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Smartphones are dead, part IV: The numbers speak for themselves

Smartphones are dead because of a combination of technological advancements and the even more substantial impact of how we as users have evolved in our expectations and usage of these devices. We, in practice, have moved smartphones more to the position of a personal computer than a phone. The smartphone is dead because it has evolved into something else: a mini-tablet PC.

We've moved smartphones more to the position of a personal computer than a phone.

The full breadth of the personal computing landscape is shifting. It is moved by the fluid mobility of our digital experiences. These experiences, by virtue what they are, compel and are compelled by our physical mobility. Tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google have attempted to remain in lockstep with this evolution by creating ecosystems of cloud-based computing to manage users' digital experiences. PC and smartphone (mobile-first) manufactures have iterated and evolved products, even switched roles, in attempts to keep up with the diverse demands of a personal computing industry that is in a state of flux.

Throughout this series, I have presented an analysis that the industry is evolving away from an iPhone- and Android-supported smartphone model toward an all-in-one ultra-mobile PC model, backed by Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform and Continuum. In addition to our previous analysis of the firm's market positions and personal computing strategies, recent data from IDC and Strategy Analytics seem to support the analysis thus far presented in this series.

Proof positive

Recent data from Strategy Analytics reflect our previous assertion that the smartphone market is now saturated and virtually anyone who wants a smartphone has one. This has led to the first global decline in smartphone sales ever:

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) services, global smartphone shipments fell 3 percent annually to reach 335 million units in Q1 2016. It is the first time ever in history the global smartphone market has shrunk on an annualized basis.

After nine years of seeking to accommodate users' and developers' demands for more PC-like personal computing through more powerful phones, the personal computing environment is changing. But not all of the big players have the same plan to adapt. In part two of this series we highlighted in broad terms the iterative strategies of Google and Apple as they position their phones as "phones" in the market.

We contrasted that strategy with Microsoft's evolution of the category as Redmond seeks to merge the phone and PC environments in a sharp departure from the industry's status quo. Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said it this way:

Just like how with Surface we were able to create a category. Three years ago most people would have said, "What is a two-in-one?" And now even Apple has a two-in-one. And so three years from now, I hope that people will look and say, "Oh wow, that's right, this is a phone that can also be a PC."

PC sales are in decline and the smartphone industry is plateauing.

See more

Furthermore, as I posited in a previous piece, Surface inspired 2-in-1 PCs are setting the stage for the Surface "phone": a possible ultra-mobile PC with telephony. This goal is being accomplished on two fronts.

Surface knowledge

The first way in which 2-in-1s are preparing the way for a Surface "phone" is that PC manufacturers, which have embraced this Surface-inspired category, have openly acknowledged a shift in computing toward context-sensitive (Windows) PCs. As a matter of fact, IDC reports that this category of tablets has seen a triple-digit increase year over year:

Meanwhile, detachables experienced triple-digit year-over-year growth on shipments of more than 4.9 million units, an all-time high in the first quarter of a calendar year.

Surface Pro 4

Surface Pro 4 (Image credit: Windows Central)

OEMs and users' perspectives are being shaped around Microsoft's idea of mobility.

Second, users are being introduced and acclimated to (on a large scale) Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform and Continuum through Windows 10. This introduction is helping to shape the perspectives of both OEMs and users around Microsoft's idea of the mobility of experiences and how a modern personal computer conforms to those experiences. Furthermore, the IDC expects that this Microsoft-inspired category will only continue to grow in the future:

"Microsoft arguably created the market for detachable tablets with the launch of their Surface line of products," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "With the PC industry in decline, the detachable market stands to benefit as consumers and enterprises seek to replace their aging PCs with detachables."

The old switch-a-roo

An interesting phenomenon has begun to occur in this dynamic personal computing landscape. Microsoft's form factor-transcending ideology and ecosystem has had a transformative effect on PC and mobile-first manufacturers. Consider this: HP, a traditional PC maker (that previously had a foray in the smartphone space) has revisited that space with the Windows 10 Mobile powered HP Elite X3 smartphone. On the other side of this spectrum, mobile-first company's such as Huawei and Samsung have brought 2-in-1 PCs to market.

Likely due to eroding margins in regular slates, 1Q16 also saw the introduction of detachable tablets from traditional "mobile first" vendors like Samsung and Huawei.

This repositioning of traditional PC manufactures on Windows-based smartphones and mobile-first companies on Windows based 2-in-1s foreshadows the capability and likely future role of these manufacturers. The ability of these manufactures to adapt their device portfolios from a "PC to mobile" or "mobile to PC" category indicates a capability of manufacturing a device that represents a confluence of both.

Indicates a capability of manufacturing a device that is both a phone and PC.

With an expected category-defining Surface phone in 2017, the industry of users and manufacturing partners are being positioned to be receptive to a device that is likely both a pocket-sized computer, through Continuum, while retaining its capabilities as a phone. The aforementioned PC and mobile-first manufacturers, who have thus far been responsive to their shifting roles and to the evolution of personal computing devices, will be well positioned to emulate such a device.

Meeting in the middle

I believe that the foundation for the all-in-one ultra-mobile PC is being fortified as demand for contextually sensitive devices continues to rise, manufacturers grow more comfortable in their roles providing an evolving category of mobile computers and as competition drives innovation and firms capitalize on their industry position and strengths.

IDC's Research Director Jean Bouchard predicts:

"The introduction of detachables from traditional smartphone vendors is only beginning and pose a real threat to traditional PC manufacturers. Their understanding of the mobile ecosystem and the volume achieved on their smartphone product lines will allow them to aggressively compete for this new computing segment."

The push of traditional smartphone vendors to compete in the detachables PC space while combining their inherent strengths as mobile vendors provides a natural mix of conditions toward the adoption of an ultra-mobile Windows PC once Microsoft introduces an aspirational flagship to emulate.

Jean Bouchard continues:

It is likely that those smartphone vendors will utilize the detachable segment to create new mobile computing end-user experiences if customers are using their detachables in combination with their smartphones."

PC manufacturers such as HP and Acer who have already embraced Microsoft's vision of a Continuum enabled phone are likely committed to the natural evolution of Microsoft's "phone" vision. As such the ideology, form factor and innovations a Surface "phone" demonstrates will likely be fully embraced and competitively exemplified in these, and other PC manufactures possible future ultra-mobile "PCs."

Traditional smartphone vendors building 2-in-1s is a natural mix for ultra-mobile PCs.

That said, I foresee a personal computing landscape where Microsoft's efforts to bring the phone and PC together ultimately cause mobile-first and PC manufactures to compete in the same space. This level of investment from diverse industries converging on Microsoft's platform can bring innovation as companies compete for dominance with converged devices.

Unlike the smartphone space that is founded on the separation of the phone and PC environments, this space is not bound to a dead end of mere device and software iteration. Microsoft's option is an untapped and boundless frontier. A frontier Redmond is committed to pioneering.

Ummm….Continue

Satya Nadella sees Continuum as the foundational component of this future of personal computing. It is key to his vision of putting the power of the PC in the hands of the dual user. This spans the enterprise as well as the consumer space as he expressed in a recent interview with Business Insider:

Take emerging markets. India for sure is a mobile-first country. But I don't think it will be a mobile-only country for all time. An emerging market will have more computing in their lives, not less computing, as there is more GDP and there is more need. As they grow they will also want computers that grow from their phone. What's the most logical thing? I would claim it's a Continuum phone, which means that it can have other forms of input beyond touch.

Clearly Nadella sees Continuum as an industry-defining ecosystem feature that will shape personal computing in the near future. He states "... I'm not trying to be another phone guy with the other person's rules. What is unique about our phones is this Continuum feature. [Continuum lets you take the screen of your Windows phone and connect it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and use it like a computer.] If anything, we will want to continue to build that capability out."

Nadella's ambition is bold. Where this quest to merge the smartphone and PC will ultimately lead is a question only time can answer. But one thing is certain, Microsoft's answer to mobility is far beyond the smartphone.

Wrap Up

Smartphones are dead. They have evolved into mini-tablets. And the saturated iteration-focused smartphone market has spoken. There is little further that model, which keeps the phone and PC separate, can take smartphones.

Conversely, we are just at the beginning stages of Microsoft's Continuum powered "phones" that make a phone a PC. This is while we also stand at a junction in the personal computing landscape where PC and mobile-first firms are converging upon the same space.

