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Smartphones

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  • I would like to first start the presentation with a brief summary of an article that pertains to the smartphone industry.
  • The article provides an overview of the industry and seeks to determine if its evolution will be similar to that of the PC industry where one firm, Microsoft dominates the market with its Windows Operating Systems. The scope of our discussions today will be geared towards detailing the various industry players and their strategies, evaluating whether if market dominance will occur.
  • It was briefly discussed that smartphones are gaining in popularity and the multitudes of available applications and functions are becoming increasingly attractive to end-users and businesses alike. Industry observers and Academics generally agree that the smartphone market is at a tipping point – the product that once served a limited customer profile is increasingly revolutionizing the way business is conducted and lifestyle of the masses.
  • Figures provided by IDC, a research subsidiary of International Data Group with 46 years of history in providing market intelligence for IT, telecommunications and consumer technology markets (mobile devices and smart phones), highlights the extent of the growth observed in the smartphone market. “While worldwide mobile phone shipments overall fell 15.8% in the first three months of 2009, the smartphone segment of those shipments gained 4% -- even in a declining economy.” Evidently, smartphones are becoming increasingly popular and there are many reasons why existing mobile phone users are warming up to the product, which will be covered in our presentation.
  • Next, smartphone makers are all jostling for market share hoping to create a critical mass of customers to sustain and thrive in the industry. As is usually the case when the competition gets fierce, consumers are reaping the benefits: The smartphone marketplace is full of increasingly clever devices offered at steadily falling prices. At the present, a bundled iPhone 4 with a local telco’s two-year price plan with 12Gigabytes of local data and 100 minutes of outgoing calls per month costs $500. That might be quite a figure but it is competitively priced with other models. For example, the world number 2 mobile phonemaker Samsung, albeit a laggard in the smartphone industry is challenging Apple’s iPhone with the Samsung i9000 Galaxy S. The phone was launched around June in Singapore, barely one month before iPhone 4 was released. It runs on the Android platform and costs $498 with the same two-year subscription. It is interesting to note that the Samsung i9000 Galaxy S was named the European Smartphone of the Year at the recent European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) Awards 2010-2011 and over 5 million units were sold globally.
  • Moving on the article refers to a practice of Lock-in. Lock-in refers to the practice of requiring users to use hardware and software from a prescribed set of vendors by imposing substantial cost or inconvenience in replacing the product.. Lock-in can be further classified as vertical and horizontal. Do take note that this is more relevant for American consumers. Users have to subscribe to Apple’s only telecom provider AT&T in the US if they wish to own a data plan, and it is a prime example of vertical lock-in. Also, Apple has imposed a certain degree of lock-in with the iPhone; its micro-sim card for the iPhone 4, and customized contact list serve to deter potential switchovers to a competitive product, which is effectively horizontal lock-in. Moreover, customers can only legally download available apps from its App Store and nowhere else. Well officially anyways. A small percentage of iPhone users are jailbreaking their phones to circumvent this limitation.
  • Other firms however, are adopting a more open strategy in which they develop an operating system that can be used in phones from a variety of manufacturers. Examples include Nokia's Symbian, Google's Android and, of course, Windows Mobile from Microsoft. They hope to win through ubiquity -- gaining market share by being installed in multiple brands of smartphones. Wharton management professor David Hsu believes that smartphone makers have to win through the facilitation and proliferation of apps to attract and retain customers. There is a need to make it easier for developers to create software that can run on multiple mobile operating systems.
  • To conclude, Prof Tsu argues that although the current number of operating systems may consolidate, choice is likely to rule the industry because no single platform can satisfy the entire market. Afterall, a smartphone is a very personal device and people will likely choose one that is a best-fit for their needs.
  • (To be played in presentation mode.)
