Analysts: Windows Phone is BlackBerry's potential killer

Windows Phone to take BlackBerry?

Windows Phone has been called as BlackBerry's last nail in its coffin, by Ovum analyst Nick Dillon. Due to the reportedly increased levels of security and platform integration, Dillon expects Microsoft to succeed in the business and enterprise market, where RIM has held much of the space.

While we remain unaware of exactly what to expect in the next version of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has given the green light on pre-orders to be made available for both partner hardware and software copies of Windows 8. Ovum forecasts Microsoft's mobile platform will increase its marketshare from under five per-cent in the UK to 13 per-cent within five years.

This jump in market share is believed to be when Windows Phone takes BlackBerry in force and leaves it behind in a gust of smoke. Of course, we should remember previous predictions by analysts for Windows Phone to surpass Android by 2013. While the year has yet to come around, and we've yet to see what impact (if any) Windows 8 will make, it's becoming increasingly likely we'll continue to see a slow growth for the platform.

Dillon went into explain how the integration between products will help Microsoft take Windows Phone higher:

"With the greater links to its Xbox and PC platforms they really will be hoping the stars have aligned this time and people can see how they can all work together. However, the problem is people are used to Android and iOS and this looks very different. Retail sales also require staff to be trained and really understand the benefits of Windows Phone, and this is a lot of hard work."

Consumers have witnessed the power behind staff who simply have no idea about an entire eco-system. We've had numerous reports of retailer and / or carrier staff simply not understanding features and functionality of Windows Phone, who then recommend Android and iOS hardware instead. Dillon continued:

"This [product integration], along with the security upgrade is one of the reasons businesses could be the key market for Windows Phone. Done properly with the right marketing, Windows could be a BlackBerry killer in enterprise."

Business and enterprise is certainly an angle Microsoft can attack from, and we'd expect the company to do so with its Office software being refreshed and updated, which is fully supported by Windows Phone (and Windows 8).

CCS Insight analyst Geo Blaber agrees with Dillon that business may well be the way forward for Windows Phone, due to Microsoft being a familiar brand in enterprise and small business network. Should the company utilises its reputation within the market, it could easily show off PC and smartphone integration as a seamless experience.

Blaber goes onto note that Microsoft has a battle with consumers, and how the platform isn't as tried and tested as the competition:

"Microsoft will experience the same problem they had last year. It receives good reviews from people who have actually tried it, but because it looks so different to other platforms people are now familiar with, it’s difficult to get people on board. They really need the carriers to support them in a bigger and more sustained way."

Which has always been the case, and has been the main issue in gaining early adopters when Windows Phone 7 was launched back in 2010. Operators are to play an important role in how effective Windows Phone 8 will be in taking share in both consumer and business markets. We've seen positive signs so far with many carriers taking a number of handsets (O2 UK alone has taken on the HTC 8S, 8X and Samsung ATIV S).

"Last time we had the fireworks and big push at launch but then the interest seemed to fade when the demand from the public didn’t follow. The operators do want a third option but it’s catch 22 for them, it’s a big gamble to go big on an operating system which is unproven and may not have the demand there in the first place."

This is the major concern. While there's a desire for a third platform, is there enough demand for such a force to be ranked as a viable third to Android and Apple's iOS? Only time will tell, and we believe Windows Phone has the best chance if BlackBerry 10 fails to take off. Should that happen, then we can only hope momentum continues to increase. 