How Microsoft builds out, as Nadella says, the capability of Continuum will determine how the future is shaped for Microsoft as they attempt to capitalize on this industry shift toward the company's strengths.

A great start, of course, would be a Surface "phone" (ultra-mobile PC), which as the Surface did for 2-in-1s, demonstrates the synergy of hardware and software, setting a high bar for OEM partners to emulate. Contrary to popular belief, lightening can in fact strike twice.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

244 Comments
  • Thanks again for reading folks. Naturally no data stands alone. The information from these two data sources combined with the trends that we have been observing are painting an increasingly clearer picture that the "iteration-focused" smartphone model has peaked and reach a dead end. In a saturated market an iterative, bigger, shiner device will not suffice. The market needs something revolutionary, something that answers the needs of the increasingly mobile and powerful personal computing. I contend that though it is met with a great deal of opposition and an uphill battle Microsoft offers the solution the industry needs. I may or may not work, but the company has a plan. What are your thoughts Let's Talk! He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame to him.
  • In MS we trust . Well maybe ;)
  • You've written yet another article that does an excellent job of explaining where MS is planning to take phones and PCs. I know people will disagree with you but the decline in the number of people buying new phones is real. Anecdotally, the vast majority of my friends and family are rocking phones that are a year or more older and they are at the point that they only replace them when something breaks.
  • I would argue that it's not a decline but is saturation. Also, the theory that smartphones are dead is incorrect when the premise here is that smartphones will have the addition of working more like a PC when plugged into other devices. Therefore, smartphones will continue as is, albeit with additional functions.
  • This may just be what I'm coming away personally from this article with, but the term "smartphone" really is dead, as telephony is not the primarily use of our mobile devices anymore. "Smartphone" carries the connotation of a device which is a telephone which happens to be able to do other things as well. But, our mobile devices haven't been that way for years now. They are currently personal computing/media consumption devices that also happen to be able to make phone calls. But because people still call them smartphones, they continue to be limited in capability and function until someone, hopefully Microsoft, can bring them to the next level, a true mobile computing experience that doesn't have to adhere to the old tradition of what a "smartphone" should be. When that paradigm shift comes, it's going to be revolutionary no matter who leads it.
  • ""smartphone" really is dead, as telephony is not the primarily use of our mobile devices anymore." I'll have to disagree with the telephone part.  Most people I know have cancelled thier home phones.  Their primary phone is thier "smartphone".  And I agree even more with 2tomtom.  The smartphone isn't dead.  It will add other functions or features to act more like a computer or add additional computer capabilities.    No matter home many times it's attempted to say the smartphone is dead I for one say pfft.  And the notion to call them mini tablets to add credence to ones arguement falls flat for me.  It's an attempt to bolster one's point of veiw to say the smartphone is dead.  The smartphone is getting smarter if anything with the additional features.  And that's a good thing.
  • But how often do you use it as a phone? I think the premise is that we use it more as a companion device to our PC's than as an actual phone. And that line is growing thinner. I can count the amount of phone calls I've made in a week, but I cant begin to count the hours I've used it for consumption of media and shopping and email I use it in a week... I really only use my PC to stream TV and play games some times... I think that's what this series is all about. These devices we hold in our hands and call smartphones wont go away any time soon, rather the purpose in which we use them will increasingly divide us from what they were originally intended for... Making phone calls...
  • That was exactly what I got out of it.
  • "But how often do you use it as a phone?" I'm sorry. I'm not even sure if this is a real question. But I use my phone every day!!! Mornings, afternoons, and evenings. So do all my colleagues. Some of us are professionals and not game seeking children. The ability to be on the go and do business is a must. There's more than texting and seeing scores of favorite teams. But those are some features a smartphone brings to the table. This notion that the phone is not used is simply a fairytale.
  • @Whodaboss I appreciate your anecdotal experience, but studies show that using these devices to make calls is no, for the majority of users, is no longer a primary function. Actually, the study I linked in one of the previous pieces ranks phone calls as number six below activity such a Social Media etc.
    So yes, the ability to make calls is still a part of the device and isn't going anywhere, but as I put forth un the articles, it is the combination of both the technological advancements and how we as users are using these devices that is changing what they are. Allow me a fictional hypothetical to paint a picture. If a person from 1985, maybe even 1995 traveled to 2016 and just took a walk through our parks, Stores, road the buses and subways and planes and even sat in the back of our churches for a few days, he'd see dozens upon dozens of us in all of these venues heads bowed down toward 5"-plus tablet shaped objects dominated by a touch sensitive glass display at which he would observe the dozens upon dozens of us pecking and swiping away nearly oblivious to what's going on around us, not engaging with one another eyes glued to that tablet shaped device held in one hand. That person from 1985 or 1995 would likely NOT conclude, based upon the predominant usage that he observed, that that 5"-plus tablet shaped device that he saw our fingers pecking and swiping away at was a phone. His imagination would likely begin to grasp for some frame if reference to categorize the device do that when he returned to his time he could communicate to "the past" what people in theme "future" spent much of their time in public(and) private absorbed by. If from 1985 he might reference Penny's (from Inspector Gadget) computer book to give some sort of imagery of FUNCTION, to the poor 1985 folks who have no frame of reference for what these touch screen 5" plus tablet shaped devices that we peck and swipe at all day. A phone certainly wouldn't suffice as a comparison even if our wary time traveler witnessed the less frequent call or two. If from 1995, he'd at least have the tablet computers used by the crew of Star Trek the Next Generation to use as a frame if reference to convey what we "future folk" walk around with in our pockets daily. Those 1995 folks, maybe even those of us old enough to have been around then would be convinced by this time travelers description of what he witnessed that by 2016 we would all be walking around with mini-tablet PCs that could make calls.:-)
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Phone calls may not be the primary function people use it for, but people primarily make phone calls from smartphones now.
  • @JLW As a person who was well into sci-fi and gadgets in the 70's & 80's.  From owning an Apple IIE, Atari, Coleco Vision,  Intellivision, etc.  I could easily have envisioned the current day "smartphone".  Heck I even had the opportunity to work with the "bricks" aka Motorala's cell phones.  Those things were huge.  It was only a matter of time when when those large cell phones would be shrunk.  So unlike some of these young folks who were born 2 days ago, I've got a little perspective about such things.  From having an 8 track in our car, to cassettes, etc.  From owning a Sony beta machine, VHS, to the HUGE laser disk.  Remember those?  Hey, nothing surprises me in the world of technology.  I expect great things to be developed.  And I've had the luxary to own many of the devices of yesteryear (of my time) and today.  I always appreciate your write-ups.  I just have a different point of view in how we describe what a "smartphone" is or what's it's major function.  Take away the phone out of the smartphone and you're looking at a glorified PDA.  And that too would bring me back to the glory days of my HP iPAQ.  
  • You may not use it much for phone calls, but it's still it's prime function. You aren't going to bring a mini tablet, because then you can't receive call. Ergo what makes this device important is it's phone ability. If you just need a smart computer, you bring a tablet.
  • No it’s not its prime function at all. The phone functions are no more dominant on the average "smartphone" than email, calendar, address book, music player or any of the dozens of apps that users have on their devices. Jason’s point about the time traveller observing the behaviour of people today is spot on. Most of them are not making calls, they are doing other things that have nothing to do with telecommunications.
  • However, when you do make a phone call you do it on a smartphone exclusively, while all other activities you can do at whichever personal computing device you find closest at the moment. Moreover, the "phone" part has top priority over all other tasks on a smartphone. I think that this still makes amartphones pretty unique among all PC devices now and will in a foreseeable future, that is, until phone calls become really device independent, like universal messaging is starting to.
  • I can use Skype pretty freely now to make phone calls from a tablet, my 2-in-1, laptop, PC, whatever. I can make the same calls and it uses my mobile number as my Caller ID that the other person sees. I can forward my mobile phone number to my "Skype to Go" number, so when people call my "smartphone" I can answer it on my PC or tablet or whatever device I happen to be using at the moment. So, really, it is already possible to make and take calls on all those devices, but people aren't really atuned to doing so yet. Skype calling along with Messaging Everywhere can truly make it easier to use whatever device is convenient for you at the moment for phone calls and texts. This is going to further push the idea that these are "devices" and the idea of "phone" can be whatever you need it to be at the time. Seeing this happening is all part of Microsoft's strategy of making the person the center of computing and telephony, not a particular device, and making all devices work seamlessly together to bring it everything you need to every device you use.