  • A smartphone is any type of mobile phone that has advanced functionality beyond making phone calls and sending text messages. Apart from the core functions like calling, texting and camera, what are other functions that you can think of? Anyone?---- Most smartphones have the capability to display photos, play videos, check and send e-mail, and surf the Web. Modern smartphones, such as the iPhone and Android based phones run on an OS which are able to support third-party applications, thus providing limitless functionality. Let us now take a look at the features and characteristics of a smartphone.
  • What sets smartphones apart from other mobile phones? Having smartphones allow you to be connected 24/7. Coupled with a data plan, smartphone users are able to surf the web, read emails, upload and download information at a faster speed. Users are no longer restricted due to slow loading of pages. With the compact size, it becomes more convenient for us to do things. Having all functions complement one another and in the same device means having lesser to carry around. With data plans and wireless internet access complementing this compact device, one can always be on the go. With the amount of travel we do every day, mobility and portability is definitely advantageous to us. You no longer need to be at one area to do a particular thing. Also, gone are the days where we can only do one thing at a time. Choosing between texting, calling, listening to music, viewing photos, etc. Though traditional mobile phones are capable of playing music while sending smses or viewing photos, toggling between such functions are difficult as the there was no application to manage such function. Smartphones are capable of executing and running multiple apps at the same time by having the OS created to build in multi-tasking capability. With that, we can do more things concurrently and carry on where we left off as and when we want to! This brings us to the ability to customise our smartphones.
  • The ability to customise a phone is also what attracts consumers and sets them apart from normal mobile phones. With each individual having different needs, a smartphone allows users to download different software from the app stores so as to add more functions into their phone and to personalise it according to the user’s needs.
  • A very unique feature of a smartphone is tethering. It is the use of a mobile device with internet access such as 3G or 4G cellular service to serve as an internet gateway or access point for other devices like your laptops. In other words, your mobile phone acts as a modem to aid other devices in connecting to the internet. Most smartphones with the exception of the Windows Phone 7, can tether. However, there some disadvantages to tethering as well. But before that, let us show you a short demonstration on how we access the iTunes store through tethering.
  • Here are some of the pros and cons of tethering. Tethering enables users to use other devices to access the internet even in areas where there are no hot spots for wi-fi connections. It also acts as a back-up or an alternative means of accessing the internet when your broadband access is down. Lastly, it is convenient. Users with smartphones (except windows phone 7) can use tethering to connect their laptop, notebook or even traditional mobile phones to the internet. With that, users can do their work like edit documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint slides, and send them via email to the respective persons. On the hind side, tethering consumes a significant amount of the smartphone’s battery. This will therefore reduce the phone’s capacity for other functions. But if you are only using tethering for a short 15 minutes to view content-based pages which does not require much streaming, this might not really pose as a problem. Additionally, some smartphones like blackberry and andriod, they require additional software to be downloaded. The additional hassle of downloading the app might put users off. Also, it is expensive as the data charges are incurred in the mobile subscription. This means that the data consumption is offset from your data plan. However, in countries like US, AT&T charges a flat rate for tethering and users are able to tether with no restrictions on the amount of data. Also, the speed is dependent on the connection coverage. It is slower compared to wi-fi. 3G networks have transmission speeds ranging from 144kbps to 2mpbs (moving to stationary position) whereas wi-fi can transmit up to 54mbps. Moving on, let’s name some of the other functions that a smartphone has. Question raised during presentation, “What is the advantage of download apps to your laptop, rather than directly to the iPhone?” There is one primary advantages: Laptops will be able to process the download faster, given better specifications and capabilities than the average iPhone. As such, your download takes a much shorter time.
  • In short, all the functions are known as apps! These apps are akin to software on hardware. They empower smartphone’s users with functions. They are critical for the functioning of a smartphone. Without apps, smartphones are dumb!
