had been consigned to the scrapheap by HP's old management, has been given a new lease of life under the new regime. It may well end up running Windows 8, although there may be a whole new model involved, so those who got an original on the cheap won't be likely to upgrade.
Mobile OSs to Get a TV Tan
Finally, looking further ahead, Apple's will-it-won't-it HDTV plan seems to getting closer to reality with news that it is likely to use Siri's voice interactivity as one method of remote control. There are numerous factors against Apple entering this market including tiny margins, no ability to sell a set via a contract over time and people's reluctance to upgrade a perfectly good TV set.
Should Apple move into this market, then expect the others to jump in too. Anyone remembering Microsoft's ill-fated MediaCenter efforts will know how badly wrong this can go. But Samsung and others already have decent SmartTV sets with app stores, so are well placed to respond with an all-Android offering.
Wrap all that lot together and we will soon see a gadget world where having all content stored in one place so it could be played across phone, tablet and TV is a logical conclusion. Is it time for another push towards home servers, or is the cloud really the way forward, as Apple and others seem to think.