Source: Mobile News, via: WMPU

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I think It'll pass BB by maybe next year
  • Until we start seeing WP8's with keyboards I doubt that much will change. Business users don't have time to constantly be pressing the backspace key, and countless auto-correct errors make us look like teenagers. Serious people don't tolerate this crap.
  • We know... I don't need it, but they need (Nokia) to announce a phone running windows phone 8 with a keyboard (make one E6 style and another E7 style).
  • Why Nokia?  Why not HTC and Samsung - they've made physical keyboard devices in the past as well.
    It's not Nokia's responsibility to create such a device.
  • But Nokia has a solid history making business-oriented devices like the Communicator or the E71. 
  • Love the E7-don't see why they couldn't make WP version...
  • I'm talking about people that understand the difference between a comma and a period. That leaves you out.
  • Its funny Lippidp, but RIM spend ages on their onscreen keyboard for BB10.
    Why? As keyboards are history. My GF had a dual Keyboard/ Touch Blackberry Torch.
    She has now acclimatised to touch, and won't get a keyboard device next time.
    Business users are also consumers. Its much easier to manufacture devices with a keyboard, and applications and the web work better on a full screen.
    None of the Blackberry "business users" who you call them, use apps or web where I work - just email.
    Those email only days are over. Apps and web are where its at, and that is driving people away from RIM.
    The other point to note about RIM, people don't want to pay/maintain BES servers or pay for BES services. That complication is history.
    device <----->internet<---->web service
    Simple. Keyboard is dead. You'll see. Its got nothing to do with teenagers or the ability to type.
  • "Apps and web also work better with a full screen." I couldn't agree more. Landscape sliders are the best of both worlds. Additionally, while you're typing you still get the full screen you're talking about. Soft keyboards hog up 2/3 of the screen. You have contradicted yourself.
  • YESSSS...!!! finally someone who says it. Being in a bi- and sometimes trilingual environment, my biggest concern with WP8 is the lack of a qwerty phone. I don't want to switch between languages all the time and I'd prefer the old button pressing texting method. Any clues as if a full keyboard device is on its way?
  • I too like a physical keyboard, but you have to recognise we're in a tiny minority and the lack of a WP8 handset with a keyboard will make no material difference to WP8's success. iPhones rule my office, and the fandroids are so desperate to avoid being called fat and fugly by the isheep that they would never ever get phones with a physical keyboard.
  • Lets hope so. As it says in article its all about the carriers tbh. I persuaded a couple of mates to get a lumia when mango came....they came back from carriers with a droid :(. There does seem to be a bit more momentum this time tho and ads not really even started yet so lets hope its a good sign. All depends massively on w8 being successful tho really then people will be used to the UI and way the integration between devices
  • agree...i have witnessed in country after country, continent after continent, and thus carrier after carrier describe android as easier to use than wp7. I heard it so much that I started doubting that wp7 is really as good as I have always thought it was since launch. But after introspection and wife now using is clear that they have not invested the time to figure it out. And then again, as many have said before, MSFT needs to get more apps. I have a few smart friends and their litmus test for whether to get wp7 as I have been saying is whether their killer apps are available on the platform. And sadly, while we have 2 or 3 out of the 5, there are some amazing apps for droid and ios that we dont have. And some of their games are amazing too. Hope this changes with 8!
  • +1 on apps, that may be up there with the BIGGEST reason ppl won't adopt the platform
  • The thing about that is we're stuck in a catch 22... sure, if we had more apps, people would adopt WP more, but without more people adopting WP, developers are less inclined to create more apps. Chicken or egg?
  • This is exactly why Nokia is doing the carrier exclusive -thing. While people who are aware of Nokia products might not like it, it is a better strategy to get that majority, who know little about tech, to try those products out, and with some backing from the sales rep, to buy them.
  • Couldn't agree more.  I used to be a sales rep at AT&T and they would "decide" what phones we sold by giving special compensation and entries to drawings away for selling phone X.  I don't work there anymore but a buddy of mine won a trip to Jamaica by winning a drawing where each chance to win was earned through selling a Lumia. 