  • What are apps? Well, Apps actually stand for mobile applications. Theses are software that run on smartphones and other mobile devices. They perform multiple functions, such as serving as user interface for telephony and messaging, and advanced services such as netsurfing, games and videos. Apps have increased Internet usage tremendously due to the portability of mobile devices. Some examples of such applications include Mobile instant messaging client (ebuddy) and Social networking services (such as Facebook Mobile)
  • Applications are the second fastest growing IT segment of spending, where mobile applications is a high growth element.
  • Now that you know what apps are and what they can do, lets move on to creators of apps. There are several categories of application writers. The first one refers to mobile software developers. These are the people behind your conventional pre-installed mobile applications and they are the ones who design applications to be downloaded from distribution platforms. Then there are also companies who make use of apps to promote their business and educational institutions who recognize the power of apps and use them for educational purposes. Last but not least, app developers are often individuals who write apps for interest or to fulfill their own needs. We will elaborate on the last three categories using examples.
  • There are two types of apps. One is preinstalled on phones during the manufacture of the phone. These are applications which are already contained in phones when users first purchase the phone. The other type consists of applications downloaded from application stores and mobile software distribution platforms. Some examples of such platforms are the Andriod Market by Google and PlayNow Arena by Sony Ericsson. Applications downloaded from these platforms are either proprietary software (meaning they are from developers) and third-party software (which are essentially software freely distributed by parties other than the original vendor)
  • (Run this in presentation mode) You may find some of these apps familiar.
  • Mobile applications are incredibly powerful tools. Functionally-speaking, they are capable of almost anything. This capability is only limited by: 1) the innovation of programmers in writing apps for their own needs, and 2) by the technology of the time -- limit the compatibility of apps with the platforms smartphones run on.
  • So what can apps do? There are applications designed to do almost EVERYTHING.
  • DBS mBanking is an application that allows you to access DBS iBanking’s most popular features, such as viewing account balance, transaction log for up to 90 days and paying bills. Only SMS and data charges may apply, so its essentially free. Customers only need to login using their mobile phone via the appication using the iBanking User ID, PIN and iB Secure Device used to access their iBanking account. This is backed by DBS iBanking Money Safe Guarantee, whereby DBS compensates customers for the amount transferred from their iBanking accounts illegally. DBS mBanking makes use of 128-bit encryption to protect their accounts. Also, personal account information is not stored physically on mobile phones, so fret not in events whereby you lost your phone. http://www.dbs.com/sg/personal/ibanking/mbanking/microsite/faq.aspx [Here’s some background info: First of all, you need iBanking. Under iBanking, you’ll receive some security key thing. mBanking, like iBanking, will require you to enter the 6digit code that the security key generates for funds transfers. Disadvantage:- useless for funds transfer w/o security key. Advantage:- added security]
  • DBS Indulge Singapore is an application created by Cellcity Pte Ltd to allow cardholders to gain access to great dining places while enjoying privileges and offers. It is the product of a joint venture between DBS Singapore and participating outlets. Features are many, such as built-in maps for cardholders to be able to track dining places, driving directions to them and the ability to share details of their dining experience with friends through SMS and email.
  • The importance of mobile phone applications can be inferred from the rising trend of educational institutions incorporating software design into a course they offer. E.g. Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. A Mobile Applications and Services Lab is set up to specialise in teaching students mobile phone software design skills. An example of an application designed by students is the Laker Mobile App by GVSU, which enables browsing of campus maps and keeping up with campus news. Twitter is also incorporated within to enhance student interaction with one another. Also, students have crafted an application called Quick Graph which allows for an interface to present mathematical equations in a 3D format. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/03/michigan_colleges_getting_into.html
  • Here’s an example of individuals who design applications, also known as developers. 9-Year Old Singaporean Lim Ding Wen developed Doodle Kids which is an iPhone application in 2009. This application allows users to draw by brushing their fingers against iPhone’s touchscreen, and clearing it by shaking the phone to produce graphical designs. This application, when first introduced on Apple’s App store, was downloaded at least 4,000 times within 2 weeks!
