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Windows and BlackBerry not doomed, say analysts

Simon Jary | Feb. 4, 2013
Don't panic Microsoft and BlackBerry -- Apple and Android haven't killed you yet.

Windows 8 Phone share

Despite the dominance of Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems, there's still space for Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry in the mobile arena. 

ABI Research forecasts the global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion and tablets 258 million by the end of 2013. 

57 percent of smartphones will run on Android, and 21 percent on iOS. 

62 percent of tablets will be built on iOS, and 28 percent on Android. 

The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44 percent for smartphones and 125 percent for tablets, says ABI.

Despite of Apple and Google's strong hold of the mobile market, analysts anticipate that the future won't be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now.

ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said: "2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry. For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows tablets to show for it."

Significantly, the figures refer to actively used devices, which is what app developers treat as an addressable market for their releases.

"The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success," said Markkanen.

"Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers' interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms."


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