  • I ported my mobile number to GV a couple months ago and use skype exclusively for calling (I use less than 60 mins a month total for both incoming and outgoing!) and outlook handles my sms. If my venue 8 pro had a sim slot I could freely use that as my "smartphone"
  • @toshdellapenna I use 60 minutes in 3 days.  :)  But your venure 8 Pro doesn't have a sim card therefore it's not phone.  That's why a phone is a phone and everything else is something else.
  • First of all, if it was actually cheaper to have a data only plan on a "smartphone" going the prepaid route like I do, your argument would make more sense. If Google Voice had a decent client for Windows I would do just that. I only use phone calls for my business, anything else (friends/family) I use SMS. My business number is just a Google Voice number that forwards to my Icon. Thinking about going with Skype but I don't like the thought of paying another monthly subscription. So yes, technically phone calls are an important part of what the device does, but there is absolutely no reason why my tablet or even desktop PC could not theoretically replace all those functions, barring app availability, etc. as I just discussed.
  • Also, if "the phone is the primary reason for a smartphone", then there is no reason to have a smartphone. Just get yourself a "feature phone" and a small tablet and quit complaining.
  • So what you're saying is that since a Surface 3 has a SIM slot, that makes it a smartphone.
  • Just because people find new uses for a product, it doesn't mean the previous product is dead or that the name for that product is dead.  Unlike Windows Phone.  ;)  There aren't transitional or revolutionary devices to take the place of the smartphone yet.  So of course he got it wrong.   But you can see where he is coming from.  The title "Smartphones are dead, part IV: The numbers speak for themselves" is more jazzy than "Smartphone Use Has Evolved, Last in a Four Part Series."
  • In my opinion, it's the same thing as "Internet Radio". Originally that term aptly described to the layperson what it was, that is, a replacement for radio receivers that instead streamed music digitally. However, "streaming music" would perhaps be a much more fitting term, since no radio waves are actually used. That was my point regarding "smartphone", originally the term helped people to understand what it did, but now, it doesn't accurately describe what these devices really are.
  • It's hard to keep up with the thread when the Windows Central app on my smart phone *cough cough* wont refresh automatically.
  • This is stupid, phone sales are declining because everyone already has a phone. We have so powerful phones today that we can wait many years before needing to buy a new phone.
  • Well since what you said is the point of the article that would make you look...err...help me...
  • Article says "Smartphones are dead, the numbers speak for themselves", sales over a period of time isn't what makes a product dead, it's how many who uses them right now. Everyone uses smartphones, so how are they dead?
  • If you read more than the headline (designed to get clicks, obviously works well) you will realise that the author hasn't actually declared that the whole world has decided to stop using their smartphone...
  • In addition to that, I kind of think it's a bit of a joke to go along with the "the PC is dead" articles that have been around for the past 20 years or so.  Smartphones today are starting to reach the saturation point that PCs reached several years ago.  Neither are dying, they are just growing and both are taking on different forms, converging, etc.
  • @criticizer the answer to your question is quite literally in the first sentence and expounded upon further in the first paragraph.
    Please revisit the piece for you answer.
    Also please note that this is Part 4 in a series. You would not expect to understand the full "story" of the Rocky, Hunger Games, Star Wars or Back to the Future stories if you started watching the series from part 3 of each of those series. You'd have to start from the beginning to get what the story Director/Script Writer is attempting to convey. The same is true here. Though the articles can stand alone to some extent, to get the full view you need to follow the links referencing earlier parts. Thanks for joining the conversation:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • I would remove the Rocky example about understanding a story :D
  • Smartphone??
    Not everyone has
  • Most people has... Even kids has...
  • Relax bud. Its the headline. Read the article, you'll get the point.
  • *Have* Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are more smartphones in India than toilets.
  • To be fair, that could be just 100 phones...
  • Oh please, everyone takes their poo to the loo now. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's not even close to being true, and you know it.
  • 200 then. Final offer.
  • India is poised to overtake the US soon as the 2nd largest market for smartphones...and you say 100? That's ignorance mate :)
  • I'd say smartphones are in full strength today. Everybody has them. The market, however, is not measured that way. If there is no growth, they say it's declining. The first derivative may be small, but the value is still high.
  • For everyone to gain some perspective look at how fast the disruption cycle in this industry is. Then look at how the last major paradigm shift did in fact happen a decade ago.
  • If MS provide continuum(every 1gb phone) to every w10m users, then it'll make MS more strong...
  • Continuum needs a CPU with two display support.
    SnapDragon 617 is the smallest one.
    Currently the minimum RAM has been a low 3GB (Lumia 950=SD808;Lumia 950XL=SD 810)
    In the summer 2016 (Soon™) arrives the HP Elite X3 with SD 820 & 4GB RAM
    I expect the RAM grow to 8GB in 2017-18 (CPU SD 830?) For the old Phones? - not without a "brain surgery", but I'll do it for you if you pay ...
  • Hopefully the progress will happen quickly.
  • Just a few years... So it's very fast requiring lest than half a million man years of work. 
  • The smartphone is dead because it has evolved into something else: a mini-tablet PC called a smartphone. Jumping some years back in time the message would had been "The smartphone is dead because it has evolved into something else: a mini-tablet PC called iPhone" - and be more correct ;)
    The motorcar (sorry if term is not correct, I wasn't around then) is dead because it has evolved hugely during 130 years and today we call it a car.
    Le roi est mort, vive le roi! Even though the content of these articles gives food for thought, it will take more than one person to rename common things. Smartphones of today look like smartphones, walk and work like smartphones and have been small PCs for years. Making them more PC does not make them not-smartphones :)
  • I've been really enjoying your work so far on this series and it really puts everything in perspective.. Great job sir
  • I now understand where you're coming from and would agree in some ways. Personal portable devices are becoming more and more powerful. More or less a name transition from smartphone to something else. This translates to a future of a compact work device on the go that consumers can easily fit in their pockets. Laptops, tablets, or even towers may become obsolete. The only thing that exist would be just monitors that anyone could hook their "portable computing device" too and do work. And with the cloud on the rise, no need for bulky pcs! Good analysis mr. Ward.
  • Apple has had a 2 in 1 for years as an aftermarket business that they've expressed interest in but the founder a former apple exec has chosen not to accept any of their offers
  • How about "Why PCs are dead"?
  • personal computer will never be dead you will need a personal computing device
  • It'll just be gobbled up by the phone and the only ones left will be those needed by professionals or gamers. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Five or six of those ought to be enough for the whole world, said a smart man half a century ago :)
  • I think the point of this series of articles completely went over your head. PCs are in decline because people are using their phones more for things they used to do only on the PC. Phones are on the decline because they have reached a similar point. In order words, the power creep for what they need their technology to accomplish is not big enough for them to justify shelling out more money. On the flip side, people who need their phones to be a more capable PC replacement aren't really having their needs met by either Apple or Google.
  • Just full of assumptions today. Everyone has crystal ball and making assumptions as fact.
  • It's a fact that everyone has an opinion, my opinion is that these assumptions are mostly correct or at least pretty close to the mark. Posted from my Lumia 950
  • I wouldn't call it assumptions since market trends are starting to say the same thing. The only thing I would change is that the computing market has been fragmented into hardware form factors. Basically, everyone that needs a computer has one, but in multiple forms. So what we are seeing is the shift in form factors. So for example there were 10 desktop computer users in 2007, there is now 2 desktop users, 2 laptop users, 2 2-1 users, 2 tablet users, and 2 smartphone users. The same 10 users of 2007, but now spread over multiple form factors and this is what we are seeing in sales. The only growth is in the newest form factor, all of the former forms are either dropping like the laptops, desktops, and tablets, or are stagnant like smart phones. The only growth is the 2in1's.
  • What market trend? One cycle??? Lol the last 6 months?? Good lord. Don't play the market, seriously.
  • You sound like someone who follows the market so you know that there are leading factors before trends start manifesting. And if you look at the last two reports from the information corps you can see a trend starting...with the biggest deciding factor in this case being a higher than normal buyer fatigue.