  • Here’s a screenshot of the Doodle Kids application on Apple App Store.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhgfz0zPmH4
  • These are the operating systems that smartphones commonly run on. We’ll discuss iOS and android in greater detail due to their increasing popularity, while the rest will be covered briefly. Lets first turn to apple’s iOS.
  • What makes the iPhone/iOS so popular? For one, Apple has successfully branded itself as a producer of trendy, visually appealing and easy-to-use gadgets, from MacBooks to iPods, iPhones & iPads. It has gained immense popularity among youths and young adults, and its user-friendly user interface is a key factor in establishing this. The other significant advantage that the iOS has over other platforms is the vast number of apps available on iTunes App Store. As we will later see, even android, the platform with the 2 nd most number of apps, lacks significantly behind. A common weakness of the iOS is its ability to multi-task. Older versions of the iOS are incapable of multi-tasking and even the latest iOS 4 has a limited capability to multi-task. Only up to 7 apps can be run in the background at a time and these include basic functions like audio playing and VoIP services. Another criticism of the iOS is the degree of control that Apple exercises over its iTunes App Store. While this ensures that the apps available are of acceptable standards and are not malicious, there is a lack of transparency in Apple’s application approval process. Rejection and delayed approvals for applications, especially those developed by companies, have cost businesses a lot of money and raise anti-competition concerns. Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice Application in 2009 is a good example. I’m sure most of us are aware of the last weakness, which is that the iOS only runs on Apple devices, unlike android and symbian which run on multiple handphone brands.
  • As most of us are aware, Apple is facing increasing competition from Google Android. One of the major fronts that android is challenging apple on, is applications. Currently, android might be far behind in terms of the number of android apps available. However, since the start of this year, the number of apps has been increasing at a staggering pace. At this rate, android will match, if not overtake, apple within a year. Besides, 80,000 is not a small number. Another advantage that android has, which is lacking in apple’s iOS, is that it is an open operating system. An operating system is considered open source, when information on its programming or computing source code can be publicly access. With this information, developers can then improve the OS by contributing patches or correcting bugs. Thus by adopting an open OS, android takes advantage of the large open source community to develop its OS. No amount of investment in R&D will be able to match the efforts of millions in the open source community. The next group will touch more on Android’s advantages. Android’s loose control of its android market has encouraged developers to design more android applications. However, a downside of this is that the quality and security of the applications are compromised. Many applications perform the same functions and the standards of other apps are simply lacking. Of even greater concern is that 20% of android applications grant third-party access to private information and may be malicious. Latest version is android 2.2
  • With all the attention on iPhone and android, many of us are unaware that Symbian is actually the market leader in terms of market share. Indeed, its market share has been chipped away in recent years by apple and google. However, if it is able to take advantage of its huge user base and revamp itself with its latest strategy of making its operating system open source, Symbian could well have hopes of revival. Also, the Symbian OS is well known to be stable and non-energy consuming. As mentioned, symbian’s market share has been decreasing over the past years. Furthermore, it has failed to invest in its application store and apps development, resulting in a small number of available symbian applications. An undesired effect of its leading market share, consequently a larger number of users, is that more viruses and malicious software are targeted at smartphones that run on symbian. The most famous being the Cabir virus. This virus searches for the first phone no. it can find and sends itself to that phone. Causes “Caribe” to be displayed on the phone’s display and every time the phone is turned on. Latest: Symbian 3 & 4
  • A firm favourite among business users is RIM’s (Research in Motion) BlackBerry. This is due to 2 leading features that it possesses, the first being superior email capabilities. Push emails, synchronisation with multiple email accounts, ease of composing and reading emails are some of the factors that have made it popular with email and business users. BlackBerry’s superior capability to read and reply emails while on the go, has reduced downtime and increased the productivity of business users. (Downtime is the unproductive time of an employee, for example time spent on traveling.) BlackBerry also achieved stronger security protection through tight device, software and application control policies and maintaining secure transmission channels for its devices. Again, a lack of applications makes it less attractive to the average user. When compared to its competitors, BlackBerry’s user interface appears more primitive and less appealing. The way the BlackBerry OS is designed has also rendered it out of date, prompting suggestions that RIM is looking to replace the BlackBerry OS. Latest: BlackBerry OS6 RIM's new devices according to the WSJ -- will run a new OS from a company called QNX, which RIM acquired earlier this year. Plan to replace antique “BlackBerry OS”.
