So another analyst firm’s report has come out predicting a substantial slice of the mobile platform market share will go to Microsoft within the coming years. What is also interesting is that the same report is talking about the other hot topic of late -- the relative plateau of Android’s market share growth.
I wrote about a possible growth in Windows Phone at length this past winter and pointed out numerous factors that could contribute to a major mobile market share shift benefiting the perennial Redmond giant.
While the release of Windows 8 is still a few months out (PC and WP8 aka “Apollo”), other signs coming out of Microsoft are reinforcing the fact that the war for mobile dominance is far from over even though Microsoft is clearly beaten and bruised by numerous battles over the past few years.
Staying Relevant in the Post-PC Era
Let’s be honest, obtaining a 20-25 percent market share of 1billion+ device shipments is nothing to take lightly, especially as PC sales growth continues to slow to a relative snail’s pace. Microsoft wants and needs a major slice of the consumer mobility platform market share to stay relevant in the early stages of the Post-PC Era.
Technology analysts do tend to be wrong quite a bit, so for a moment let us assume the possibility that Microsoft is able to achieve a level of success with Windows Phone in line with the analysts’ predictions and instead focus on who can get them there. As we all know, Microsoft is not a mobile device manufacturer (RIP Zune), so would need the help of at least a few OEMs to capture a large chunk of the market.
There are only two current players in the consumer mobility world that have the ability to make Microsoft’s analyst-inspired dreams of massive growth in Windows Phone adoption -- Nokia and Samsung.
The Lone Contender
Nokia has already thrown all of their remaining unrotten and unbroken eggs into the proverbial basket with Microsoft, but Nokia is unlikely to be the panacea to Redmond’s market share woes. There are current, yet highly unlikely, rumors that Samsung may attempt to purchase Nokia.
Though this move should not (and most likely will not) occur, the rumors lend continued credence to the fact that Samsung is the force in consumer mobility device manufactures at the moment (aside from Apple) and who Microsoft needs to inspire to create flagship devices (note: Samsung Focus is mid-high level -- not flagship) and rally the consumer base around Windows Phone.