  • What a pointless comment. The author has never presented these as facts. He presented his own conjecture and provided some evidence. You can choose to agree or not agree. If you don't agree, then let's us know why you don't agree instead of this useless "my birth mother is a female" statement.
  • Phones have not reached a similar point. Most people use a smartphone as their primary phone and will continue to do so. It doesn't matter if they're using the other functions of their smartphone more.
  • iPads are dying! PCs as Personal Computers just evolve. I mean my L950XL may seem like a dying Lumia line, though it is a Personal Computer called Smartphone, it computes and I lent it to none, so its a PC! Most of my work and family relatives use Personal devices that compute, PCs; only a few use their Tables for more than one person, means at least 95% of devices are Personal Computers! Granted, all this marketing talk about things dying is just trying to manipulate trends! So 'The end of the PC era!' would mean the end of Mac as they are also PCs! Anyhow, Windows still has 90% market share on Computers, Android has 90% of mobile, and Apple has and will be stock at less than 10% in both fronts!
  • *dead lumia line Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The PC is dead because it has evolved into something else: powerfull desktop PCs, stick-PCs, laptop-PCs and tablet-PCs :) Some PCs are convertible, so that you can take the roof off on warm summer days and cruise around with the car built into it ;)
  • If you mean desktop PC? Nah, that too is here to stay. Even laptops didn't exactly replaced desktops for everybody, only to common people who can live with its capabilities. Sent from Turing Machine
  • Dead? Never! I liked my 950 but it was too glitchy. Went back to my Nokia 925 to hold me off and it does everything I need.
  • The glitch is mostly gone Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • 'My Surface Phone'?! LOL! You must be dreaming! It hasn't come out yet! Just kidding!  
  • I would have done the same thing but I stuck with my 950 XL and Windows 10 Mobile is now at the stage of how it should have been at launch. Much more stable, reliable, fast, power effificent, and more features. And I'm getting updates very requently continuing to make it better.
  • I'm super excited to get my buy one get one 950 and 950xl in the mail this week. Just couldn't justify dropping the cash before, but I had to do it with that good of a deal.
  • Oh, not again!
  • Probably ur looking at windows phones and writing this article.. Look at ios and android..u will change ur opinion
  • @sheefimaster Read the article. Them read the rest of the series. Not just the title. Your informed contributions have great value. :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • @sheefu For once, can you actually take the time out to read the article. You keep making the same comments each time Jason adds a part to this series and you are missing the point completely. Also, a lot of the Windows Central writers use multiple phone OS's, they aren't writing these things out of ignorance of what other platforms can do.
  • I like your engagement, its good to have women consistent in the windows community Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • Thanks. Even though there are moments where there is a lot of crazy drama, I have fun here and I get to indulge in my love affair with technology. :-)
  • Yw and I think we are similar but I'm a dude! +200 for a good and defensive attitude Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • Apple just posted its first decline in iPhone sales in ten years, so he's not looking at windows phones alone. Every android phone make outside of Samsung basically has been losing on phone sales as well. Wake up dude! I'm rocking my 3 years old 1520 because it works just fine and I can't justify spending 500+ on any phone no matter the platform..... Oh yeah and I can afford to, but it would be foolish. I agree with the other poster; people are adopting the philosophy of, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"(replace it in this case)! Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • The 1520 lagged like crazy. I can't imagine what its like with windows 10. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You had a defective 1520. I have the same one since debut and still works fantastically. Posted from my 1520 running Windows 10
  • 1520 definitelt does not lag. My wife uses it for 1¾ years... its a beast
  • I never had any major problems with the 1520 either, except for when I used insider builds of win 10 mobile
  • You're joking right? I sold my 950xl because the 1520 i got runs great and its just as fast with build 14332.
  • I'm still proudly rocking my 1520, but it's on standby as a backup. I upgraded to a 950xl. The only reason I did it was for continuum and wireless charging since at$t deprecated it. Also, I cant understand why MS didn't make an upgrade to the 1520 as there flagship. Shrinking the screen by almost half an inch and calling it XL is anything but lol
  • Inane comment. And look that word up before you reply otherwise!
  • My phone is on the verge of death due to windows 10 mobile, this is the first time I've spoken out about this, Windows 10 mobile is disgusting in all of it's present forms (still better than ios and android for me, but very poor at present) the competitors OS's are more refined and the ecosystem has flourished long ago, but they are pathetic too considering how long they've had to polish, this means that Microsoft (in my opinion) are in a brilliant position, they have already relinquished efforts of competing, so now my advise would be thus: Time and innovate with windows 10 as a whole before releasing (possibly the best device of this era) the Microsoft Surface Phone Pro (keyboard included this time *ahem* Surface pro 4)
  • What exactly do you think they are doing by pushing the release of the Surface phone back until next year? Windows Central has been saying for months that MS is retrenching on phones while they refine their mobile experience. In the meanwhile, if Windows 10 on mobile is giving you problems or if you are in the Insider program and need a working phone, you should roll back to 8.1.
  • Got out of the Redstone insider build yesterday by going back to 8.1, I stayed there about half hour until I found the escape button and got back to production build of 10, gave me the willy's being back on 8.1 and I was a fan but 10 has moved on so far and I for one was sooo glad to get back albeit to a stable build.
  • Yeah. You think about WP 8.1 being the "good old days" until you end up back there and realize how limited it really was.
  • Disgusting is a bit strong lol. I'm pretty happy with my 950 except I can't get continuum to work with my TV over WiFi and for me Windows Hello has been useless unless I'm sitting still and holding the phone right in front of my face. There's still bugs in the OS and inconsistencies but it's far from disgusting and in my view extremely capable, the only real let down is still the lack of support from major developers but slowly I see more interest building up and since I don't actually care about most of the missing apps like SnapChat it's not a problem for me. So, disgusting? No. Posted from my Lumia 950
  • Are you on the production build? It seems to be running great for me.
  • I was, but I have now ventured into the fast lane as I thought it couldn't be much worse...i was right, it's not that different, the bugs are all the same :|
  • Nah. All new-upgraded bugs. it is getting difficult to hold on. From my perspective, I love my 950, but problems with Groove, other programs that wither on opening, and previously (fingers crossed) deadly camera errors have stretched my patience to the limit. On the other end, my wife, who hates Windows Phone, though she has never used it, glares when the camera fouls up a shot she was counting on me getting, is pressuring me to give up on this and go with something else. My issue is it likely is illegal for me to be using the unlocked phone on this carrier. Every time she goes into Soft Bank to deal with her or my son's phone, she reminds me I should be on a different handset.
  • Nah, its not better than Android or iOS right now. It has a crazy amount of bugs. You're just a super fanboy. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I certainly like it more than iOS. Android is fine by me. But even with bugs I like W10 the most. Of anything happens to W10 then I would go back to android which has similar philosophy as windows.
  • Whatever is coming,come soon. Meanwhile I'm holding on to my 640 xl.
  • Interesting. The only thing I have issue with is overuse of the word 'dead'. It is applied to windows mobile, to pc's, to websites, etc. I have great use for a more traditional pc (and just bought one, along with a 950.) Some will, some won't. Some will have need for a smartphone, some won't. It becomes what's your flavour? Choice is good.
  • The state of smartphones won't be changing anytime soon.
  • Exactly what Blackberry and Nokia said in 2007.
  • Yet another TL;DR with an absolutely ridiculous premise.
  • It relies on one company with no market share creating a feature in their phone model that would completely reshape smartphones to their advantage from two mobile phone juggernauts. Good luck with that.
  • You..... must..... BELIEVE!!!!! /s
  • Not exactly if you cared to read, the series talks about the 3 companies, stating that the smartphone is becoming a more powerfull device so people are starting to shift to this trend of getting their full needs on a mobile device. It's a bit like what happened to phablets, their still smartphones, but eveybody changed from 3.5" screen to bigger. So PCs are personal computers, as much as my laptop is totally personal, and as much as my smartphone is totally personal, both are PCs. And I look foward to the day where the 16Gb Ram, 2Tb HD, Core i7, GeForce, power of my laptop fits in my pocket and just proyects to which ever screen I want!
  • Apple. 2007.
  • Lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hi Kamikaze80 I find it interesting that you "speak" with such confidence about the premise of a piece(or series) that you have not taken the time to read. How is it possible that you can comment on content when you have no knowledge of what the content says? This type of 'addition' to the dialogue is precisely why I places the proverb beneath my first comment which opened the discussion at the top of this thread: "He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him." Im sure your an intelligent individual. Sadly forgoing the use of your analytical talents to engage the material and then offer intelligent rebuttal doesn't reflect range of discourse I am sure you are capable of. I encourage you to do yourself the favor of representing yourself in a manner that really exemplifies your talents. Don't sell yourself short this way. I see your use name is kamikaze, but no need in sacrificing yourself to take a shot at me or my work with an ill-informed response. At least read it, and if you disagree do so informed and in an articulate manner. It's far more respectable.
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • It's an opinion piece mate. Relax. #TeamLumia 950 XL
  • Jason, I have been following your series of articles.  Thanks for writing such great articles with thoughful perspective and arguments.  What is your thought on Intel's recent decision to end development on Atom?  Many people (including Paul Thurrott) say that implies little hope on Surface Phone.  What is your thought?
  • I think Microsoft never planned to use an Intel Atom processor in their phones in the first place. If you've ever used an Atom processor device, you'll know it is crazy slow. If you think about it, running win32 apps natively on a phone is pretty much rubbish. Microsoft would never do that. Win32 apps mess around with the system a whole heck lot and are pretty much unsafe. And it would make all the Lumia Phones obsolete.
    As announced at Build, in Redstone 1, you'll have the ability to Remote Desktop into an Azure Docker Container to run win32 apps. This is similar to HP's solution. What I think would be the real Savior of Windows Phone is Project Centennial. With Project Centennial, you begin at one end of the bridge as a win32 app, and come off as a full UWP app available everywhere including phones. As part of the push, Microsoft is opening up the umbrella and actually *implementing* win32 APIs into UWP. Since the days of Windows 8, about 2000 of the 650 000 win32 APIs were available with WinRT (runs on PC, phone). Their initial thinking was that if there was a new winRT API available, they wouldn't bring the old one over. With Windows 10 and Project C, Microsoft has been listening to devs and realized there's no easier way to port than to not having to rewrite the code. So basically, all you have to do is rewrite the UI in XAML (easier than you think) and move things you store in the registry in the AppData store, and most of your core components would carry over. This means that once you do all this, your win32 app is no longer win32 and will support all device families including phone and Xbox.
    16 million powerful win32 apps slowly porting over and available for ARM. Pair that up with a snapdragon 835 processor on a Surface branded premium looking phone, and you have a selling point that you can put on TV commercials and people would actually be convinced instead of hearing about a Smartphone Beta Test Is Over.
  • WP's decreasing market share, phone sales, and developer interest (including Microsoft's) means that WP is succeeding!! WCentral logic.
  • Had you actually read the article you'd see that Mr. Ward did not say that at all. But then again, I'm pretty sure you've never seen anything beyond the door of your mom's basement, so even if you read it, it won't really help your state. Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • What's the matter? Is the pain in your behind hurting you too much?
  • Unfortunately, you're not a pain in the behind, but in the brain. Too bad you don't have one so you're not aware of it. Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • You're basically trying to play with semanthics for clics. You say "smartphones are dead" and yet you keep describing smartphones. Anything with antennas and a telecom connection is a phone. A smartphone is a phone that is also a mini-computer. It doesn't matter how much they evolve, if it's still a hand-held device that you put in your pocket and make calls from, it's still a smartphone. If the Surface Phone wasn't most likely dead after Intel's decision a couple of days ago, it would still be a smartphone, even if when connected to a screen it could run Windows programmes. Even if by some miracle Microsoft does make the UWP work - which I do NOT believe they will because there's zero reasons why developers should bother with it - and by an even bigger miracle Windows Phone 10 returns from the dead (yeah, right) the device in your pocket would still be a smartphone. You can declare the death of smartphones the day you no longer use cellular antennas and carriers on your devices and all your messages and calls are purely Wi-Fi/Internet based. Then, as you'll have the exact same setting as a computer/tablet, you can say smartphones are dead. As it's unlikely that such a scenario will exist in the near future, then sorry but no.  When it comes to smartphones, they're most definitely not dead. The only thing in smartphones that's dead is Windows Phone/W10M.
  • I agree, smartphones are a central and essential part to a modern human's daily life. There is no way smartphones are dead until they get replaced by something like microchips in our brains.
    As for Windows Phones, Microsoft already declared it was dead when they announced their new strategy July of last year, which is why in their earnings call, they say "As expected, due to our recent mobile realignment, Phones are down 46%". Microsoft is clear that their mobile platform is failing and is compromising their mission of empowering people to achieve more anywhere. Microsoft is also clear that smartphones are definitely not dead and a vital part of our lives and sits in the intersection of cloud and mobility of experiences. That's why they're releasing apps and focusing on other platforms where people are.
  • Yup, as I've said before, its just semantics, nothing more. But it pleases the fanboys so its all good..... :)
  • When you have no logical response, just call anyone who disagrees a "fanboy". That's original, clever and wins the argument every time. Brilliant. /s
  • Aren't you supposed to be cheering and circlejerking for a possible Nokia return over at AndroidCentral? You know, you don't _have_ to comment everything. You refuse to even understand the writer's viewpoint because of your stubbornness on the definition of the situation.
    Everyone on WindowsCentral already knows what you and the like think, so unless you're adding something to the discussion, don't waste your and our time reading your pile of drivel. It's the same thing all the time. Do you never get tired? Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • Meh, just leave him to it. He seems to hate Windows Mobile with a burning passion, has a potentially unhealthy obsession with a failed smartphone manufacturer, and yet (and also unheathily) seems to hang around Windows Central so he can repeatedly call W10M 'dead'. I think it's mainly denial of Nokia's failure in the smartphone industry. In other words, don't try using logic like your well-put points above. It's about as foreign to DJCBS as respecting other people's viewpoints.  
  • Perhaps WP fanboys should avoid commenting on failed smartphone manufacturers. Glass houses etc. But that would require them to use their brains. Most of them don't have one anymore. It died along with WP.
  • Point proven.
  • Lol I like reading his insights. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (from my 5x or V10)
  • Do you ever get tired of whinning because someone doesn't agree with your fanboyish view of the World? I don't refuse to understand anyones point of view. I understand Jason's. I just don't think it has any merit when he clickbaits. He knows smartphones aren't dead. What I did was basically point out how his entire article is describing a smartphone whilst still saying smartphones are dead. But I guess your biased brain denied you that understanding. It also denies you the ability to understand that these articles are filled with nothingness. They're all based on fantasious premisses and word play. These ones aren't as bad as the completely deluded "Windows Phone isn't dead" ones, but they're still very similar.   Oh, and don't worry, I'll have plenty of time to cheer when Nokia's upcoming Android phones outsell Windows Phones ;)
  • "Smartphone" is a term that goes back to the days when you were trying to describe to someone actually what a cellular phone that can also run apps/do other stuff really is. In that sense, the smartphone is dead, because most of us who have these "smartphones" hardly ever use them as phones anymore, definitely not as much as we do for other activities on them. But as long as we keep calling them "smartphones" they are going to keep being just that--phones that also run apps. It's time to move to the next stage of evolution. I'm not saying it's Microsoft that's going to succeed, but right now they look to me like they are in a good position to do so.
  • Well i agree for many stuff but you see that many apps are released at UWP and many are developed right? and even popular ones:3 and i dont know why people think its such a bad idea think it from a devs side!
  • And by "many apps" you mean Facebook's. That doesn't really account for "many apps" I think. Also, what I've seen too is a lot of Windows 10 apps that don't work on mobile. And from the developer point of view...UWP is a terrible deal. If I already have my programme that works on Windows and that I sell directly to consumers through my website (which also generates me a bit of ad revenue) WHY on earth would I waste money on porting or developing a UWP app instead whose only difference would be being sold by Microsoft at the Windows Store (negating me the ad revenue from my website) while also taking a share of the value for it? Why would I actively port a programme to the UWP? To give Microsoft money? No, thanks. I can make more money out of my work by NOT sharing the profits with Microsoft for no reason other than having the programme as an app in the Windows Store ;)
  • So a surface has to use an Intel CPU why? Why does everyone always expect intel to be the only person that can bring x86 to mobile... On a different point do we even need x86 on a surface phone? What about cloud emulation, or even local emulation... windows rdp is insanely fast and with further optimisation could be very promising for cloud run x86 programs on low power cpus (be that arm, x86 or even MIPS). I'd be down for that, even more so if my PC at home could be the server for my x86 program running.