  • Prior to the to-be-launched Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile was Microsoft’s mobile operating system. It was relatively stable and fast but like most of Microsoft’s products, it was visually unappealing and not very user friendly. Many steps had to be performed before a certain task could be done. Microsoft also failed to invest in applications. Perhaps the one key advantage that the windows platform has is its integration capabilities with the widely used Windows Office Suite. To totally revamp its mobile operating system, Microsoft will be releasing its Windows Phone 7, which is a totally new design. It features a more intuitive user interface and will retain its Windows Office integration capability, with an added integration with its game console, X-box, to target gamers. Lastly, we turn to Palm. Palm might be more familiar to most of us if think of the palmtop. Surprisingly, Palm was the pioneer of touchscreen smartphones. However, its development stagnated and it was overtaken by BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. It has little applications available and it was slow. It is now attempting to reinvent itself with its new WebOS, which features a more futuristic appearance and multitasking capabilities. Latest: WebOS1.4
  • So, how critical are applications to the success of a smartphone platform? Let’s first take a look at a study into smartphone usage performed by Crowd Science in 2009. From the chart, we notice that a significant number of the most common uses are affected by apps, such as internet, email, mp3 player & GPS. This seems to indicate that applications are important to the success of a smartphone platform. However, before a conclusion can be made, we have to consider the determinants of a platform’s success.
  • The determinants are divided into 2 categories: personal & corporate concerns. To an individual, functionality is undoubtedly an important deciding factor. The ability to make dining reservations, check for car park rates, navigation via GPS and much more, results from apps, which in turn determines the functionality of a smartphone. As mentioned, apps are the software that gives smartphones, the hardware, its functions. User interface affects the user friendliness of a platform. A major reason why users prefer android phones and iPhones is down to its user-friendliness. Because the user interface is the means by which a user interacts with his device, it is of utmost importance that it is appealing and easy to use. Regardless of how fantastic the phone’s functions are, no user would choose it if it has a poor user interface. With the advances in technology and smartphone capabilities, users are performing increasingly complex and performance-demanding tasks via their smartphones. This calls for better performance, in terms of processing speeds, stability, multitasking etc. The significance of brand loyalty shouldn’t be overlooked, as demonstrated by recent iPhone sales. Even with the many reported problems of the latest iPhone 4, loyal consumers still knowingly purchased the product in somewhat irrational manner. The phenomenon of brand loyalty is also observed in the other smartphone brands like blackberry and android. As for businesses, they would tend to favour platforms that provide for easy application development. Increasingly, businesses are designing their own apps for advertising purposes and to allow their customers to have greater access to their services. Such a strategy would be hindered by a tight regulation of application development, such as Apple’s iTunes Apps Store.
  • In deciding exactly how critical apps are for the success of a smartphone platform, we’ve come up with this comparison table to explain what we believe are the relative importance of each determinant. As Functions and Apps Development are related to applications, we have grouped them together. Developments in internet activities and social media have illustrated that commercial forces play a decisive role in IT-related industries. Similarly, it is of our opinion that commercial forces will have a huge say in determining a platform’s success. Earlier, we mentioned that “advanced functionality” is a key characteristic of a smartphone. It is thus only logical that functionality influences users’ selection significantly. The combined effects of applications led to our conclusion that applications are the major factor in deciding a platform’s success. However, while Brand Loyalty and Performance are each less decisive as compared to applications, they are nonetheless significant factors.
