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Smartphones will outsell PCs next year

If we add Apple’s 230k “activations”, Android’s 200k, Symbian’s 300k and estimating 130k for RIM adds up to 860k per day.

It won’t be long before we’ll see smart mobile devices selling at the rate of 1 million per day (I’d bet by the holidays this year.)

Gartner is estimating the global PC market to total of 367 million units this year (though it may need downward revision based on recent data).

If the 1 million/day benchmark holds, and all indications are that it will, then the total smartphone/iPad/touch market will be greater than the total PC market next year.

  • Jason

    It really gets interesting when one realizes how Microsoft was completely unable to leverage their OS dominance in this space. Microsoft seems to be headed down the path IBM went several years ago – too big to fail, but not relevant anymore in the consumer realm (although I would argue that IBM actually has innovation on it's side still). While we watch this shift from desktop to mobile computing it will completely take the wind out of the vast sails of Microsofts desktop monopoly – interesting times. Also interesting how quickly change can come to those who lack innovation.

    • http://www.asymco.com asymco

      Good point. Microsoft will power no more than 10% of next year's smartphones/devices and that's being generous.

    • poru

      Couple this lack of MS success in "the mobile space" and "the tablet space" — as Ballmer would say ad nauseum– with the new generation of college kids who (at least in the US) are at least 30-40% Mac users (chiefly MacBooks), one wonders what the Windows PC usage will be in 5 years.

      We see numerous reports of enterprise IT allowing iPhones because of end-user demand and eventually they may have to allow Macs as well.

      In my (UK) hospital it seems two of the most die-hard MS types at the top of management have gotten iPads and one of the top IT developers (also MS disciple) wants to borrow one of our Macs to develop iPhone apps. Signs of the times…

    • FalKirk

      @Jason: A well thought out post.

  • rd

    Microsoft only serves OEM and Enterprise.
    If Enterprise doesn't go hog wild on WP7.
    Microsoft is dead. even though they are
    trying to push WP7 to the consumer segment first.

    They will end up like Paul Allen, suing for irrelevant Patents.

    • FalKirk

      I'm not really intimately familiar with the Windows Phone 7 strategy, but I'm pretty sure that Microsoft is focusing the product on CONSUMERS. If I'm right – and I'm pretty sure I am – then Windows Phone 7 is in big trouble.

      As usual, Microsoft is a rudderless ship that mindlessly follows in the wake of it's faster and better run rivals.

      • http://www.asymco.com asymco

        That's correct. Most people assume that Microsoft is rebooting its mobile presence while leveraging its presence in enterprises. But this is simply not the case. The new WP7 is less compliant with IT requirements than the original iPhone was. Microsoft made a conscious decision to fire its enterprise mobile customers. Those customers led their product teams into making awful products and they needed to fire them so that they can address the vast bulk of the market (or so the logic goes.)
        I wrote about this in February:

        http://www.asymco.com/2010/02/15/into-the-mind-of

  • Tom

    I suspect wp7 will ship on hundreds if not thousands of phones. It will be declared a smashing success. No one will make any money on bare bones margins, but, hey, if android, with its dysfunctional app store approach (think 7 stores competing against each other for apps and prices) is surging, then so will wp7. What does it mean to be dead? If oracle is going to destroy the java code, scuttling android, and if Microsoft can't recognize that we r swiftly moving into the postpc era, scuttling their base, then just what does it mean?

    • FalKirk

      Here's the thing, Tom. I've always felt that the App Phones needed to have a viable App Store to survive. Apple had the first and has the best. Android's version of the App store may have issues but it's clearly been a success. There are no other meaningful App stores at this time.

      Can Microsoft spin up the cycle of developers developing apps, which generate phone sales which generate profits for developers, which encourages developers to develop apps, etc, etc, etc, or will the cycle stall and crush them?

      Or am I simply putting too much weight on the importance of Apps?

      • iOSWeekly

        Are apps important?

        I think they obviously are (After the initial well factor of multitouch wears off, I think Apps are what sells iOS devices when people see you using certain apps they would like to use)

        Maybe a better question is how many apps are important? Is having a few hundred popular apps enough at launch for Microsoft? Palm's WebOS has thousands of apps that seem to satisfy it's users (shame the marketing was so abysmal and no new hardware could give it a chance)

      • Gandhi

        Apps are absolutely critical. Cell phones, even smart phones, have a typical 2-year cycle. Old one wears out, or is busted, you get a new one. But it is the apps that make a difference.

        Before the app store, it was carriers who had all the power. Old contract is up, or your cell phone worn out? Sign a new 2-year contract and get a new phone. But here is where Apple came along and pissed in the carriers's bowl of Cheerios. Those new phones required the user to buy new ring tones, new games, new apps. Even for the smart phones.

        With iDevices, all your apps seamlessly transfer over to the new iDevice. Apple came along, and made it so easy for the end-user to buy once and use on multiple devices. This helps customers stay loyal to Apple. But the carriers lost the gravy train. The iPhone reduced them to a bunch of dumb data pipes. No more repeat ringtone purchases on their phones. Which is why Android is so critical to these carriers. Android allows the carriers to take back some of the control, and more importantly, some of the gravy that they lost with the iPhone.

        Which is one reason you see Verizon do silly things with Skype for Android (http://www.androidcentral.com/shenanigans-skype-mobile-update-does-not-allow-use-wifi-after-all). Verizon does not care whether a lot of people use Skype or not. Their (short-sighted) plan is to force their users to up the monthly data caps and force them to upgrade to pricieer plans or pay overage fees. Google is so scared of Apple cutting them off future internet users (it's already happening – http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-apple-is… that they are willing to give any and all concessions to the carriers with respect to Android.

        Can you even imagine Apple letting any carrier pull something like Skype on Verizon on the iPhone? In fact, with Facetime, it is the opposite. Apple enabled Facetime of wifi and disabled on 3G because AT&T basically begged them to do so.

      • poru

        Apps are another form of vendor lock-in, and MS is coming to the party very late indeed.

        Apart from the core hardware and OS issues (and carrier issues, v. important in the US and some other unfortunate countries), users are going to build up libraries of apps. If I've invested $50 or $100 in iOS or Android apps will I want to throw them away and start afresh with WP7?

        And it's a vicious circle for MS, as it will need a critical mass of apps and thus developers to woo consumers with. I guess they can bribe developers but from what I've read those devs with hits on iOS (and, fewer in number probably, on Android) won't be likely to learn another platform.

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