  • No one else had any CPUs of that type on their roadmap.
  • no x86
  •   Well, you don't *need* an Intel CPU...if you can present me with another manufacturer that has chipsets for phones that can run x86 on mobile, great. Do you know of one? If so, please tell me. No, more than that. Tell Microsoft.   On a different point do we even need x86 on a surface phone? Yes, if you want to fully realise the proposition of Continuum you need it so that you can run programmes from your phone. All the other solutions you talked about are either too expensive or just sub-optimal. You'd have to consider the cost of cloud emulation or even remote emulation. Furthermore, it wouldn't present any compeling reason for a Surface phone to even exist. If you go the emulation route, then you might as well focus it on Android and iOS. You can already use Remote Desktop on those devices and if you throw the phone screen at a larger one, you can even have a small PC going through your phone. But it will be always dependent on a ton of things that aren't very reliable. The premise of the "surface phone" is that you could actually carry a phone with the legacy programmes in it and you could, through Continuum, have a full desktop experience without a ton of other hardware or extra costs. Otherwise it will remain cheaper and more functional to actually carry with you a laptop or a Surface.
  • Ironically you're the one playing with semantics. The point is the smartphone as we know it will at some point 'die'. Look at the Nokia N95 and look at your touchscreen whatever. Both are smartphones but they are different. Smartphones will evolve.
  • No, I'm not playing with semantics. As I've said, smartphones are NOT dead. They evolved but they're still smartphones. The one declaring their death is Jason. Perhaps you should read my comment again more carefully ;)
  • I knew as soon as I read the headline that this know it all idiot would be on here posting about a dozen times to show us all how smart he is. Predictable
  • So MS is moving in the right direction?
  • MS is moving in _a_ direction at a certain pace, starting from a certain point. Apple is not really moving. Google is slowly moving, unsure where it wants to go (Android or ChromeOS). Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • I wouldn't call declining moving the right way... #TeamLumia 950 XL
  • will you stop posting this ****?
  • Don't like it? Don't read it. Stop wasting your (and everybody else's for that matter) time ;)
  • You could atleast say why this is **** There is enough other material to read on the site. And if not, then this site isn't for you obviously.
  • You don't have to read it!
  • Will you stop commenting this ****?
  • How can they create a pc in out pockets if Intel has quit development of mobile CPUs? Check my forum topic about it. Sent from an alien space ship with a Lumia 950
  • Hmmm, interesting points made by this article. Microsoft for sure hopes this is the way computing plays out in the future, top down instead of bottom up. The problem here is that the platforms that won mobile have their sights now set on the PC. And every year these ARM chips get stronger, at some point IOS and Android will be powerful enough to power these two in ones. Developers will take absolutely zero convincing to develop fully functional productivity apps for these platforms. At that point, for the first time windows would/could become a niche product (gamers, etc). People want both productivity and consumption apps, and Microsoft has shown zero ability to get the consumption apps they want into the Windows platform. Only the future will tell, but it's interesting either way. Pure drama, where the stakes is the future of Windows.
  • And at some point desktop CPUs will be power efficient enough for mobiles... we'll see which happens first. Not that it matters in specific as cloud emulation seems important for both architectures in a mobile phone sized device (high-powered applications require more power than a phone can provide, now or in the next 2 years). And MS has a big lead on the convergence of one OS and more importantly one API set across different screen sizes and platforms, so I see developers being more interested in switching to them than trying to learn all the new APIs google and apple will have to add to get convergence working on their devices. 
  • Intel just killed its mobile chips and also moved focus out of PC market. Does not look good for Windows.
  • True but ain't no users , no devs Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You'd be suprised at the devs microsoft still commands, especially large enterprise developers
  • "and Microsoft has shown zero ability to get the consumption apps they want into the Windows platform"... as much as Macs and Chrome books have shown zero ability to get the productive apps they want into their plataforms! It's just a semantics game!
  • "And every year these ARM chips get stronger, at some point IOS and Android will be powerful enough to power these two in ones. Developers will take absolutely zero convincing to develop fully functional productivity apps for these platforms."   If that ever becomes reality it will offer nothing that doesn't already exist on Windows.
  • Well when continuum can run Win32 apps and we know they plan this and work on it the Continuum experience will go 1 step higher but we have to w8 for 2017 to see this happening :D (cant w8) 
  • Phones with the processors Intel just cancelled a couple days ago?  
  • Not necessarily. As it's been discussed by other commenters, there are other ways of doing it such as how HP is doing it on the Elite x3.
  • Oh please ***** it ain't gonna die for another decade or so... Meanwhile holding on to my 640xl
  • I doubt we still walk around with a phone in a decade.
  • Look at how fast the disruption cycle in this industry is. Then look at how the last major paradigm shift did in fact happen basically a decade ago.
  • Seriously *****
  • Mary Jo Foley has also dumped Windows phone.
  • She's also die hard Verizon, so not a surprise.
  • And that wasn't her reason for dumping it, but I already know that that was the excuse you denialists decided to run with.  
  • Yeah, it was quite a love story. "Windows Phone, it's not me, it's you". I understand why she and many people are starting to do it. Windows Phone is dead and not receiving the focus in 2016, which makes sense. I'm planning to leave Windows Phone, too. It's like what Paul Thurrott said on Windows Weekly, "If you love and into something so much that you're harming yourself, it's not okay." If Microsoft in 2017 has a compelling reason to own a Windows Phone, I'll come back.
  • Umm... these are just phones, replaceable every couple of years. That quote seems more suited for something kinda more like alcohol or gambling. Small plastic/metal devices can't do you that much harm...
  • If you can explain to me exactly how I am harming myself by continuing to use Windows 10 Mobile, I'll switch right now. Just tell me which platform to go to. I'm eager to hear this one.
  • She said flat out that if there was a new W10M flagship phone on Verizon, she would have stayed. Also, not a denialist. These articles are ridiculous. The market has spoken, MS's only hope is that they succeed in the next era of computing - they lost in this one.
  • I read the entire article, that wasn't her reason. End of story.  
  • Listen to her on TWiT. It was more nuanced.
  • But in your words, wouldn't that mean MS did succeed. It's clear that Cloud is the future and they are displacing the market.
  • Being well positioned isn't the same as success. MS's only hope in mobile lies in their dominance on desktops - and that they are able to convince app developers to write for UWP on account of the popularity on desktop. Helluva tough putt.
  • For the time being. Not indefinitely.
  • I hope it does Panos, purely because I would love there to be 3 healthy computing ecosystems. Microsoft has some work to do though. My concern is that Microsoft has only so many resources, and those are being used currently to solidify the cloud and services business (cash cow/future). Though important, the work on windows is slowed. For now though it makes for interesting theatre. 
  • Yes, it only has $80 billion in cash. Not much of a safety net...
  • Declaring things "dead" should be dead.
  • why don't we just sit for a while and see what happens? don't fall for some fads or 1st generation devices
  • "Wait and see what happens." - Windows Phone slogan since 2010.  
  • Don't like your implication as a Windows Mobile user, but you get a thumbs up just for the joke.
  • Interesting for sure, MS has the long term mindset plan, the capital, perhaps it's vision will catch on with the masses and it's competitors to emulate. Curious to see how these ideas morph into the hive minds
  • Windows phone/mobile is dead. The numbers speak for themselves. http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-monthly-201604-201604-bar http://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsofts-phone-business-fell-off-214919753.html
  • Does that mean my 950 will no longer work? Funny, it seems quite effective.
  • My Commodore 64 still works, too. I guess I'll bank on that getting me by in the computing space for the forseeable future.  
  • There's a bit of a difference between the 950 and a Commodore, not to mention 30 plus years of obsolescence time. We're six months into the 950. I had an Android personal phone as well as a Galaxy 5S provided by my employer. I'll take the 950 any day.
  • It'll become ever less effective in comparison to the competition.
    WP/W10M is on life support.
  • It is? Isn't it all ust W10 now, with almost 300 million devices running it?
  • True.
  • Shhh...don't try to use logic OR facts around here! It's dangerous. Fanboys will downvote you to no end just to feel better about their necrophiliac tendencies.
  • Hilarious! You know what a "dead" product looks like? It's where unit sales drop 75% YoY and marketshare drops to low single digits. On the other hand, a single digit % drop on a billion-a-year unit rate is nothing.
  • Very low single digits. Starts with 0 for Q1 market share. 0.6% or so. 2.2 million phones out of 345 total.
  • Hi Mike, thank for jumping in the discussion. Please note as I noted in the article that this data from IDC and Strategy Analytics doesn't stand alone.