  • Now, we move into the final segment of our presentation on iPads. What is an iPad? It is the first tablet PC developed by Apple.
  • It features a 9.7 inch Multi-Touch touchscreen. It runs on the iOS. Also, some models come with a micro-SIM slot. As such, it can connect to 3G wireless data networks, on top of WiFi networks. Also, iPad is compatible iPhone and iPod Touch apps, that’s about 200,000 apps available through the App store. Altogether, you get a powerful device that delivers a unique user-experience, whether it’s used for work or play.
  • The iPad is a Web browser for your living room, an e-book reader for the den, a movie player for the kids, a photo album, a jukebox, a gamer's best friend, a word processor, an e-mail machine, and a YouTube junkie's dream come true. No excuse good enough for you? Wait a few minutes and a developer will inevitably make an app for it. http://www.apple.com/ipad/gallery/ads.html#ad-delicious
  • As mentioned earlier, iPad runs more than 200,000 apps on the App Store, even apps purchased for iPhone and iPod touch – increasing your options significantly. It runs the iWork app which enables importing and editing of documents from Microsoft Office and iWork’09, so you can work on-the-go. It boasts a resilient 10 hour battery life alongside power-saving features. Lastly, iPad’s 9.7” touchscreen is large enough for comfortable viewing and execution of functions. So, how was this ingenious product received?
  • Apparently, very well. On day one of the launch, iPad sold 300,000 units. Within 80 days, it sold a total of 3 million. FYI, these articles are taken from Apple’s official announcements. Next thing we should ask is, “How did this success affect the industry?”
  • In Q3, worldwide shipments of new PCs were lower than expected by IDC and Gartner (both research firms). With the iPad, consumers thought twice about buying new PCs. It was one of the reasons cited for the unexpected slump in shipments. Note that these are expected shipments figures, not actual overall industry growth figures. “ Market research firm  IDC  said overall sales of PC products in the U.S. grew by only 3.8 percent in the quarter, a far cry from the 11 percent growth that had been projected.”
  • It sparked intense competition for market share in the tablet PC segment. Competitors introduced their own tablet PCs, like the Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry PlayBook.
  • Apple broke into the eBook industry by introducing iBook together with the iPad. iBook is an eBook reader – which competes with Amazon’s Kindle. Also, eBooks are now sold in the iTunes Store.
  • Needless to say, with the iPad comes new mobile gaming possibilities. For example, in N.O.V.A – a first shooter game – players can open doors or launch grenades with a swipe of their fingers. You might ask, “What about the iPhone then?”
  • Currently, it performs all iPhone functions, except calling and texting. Also, it performs work-related tasks better, as it can run productivity suites and it possesses a larger screen. Take a closer look during lectures, and you might find some students using iPad for note taking. However, the sales for iPhone is still higher. This mainly is because iPad is still a very new product; it has not been fully appreciated by consumers. Nevertheless, increasing sales figures suggest that it is gaining popularity.
  • What about future expectations? Let’s begin with the rumours of a 7” iPad. If it’s true, it appears that future iPads will be smaller, perhaps for greater portability. However, developers are unlikely to reduce screen sizes further. Doing so will kill the iPad’s ability to run productivity suites or display eBooks comfortably. Perhaps, it might come with telecommunication capabilities – allowing you to make calls with a Bluetooth headset accessory. After all, the 3G version already supports a micro-SIM. But, this would put it in direct competition with the iPhone, which may lead to the elimination of one device.