    I can't tell you how many times I've posted on Engadget exactly what you just said to all the haters on there who say, "Nokia is gunna fail cause they do stupid exclusive stuff."  Sales reps are motivated by incentive.  Make it worth their while and they'll sell your phone.
  • Hey, aren't you aware of the fact that every-single-fucking-one in the comments section are marketing experts? I wouldn't argue with them!
  • As it stands NOW, and i mean that exact now (it will somehow change when WP8 launches) with Swedish Carriers, I feel WP8 is doomed once again. On the launch of WP7,5 the reps had little knowledge, and I see no change in that. If im right in this, then there might be the same problem all over for this launch all over the world again. And IF im right, that might finally be it for our beloved Nokia. They need some numbers to sell to shareholders, and .....well, I am hoping I very wrong.
  • You will be wrong. I've notice more people with windows phones and in my area Att reps knew what they were talking about. When I picked up my Nokia Lumia 900. I saw most reps with them and they were talking to people about them. I saw 3 people buying them. I hope it spreads. So I know this time around won't be as bad as before. Windows phone will launch smoother.
  • When I got my 900 the sales rep who sold it to me also had the phone and showed me some functions. Also with AT&T,they have training seminars set up for their employees. Two dates have been set aside for employees to get trained on the use of WP8. I think it has a much better chance and could take BB overall.
  • Again, same with me. I purchased my HTC HD7 with WP7 back in mid 2011 and the O2 sales rep knew every answer to every question I threw at him! I felt like I was missing out on this new Microsoft wonder. Oh, and they had the WPs on some great displays; quite a few people were having a peek!
  • A lot of carriers as well as Nokia pushed the Lumia 800 very hard when it launched, through ads on TV and in public though. I'm not sure about marketshare here in Sweden (I doubt WP is that high) but I have actually seen a lot of Lumias in public.
  • How often do you meet a retail sales rep with knowledge? That's a low-skill entry-level job filled mostly by common folk with little knowledge in any area. They won't learn anything about WP unless they are told to and trained. And their management doesn't care, as the customers who rely on sales reps' opinions are even more ignorant. And it doesn't really matter for the store's business whether people buy droids or WPs in there, unless there are some additional incentives in place.
  • Actually, I think MS should focus more on Non-US market with a big push behind NOK. These dont have carrier restrictions and are traditionally stronger markets for both NOK and MS. Markets like India and China are huge and even a small way here could be big for the platform. Also, these markets are IT focused so we could see more apps etc coming into the picture.
    Services offered by MS outside of US are not upto par. But NOK's services are. For Xbox Music in US, NOK could push Nokia Music real hard..Maybe even allow it on Xbox..Skydrive is available everywhere. and now that we have Nokia maps integrated , a major gripe about non-US maps would be solved.
    Also, We need more number of phones at different price points. Carrier reps would have it easy and could sell these.
    The platform is really stronger this time. The Halo effect from Windows 8 could really sell these phones. MS should focus more and more on the services they offer on the platform..rather than the platform itself. Wish, OEMs (expect NOK) bought bigger innovations to the platform.
  • well. that is what MS is doing right now. they are advertising Wp8 is multiple places. and they are focusing more. Nokia has also got the 920 on the largest network in the world. and I think they'll advertise like hell
  • 100% agreed. Microsoft is not concentrating with WP8 in India so far. They should release the phones in India at the same time they release in U.S.
  • I think we'll be doing better with this round of Windows phones. One thing that hurts it here in the US is that they aren't on all three major carriers. I've been getting more and more attention from friends and family for my Lumia. They think it's neat and would probably go for a Windows phone BUT so many of them are on Sprint and we know how they feel about our phone. :-(
  • I think it would be stupid to underestimate Blackberry, they are down at the moment but have a tremendous retail and carrier presence especially outside the U.S. Time wll tell if Blackberry 10 will be a hit or miss, but WP's position to no 3 is not assured by any means.
  • Sadly, I agree. As much as I love my Windows Phone, I do agree. I hope MS proves us wrong, but IMHO BB has a better reputation with their brand (on the mobile category, not Windows PC OS) and so many followers. It is on Microsoft, developers and OEM support to change that.
