Heading into the last quarter in 2013, it is becoming increasingly clear that Windows Phone is now solidifying itself as the third alternative for smartphones (see the latest IDC report). While sales are still miles behind iOS and Android, Windows Phone as a platform is finally being treated more equally by retailers and consumers.
Part of that apparent victory, in typical Microsoft fashion, is due to missteps by Redmond’s competitors. Years ago, BlackBerry (then called RIM) basically owned the enterprise market. Fast forward to 2013 and with BlackBerry 10 on the market with a handful of new devices, it’s becoming clear that it’s just not enough to regain that momentum.
The site IT Wire has performed some store-checks for the new BlackBerry Q10 and Z10—two devices we actually own and occasionally use ourselves. The site tried to get a statement from Australia’s telco’s Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone but received no comment about those BlackBerry sales. Not hindered, IT Wire then spoke with Harvey Norman, Optus and Telstra franchises for their opinions on BlackBerry’s prospects.
The answers were interesting not because almost everyone has reported slow to no sales of BlackBerry devices but because Windows Phone, specifically the lower cost Lumias, are evidently what shoppers are looking for instead. A Telstra franchisee reported this to IT Wire:
“We don’t get a lot of large corporate clients (100+ handsets) but we do have quite a lot of 20-100 handset clients because of our location. They have not been buying the Z10 or Q10. Or the iPhone either because of the rumoured new models. When a contract is up - as so many BlackBerry contracts are - Windows Phones are very popular as replacements. We cannot sell Android into corporates”.
Granted, a handful of store checks and franchisee owners does not equal a definitive account of BlackBerry versus Windows Phone, but this trend of customers preferring the latter over the former is becoming more frequent.
Indeed, Nokia has been forthright about going after enterprise more and more with their Lumia line and the effect, combined with only mildly interesting hardware from BlackBerry, has resulted in their slow but steady ascension. A high profile example would be UK vendor Britvic dumping BlackBerry in favor or Nokia’s Lumia offerings or a similar report about Germany’s O2.
While it’s a shame that BlackBerry, who is now considering various options including selling the company, appears to be on the ropes, we always knew that carriers (and increasingly consumers) were not very open to four options for mobile OSs. BlackBerry still has a lot of valuable patents and some creative talent on board, but if these reports keep favoring Windows Phone, BlackBerry’s future is not looking positive at all.
Source: IT Wire; Thanks, Nishy, for the tip