  • Let’s consider things at a larger scale by comparing smartphones to tablets in general, not just the iPad. You will find that there are some fundamental differences. No call function. Size. Battery life. Storage. And, price. So, while they might run similar functions, they are essentially different. [Additional points] With the exception of phone calls and sms for tablets, the functions of both devices are primarily determined by the applications that are installed. Nowadays, most applications are designed to be used on both smartphones and tablets. Size affects the convenience of using the device for various functions. Smartphones, being smaller, are more mobile. They can be used while you’re on-the-go. You can check and reply short emails, text and use applications while you’re walking or driving. There is no need to stop. Tablets, while they are relatively smaller and more mobile than netbooks, lose out on this aspect. To use a tablet, you are generally required to sit down or at least stop walking. Given its size, it is more inconvenient to use a tablet while on the go. Where tablets lose out in mobility, it benefits from a greater ease to use functions that require a large display. The user experience of activities such as web surfing, typing of long documents and emails, watching of videos and reading e-books are enhanced with a larger display and consequently large touch screen keypads. Due to its size, tablets consume more energy and thus have a much shorter battery life . This affects the convenience of using tablets as they will not last a full day. In terms of processor speeds , tablets currently have a slight advantage over smartphones. This means that tablets are able to run applications with higher performance requirements, run more applications at the same time (multi-tasking) and at faster speeds. However, the difference in processor speeds is small and smartphones are catching up. In fact, most development efforts currently center around developing processors to be used on both tablets and smartphones. Thus processor speeds of both devices will likely be similar in future. Storage in smartphones is limited by the storage capacity of microSD cards. Even for smartphones like iPhones, which feature built-in memory, the highest storage capacity is usually 32GB. Tablets, on the other hand, feature built-in storage capacity of up to 320GB. Having been around for quite a while, smartphones are cheaper than tablets. Their low prices can be attributed to lower production costs, as production processes have been improved over the years to be more cost-efficient. More significantly, intense competition has driven prices down. Tablets, on the other hand, are relatively new. So far iPad is the main tablet on sale, with other major brands, such as HP and Samsung, releasing their own versions soon. As the tablet industry is still in its early stages, a lack of competition has allowed different brands to price their tablets at different levels. Basic models are expected to cost around US$300, while advanced models could cost as much as over US$1000. However, prices are expected to fall dramatically as competition heats up, as was seen in the smartphone industry.
  • For now, it is difficult to predict the future of tablets and smartphones. Who knows where integration might take it? Currently, they are intended for different purposes – but as consumer needs and technology continue to evolve… It is possible that some day, one device can do it all. So now, I’ll like to pass you on to Wilson, who will discuss the future of the smartphone industry.
  • So after all that we’ve discussed about smartphones, will a clear winner eventually emerge? We think that this is highly unlikely, given the different needs and preferences of users. Users who go for fashionable items and fun applications would continue to prefer the iPhone, while those who seek greater personalisation and apps development freedom would favour android platforms. The following factors will help decide which companies will emerge as dominant players. As mentioned, user needs and preferences plays a key role. Future platform improvements and developments will determine a platform’s success in terms of meeting and shaping user preferences. Lastly, if the developmental history of the PC industry is anything to go by, we can expect future smartphone applications to be compatible across most platforms. The synchronisation of apps standards will even the playing field, lowering switching costs for users and force companies to compete on other fronts. Based on our analysis, which coincides with market predictions, iPhone and android phones will continue to gain popularity and market share. BlackBerry will remain a favourite for businesses, while Symbian should be able to leverage on its leading, though decreasing, market share and remain a major player, especially if its attempts to revamp its OS proves successful.
  • A study on growth trend of smartphones performed by Gartner supports our analysis. Symbian’s market share is expected to continue its decline, while Android’s is predicted to increase significantly to achieve equal market share with Symbian. iOS should maintain a significant market share but its growth is expected to stagnate due to its tight application control policy and non-open source policy. Similary, BlackBerry is expected to remain a main player with a slight drop in market share, as other operating systems catch up in terms of email capabilities and its OS becomes more and more out dated.
  • In all, the current main players, symbian, apple, blackberry & android, are expected to remain in 2014, with android challenging symbian as the market leader and probably overtaking it in the further future.

Smartphones Smartphones Presentation Transcript