    It is in conjunction with our previous analysis from parts 1-3 and the observable trend, market direction and consumer behavior. As we're in reality, sitting at what I believe to be the cusp of this transition, the analysis I admit is a bold one given that the transition to the next phase of personal computing has, I believe, only begun. But I do believe the variables are strongly flowing in the direction I've presented based on what e can observe. As I shared in part 3, Microsoft is not in this alone and I committed that piece to outlining the strategies of both Apple and Google and the potential they have, particularly Google of throwing a wrench in Microsoft's plans as it were with the benefits a merged Chrome/Android OS would bring. At this point I am confident that my analysis of Microsoft's strategy and thier desired outcome is accurate. What we we don't have at this point is the benefit of hindsight to determine the accuracy of the expected market direction and the ACTUAL outcome. But in time we will. And either way that will be an interesting discussion.:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Emerging markets are the future and will embrace continuum. Ok reality check : Brazil has no new phone since last year.
    WPhone was second on race and adopted by all major banks, companies and stores.Now its left to death.
  • Smartphone sales fall 3% YoY; Windows Central: Smartphones are dead! Windows phone sales fall 75% YoY; Windows Central: The future is Windows Phones!  
  • LOL, LMAO! At least they're still not (but close to) as biased as iSheep.
  • @Lord Method Tganks for jumping in, but if you're going to comment, please do so within the full context if the discussion. As you will note, this is Part 4 if a series title Smartphones are dead.
    Each part of the series looks at different aspects of this analysis and is note wholly based on a drop in sales as your comment suggests. As a matter of fact the very first sentence of the piece, in conjunction with the very first paragraph gives you the premise of the analysis which I offer support for in each part of this series. Here's the opening of this piece again to help put things back into context: "Smartphones are dead, but not because these pocket-sized tablet computers have become obsolete. Smartphones are dead because of a combination of technological advancements and the even more substantial impact of how we as users have evolved in our expectations and usage of these devices. We, in practice, have moved smartphones more to the position of a personal computer than a phone. The smartphone is dead because it has evolved into something else: a mini-tablet PC." I encourage you to read(or re-read) parts 1-3 to get the full context then come on back and join the discussion! :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Continuum is going to be popular when it can run desktop software, as a developer I would love to replace my laptop with only my phone, but for now Continuum best software is Office and Edge browser, as a power user is not enough for me Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Since Intel seems to leave mobile CPU business, canceling all upcoming Atom CPUs it's pretty unlikely to get desktop software for continuum. Only option would be a massive improvement on UWP apps for ARM Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Not to mention Atom isn't a good experience for running professional software. Laptops are so good these days there isn't much of a reason to use your phone to power your experience. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Interesting read. I've always considered smartphones pcs. I don't think things really are changing. Maybe we should call smartphones pcphones for clarification. Smartogones have always had inherent trend to become a pc replacement in a mobile package. Even the recent leak of windows 95 on a iwatch is a clear example of what we really want. I think the evolution we are going to experience if we can adapt to new paradigms of UI and UX interactions where in mobility other modes of input will help us with common inputs (mouse and keyboard) for productivity such as the stylus, touch and voice.
  • I just bought my Lumia 640. It runs extremely fast with W10 and it does everything I need for less than half the price of an Android. I will hold on to it and buy the Surface Phone when it comes out. W10 will be polished till then. Even now on insider fast I have literally no problems on my phone.
  • Your 640 is "fast?" wow. I've had three of them as burner/backups and thats the last adjective I'd use.
  • It is fast. For my use it is everything I need. I don't expect it to play heavy games (I have my gaming pc for it). I am a student, who uses it for internet browsing, social media, music, reading e-mails, stay connected with my e-class platform, reminders, sometimes edit and read a homework or a powerpoint project, and rarely stream through miracast. So yes, I think it fully covers the AVERAGE consumer (not a businessman). I could not spend 200$ on an Android smartphone, but I loved this phone and platform. Not going back to Android anytime soon. Since I bought it I forgot what it means for a phone to lag...
  • It's a great thing that MSFT has this sort of future-seeing. In fact, i'm ditching all other mode of comfort from any other MSFT smartphone and waiting for the surface phone. We all know MSFT know about PC's and integrating what they know about into smartphones and making them more smarter is indeed seamlessley great. Next year, the new breeds of surface phones will be so very much improved and qualitative. I always say, windows phone is a phone for the future. A phone people will come to love, come tomorrow. It's a great thing MSFT is hard at work. At least with the UWP and the one-device integration of everything, users will be convinced. The game will change soon enough. It's never been a great time to be a windows phne user.
  • how many more? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They r showing Lumia 1020 as
    dead smartphone.....
  • Ya windows sale gonna fall....if keep skipping few handset for each update...keep the updates common to all window phones...in turn it will hv more users.....
  • Nothing is dead, just devices that evolve. Desktop computing experience combining forces with mobility from phones. Continuum devices like will be the future, probably 2 in 1 laptops/tablets.
  • The premise of this article makes sense. However, I'm skeptical about whether Microsoft is the company that will actually succeed in bringing a product to the market that consumers will actually purchase. Microsoft always had great ideas and concepts, but it tends to be either too early or too late in introducing these concepts to the market. Case in point: the SPOT line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Personal_Objects_Technology?wprov=sfla1. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • I still consider smartphones smartphones. They just are smarter!
  • Instead of lugging around a laptop bag, just put your ultra-portable PC in your pocket or purse. Places, like hotels, might just provide a keyboard with their big screen TVs. Schools would save money by not buying computers.
  • Might, but won't. As long as the platform has no market share, it will never happen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • why still need a 600$ phone when a 150$ pc stick can do the same?
  • My 1520 was getting long in the tooth and needed a time out. Plus I've always been waiting for a device like this since the winmo 5 days when they were talking about it. Also its one less device to manage. I'm looking into a stick pc for future
  • During the Windows Mobile 5 days it made sense. If you wanted all your data to follow you then having a single mobile device was the obvious answer. Now the cloud has made it so you don't need a singular device. It doesn't matter what device you pick up, all your data is easily accessible through the cloud. This idea of Continuum just shows that Microsoft is still stuck in 2005. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That is true to a degree. My current situation works by only having 1 device and a spare to manage and I don't want to/cant access personal stuff at work ot on others machine ( I was a victim of identity theft do to a key logger even while using incognito mode). This allows me to dock to the monitor at work and it's business at usual. Plus my work uses o365, so I'm able to access work mail/skype from there. What I like is that we are being offered multiple scenarios to fit out own needs (MS apps on other platforms, cloud only service, hybrid clouds, etc), which is what continuum is all about. Right now I'm on the go a lot and prefer to have it all with me and keep my backups in OneDrive, all while knowing I can access most of my content from any device in a pinch.
  • Wrong. It's the constant obsession with the cloud that's the problem here. Cloud functionality is great, but it still requires users to actively put their files there and change their behavior accordingly. OTOH, if MS had simply allowed all Windows Mobile devices to access all the files on PC's connected to the same MS account via OneDrive in addition to cloud functionality, users would have readily had all their files available from anywhere with no change in behavior required. The entire point for MS to leverage their existing dominance on the desktop, which they never quite did. Instead they tried to take on Apple and Google using - largely - Apple's playbook with Google Drive-like functionality built-in and it's been a disaster because it doesn't offer any unique advantage of Android or iOS.
  • You can easily select what folders you want saved to the cloud through One Drive or Google Drive. Microsoft putting all your files in the cloud automatically would cause so many issues from the cost of storage to people freaking out about privacy and data useage. That isn't a good idea, it would certainly backfire. If Microsoft didn't automatically upload all your files then you would then need to leave your computer on 24/7 to have access and again privacy and data useage would be an issue. Your PC would basically become a server. Cloud Drives make more sense than that.
  • I think you're confusing cloud storage with remote access. Remote access keeps the files on the source device without uploading them anywhere, but allows client devices to connect directly to the source device without going through any cloud storage at all. I'm advocating for remote access.