  • That is why MS is smart for integrating W8 and WP8. O e of the things that sold me on WP7 was MS office on the phone. Being able to work on the same document from the office to home to my phone was a major plus for me. If MS can push that feature a lot of people may switch over from BB.
  • How often do you edit documents on your phone?
  • #1 AT&T baby I went in to see the new window phone every one who worked there get the new Apple phone no clue they had a wall for windows to show there windows phone guy comes up again Apple phone come out of his poket this is what I have the best never allowed me to see the phone I went in there to see if you want to be the best start by showing the people who sell it how it works .
  • Where is the grammar police? That being said, I think I'm picking up what your laying down.
  • English might not be his first language. Still, I get the gist. AT&T really needs to get their salespeople on the floor informed about their plans for windows phone.
  • They have a training seminar coming up with 2 days already planned out.
  • People whose second language is English tend not to commit such harsh grammar crimes.
  • I believe all languages use periods at the end of sentences? He doesn't have a problem spelling but where's the periods lol.
  • Analyst are full of donkey poo
  • Well. Name says it all. ANALysts!
  • Lol, analysts.
  • I know. It's a joke. No one can predict the future with any certainty. Whenever I see the phrases "could be", "should be", "might be", or "maybe" I stop reading.
  • I'm inclined to trust analysts as far as I can throw them.  If MS pushes it hard and doesn't stop, then it will be fine (and pass BB).  Windows 8 should help as well.
  • Anal-ysts. Microsoft better work with the carriers to remove the iNaive-isim, and GoogleGod syndrome that is so prevelant.
    Microsoft did its part on all the major physical complaints of the platform. Now it's a matter of perception. If Microsoft and its partners can overcome the perception then others will finally see the winner that we've been seeing.
  • It doesn't take a killer actually, BB is more like suicidal.
  • More apps baby
  • Windows should stress to all carriers to train their people on WP8. T-mo reps are in the fog and that could hurt WP8 sales! I'm looking to switch carriers but stick with Windows! Any suggestions?
  • Tough call. I personally think Verizon has the best network but expensive, AT&T has the best phones but horrible network, T-Mobile has the best plan pricing but meh phones, Sprint is well...
  • Half the time I can't use my data cuz of at&t can't get ther shit together
  • I'm in southern Texas and never have issues on ATT. However, I have a trophy on vzw as my work phone and have had connection issues
  • I don't know why many people in this forum are always thrashing the AT&T network. The fact is each of these carriers is superior at some locations to the others and weaker at one place but ATT&T has the largest nationwide coverage(97% of continental US) I used to live in Reno in Nevada and I was always dropping calls on my Verizon phone especially when driving on the highways but I could talk all the way from Reno to Lake Tahoe without a single drop when a I switched to AT&T. Im right now with Tmobile and even though I get a satisfactory services at a very good price, I can honestly say that At&t network is far better than that of Tmobile.
  • Tom Taz go for AT&T
  • T-mo rep are supports
    Bes last Thursday I want pay my bill, there was customers want to change her HTC radar. Rep told to customers " mam If i would you i never change my phone i have same phone its way batter then other and mam in few week they gona have new phone so u can come back after few week we will change it for u."
    I was like wow
  • Yeah my sentiments exactly! Maybe landlines will make a comeback! ;-)
  • Most people trust Apple and just think Google must know what they are doing. On the other hand they think very little of Microsoft even though 95% of the tools used for productivity are either made by or for Microsoft. Apple and Google fans made a big push to everyone they know to state Microsoft is shit 4-5 years ago and they haven't stopped until the last 3 months. The combination of the Windows Vista, Apple Cool Guy vs old MS nerd commercials, the Android push at XDA and nearly every electronic sales store & media forum shitting on MS has had far reaching effects into the psyche of the buying public. The only differences I see now are a much nicer product from Microsoft and some media love from non Microsoft tuned outlets. The store personnel are still looking to push what they know, which is little in the first place. I hope I am wrong, but I see very little growth for the platform with Microsoft actually putting out attack media campaigns against on Apple and Android. These campaigns would have to be centered around how Apple followed them into mobile phones and how Android is a copy of Windows Mobile. Then have Wiz Khalifa come out rocking all Windows 8 / WP8 stating "I know they stole my swag but I don't want it back! Work hard. Play hard."
  • Reminds me of something I heard once, don't remember where, and I'll probably get it wrong, but it went something like, "Android was born a bad copy of BlackBerry, grew up a bad copy of iPhone, and will die a bad copy of Windows Mobile."
  • Now that was awesome!
  • I agree. +1
  • Already looks like it's copying WP...
  • This is the best Android thrash description I've heard for a long time and Im definitely keeping it as one of my munitions against some android suckers at my work.
  • I have yet to own a Windows Phone, but I've talked to friends about getting one. My best friend got the Lumia 710 thanks to my recommending she go WP and I'm talking another friend who has an Android she hates into going with WP next time she upgrades. I definitely see Windows Phone overtaking BlackBerry within the next year at least. Not so sure about it passing Android, though that would be nice.
  • I meant without an attacking campaign by the way.
  • I love WP but I don't believe that. BlackBerry have enough power to just force themselves back (if they were ever out) into the market, same as Microsoft have.
  • Nokia(Symbian) was more powerful than blackberry but where is it now? We are in the dispensation of ecosystem and only those with stronger ecosystem will will survive, that's why WP has a brighter chance.
  • I don't think so. I will go back to BB for my business. Windows Phone only offers e-mail push every 15 minutes as minimum. BB allows it as it arrives. That's a massive advantage. That, and the fact it has a keyboard. And the battery lasts longer. And it looks professional. And accidentally hitting the volume button doesn't kill the alarm. And so on.
  • Your WP has an option for items as they arrive? Only for your Live account. I don't use my Live account for business.
  • Ugh...i thought items showing up as they arrive was the default for all accounts or at least mine... (work email - outlook exchange, Gmail, live/outlook mail etc.). Your emails should show up as they arrive, at least you can change the setting...
  • Ok, sorry for this post. My work addresses are hosted (I.e. Pop3) and the minimum option i have on my phone for these addresses is Every 15 minutes. I've had this out with the provider and they say BlackBerry uses different push protocols and WP doesn't allow it. I guess they're talking bulshit then!! Maybe it's the hardware. I've had a lot of problems with my HTC Mozart. Thanks for letting me know. I want to love WP, but things like this annoy me. Shame if it's a manufacturer issue and not the OS...
  • While the MS commercial for w8 with music and caption is okay, I think they need to abandon that type of commercial and show commercials with people actually using the functions help people be productive, such as one user making changes to an office document on his/her phone sharing it with another corporate user who then accesses it from his/her WIN 8 SkyDrive making changes, the emailing it to their boss as completed :-D this would show, "The Power Of Windows". They should follow that same template with music, movies, etc doing it in an elegant manner, not like the rushed music with caption ads they're using now
  • WP8 needs business accessories like credit card readers, inventory scanners, etc., not just apps. I see iPhones being used in place of cash registers or as point of sale devices.
  • Alot of blackberry users love keyboards on their phones. That's what Nokia and Microsoft need to appeal to. It might be a minority but it'll get more phones into peoples hands.
  • I thought BB had the super secure email and text encryption which is the reason corporations like them. Does WP have this?
  • Hmmm I though by that we knew that blackberry was going to be replaced as the third ecosystem for a few months now. I think its extremelly unlikely that bb10 will be able to save them. I mean if people only real complaint about WP is the lack of apps, how in the world is bb10 going to compete with wp8? Not to mention the fact that blackberry has already lost its crown as the safes ecosystem for enterprise, so what do they have left? I hardly think that a physical keyboard is good enough reason as anyone who actually tries to type for a couple of days on a touchscreen soon realises that is works great.
  • Nearly everyone at work has an iPhone. iPhones are officially supported by corporate IT, and subsidized by the company. There is only one remaining guy on Blackberry, and he is contemplating on switching. I am the only person that I know of in the company with WP. I don't think BB10 will make any dents in the future. RIM's days are numbered.
  • People here's the truth. BlackBerry is dead. It been dead since 2yrs ago. People who still uses BlackBerry are either slow in technology or just lazy to upgrade
  • IPhone I do not think works great for corporate. IPhone is more of a entertainment phone. Windows phone is the true corporate business use