  • I addressed both. Remote access without Cloud backup requires your PC to be on 24/7 and requires bandwidth on both sides and is very reliant on the upload speed of your home machine. If your PC shuts down for updates or whatever, your data is basically gone. There are still privacy issues too. Well, I don't really see issues but I am sure people will have issues with this since your data is being shared over the internet and your actual PC can be easily accessed by anyone with a password. Basically, Remote Access is a hassle. For it to "just work" it requires tons of bandwidth and cloud storage backup as well. Microsoft needs to make this stuff simple and reliable. That is where Apple and Google are really winning.
  • "Schools would save money by not buying computers."   They've already saved money by dropping Windows and buying Chromebooks.
  • maybe the industry makes a lot of new phones and put them in the market but most people cannot change their smartphone every year.
  •   I've kept up with these threads and now I feel I must comment...how does all of this uniquely put Microsoft in a position to thrive that Google isn't able to match? Apple is a margins company, so where they are is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Google/Facebook/Amazon is who Microsoft needs to watch out for.  Sundar Pichai keeps saying we're moving towards an AI focused world; Google Now is a better product today than Cortana. I'm sorry, but it's the honest truth. Google's services (non office) are competitive to what Microsoft has and there are more users in general. My question is, what the heck is the point of a Surface phone? Is it to bring a desktop to a phone environment? Is the point to run an Intel Core M type processor? What does it accomplish? I just think Google completely beat Microsoft at their own game and with Google Now and all the other areas their services exist (smartwatches, VR, etc.), Google is in prime position to extend their lead. I'm a Microsoft guy, but I am being honest here...I feel like they're 3 generations behind their competitors. That is why they have to flat out purchase apps...Microsoft has to bridge that gap fast and purchasing is the only way to do so. I personally think Microsoft will have to do a complete transition out of the consumer space in due time...probably faster than most would want to admit. 
  • THIS ^ ^ ^ ^
  • Completely agree. The editors of Windows Central are delusional if they think Microsoft are well placed to succeed in the future.
  • Smatphones won't be dead just bse everyone have one. The shrink in the sold smartphones from IDC says nothing about the state of smart phones. Every one has clothes factories re still manufacturing errday... Whatever evolution there will be in the future I believe smartphones will be the core of it because there must be a core part that is very personal to everybody and that is a smartphone .... Talking about IoT etc ... And if the revolution you talkin bout s will be initiated by MS then it will never be mainstream ( people don't wanna mix personal and work staffs the reason WP has failed) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • With Intel retreating from smartphone space - Surface Phone will be ARM based - what impact does that have on your vision?
  • Apart from the click and bait title, article was good, but I was hoping that you cover the decision of Intel to withdraw from Mobile + Tablet space. M sure it has severe impact on surface phone
  • Wow, I'm a big WP fan, but this aricle is hilarious. Apparently, just like PCs, smart phones are dead, and MS who realistically isnt even a player in this space and doesn't have a seroius product in the market palce until next year, somehow have shaped and are dominating the future. Personally, I would be very happy if this were true, but the dillusion and disdain for the opposition being shown here is nothing short of ludicrous. Best we could hope for is dominace of the corporate environment which would be an amazing result, 10%?? This is not an overdose of cool aid, more like, whatever it is your smoking in huuuuuuuuge quantites, I want some !
  • You are assuming they will have a good product next year. As long as it has the UI and app store from Windows Phone it will never be popular. People don't like the UX, Microsoft needs a new UI if they want to have any success. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I am assuming nothing. I'd love to see this come off but this is the stuff of an LSD induced fantasy IMO.
    Tesla has a great game changing product and a big dream but I don't see them taking over the auto industry any time soon.
  • It's not the UI, it's always down to the apps. Windows Phone was always praised on it's looks and ease of use, but it always boils down to the app store.
  • Apps would have come if people liked the UI and the experience of Windows Phone. Android and iPhone didn't have apps either when they launched. Even when Windows Phone 7 launched Android didn't have much of an app advantage. The lack of apps isn't a cause of Windows phones failure, it is a symptom. If people liked it and bought the phones, then apps would come. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "virtually anyone who wants a smartphone has one." Sure buddy.
  • You are awfully certain that the future of the saturated generalized smartphone market is more generalization. I believe the future will be built on the opposite, specialization, supported by the existing ecosystems . Some of that is already going on, but with the basic smartphone platform becoming cheaper and cheaper, more resources can be used for targeting specific niches.
  • Are we ever getting article about Intels total surrender on mobile front?
  • No, the silence from WC is deafening.  
  • Kinda strange as it has rather huge impact. Light affordable Windows tablets are now dead. Intel based Surface Phone is not gonna happen. Windows is totally irrelevant on mobile now and in the future due lack of investment and focus on Windows Mobile.
  • The smartphone is dead like the tablet killed the PC.  Nothing is dead.  The place of the smartphone in the ecosystem has changed.  I have a PC but I rarely turn it on.  But I could go without a PC.  What the smartphone has done is strip away a lot of the additional "stuff" that was required to run a PC and deliver computing in a form factor that is more to the point with greater efficiencies. The good thing is that everything is just an appliance now.  You don't have to use a PC to do everything, and you have the option to use whatever device that can do the trick.  Its sort of how wearables should be better at taking your heart rate, use as a pedometer, etc, where some of us were relying on apps on our smartphone for the same purpose.  But the wearables did not kill the smartphone off for doing something which, ironically, few do on their smartphones anymore; take phone calls.   Remember 5 years ago when everyone said that tablets were good for nothing because you can't get any work done on them.  Smaller form factor, lack of a keyboard, among other things.  Then a lot of us found ways to use tablets to do everything you just "had" to have a PC for.  It is a matter of personal preference, and ingenuity; just because you need the larger form factor does not mean that someone else does.  
  • The most frustrating thing about these developments is they were all glaringly obvious and should have been implemented years ago. Sadly, MS never leveraged possible PC-mobile connections before Nadella. Users should always have been able to: Text and otherwise control their phone from their PC. Access any file on any of their PCs from their phone without having to stick said files in the cloud. Play any media on any of their PCs from their phone from anywhere. Instead, MS blindly followed the Silicon Valley echo chamber strategy. Only now under Nadella are they somehow just beginning to see what could be possible with Windows Mobile.
  • It's not decline.. It's saturation. My wife and I own a 1520, two 920s and a 520.  All running Windows10 (1520/920 have redstone, 520 threshold). So we are fully invested in the smartphone/mobile platform... we just haven't needed to purchase a brand new device in years. ​Intel cancelled their Broxton and SoFIA effort.... so that kills x86 on the smartphone... which means they see smartphones staying smartphones and not evolving in the immediate future like you see it... they don't see that opportunity... they see more of the same.... for the time being.     
  • After smartphone its internet of things now to be marketed very well. The company who gains sucess in it would rule tech market for sheep enterprise and consumer market for a very long time.
  • Not only the 'smartphone' will be redefined, it will also redefine what 'Surface' devices are today, i.e. all computing. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft will come up with Continuum as a new brand.
  • Between you and daniel you would think windows phone is apple in the real world. These things read like a microsoft owned blog. As of right now mobile is the most important market and anyway you want to sugar coat that microsoft has zero footing in it is fne but these "puff" pieces just reek of microsoft PR offering windows central something in return. I mean why else would someone write this? The thing is people will always at some point have to upgrade their smarthphone. People have no reason to upgrade to a new tablet or computer. No matter how you put it voice calls will always be necessary so if someone is going to upgrade it will be the smartphone. For continuum to work it needs devices andnwith 2.5 mil devices rexently sold and out of that number who knows how many are contuum compatible? And they expect the number to be lower. So where does all this optimism come from? I kniw you are going to say microsoft didnt pay us or tell us to write this blah blah blah. But daniel how is that holo lens? Fact smartphone will be the central computing device in our lives for the next at least 10 years and microsft has zero footing in it.
  • Hi, BuffaloMadMan, don't be mad man!:-D Couldn't resist. Lol Listen, it seems that your mind us already made up so likely nothing I say will change that. But just for the record, Microsoft pays me nothing, zilch, zip. Nor do I get get any perks from the company in any flavor. As a matter of fact, until my wife bought me a new 2-in-1 this past Christmas I pecked these articles out on a beat up dying HP laptop, that would constantly hang, that I bought for about $200 from Walmart over 5 yrs ago as a black eFiday deal. I don't have a fancy set-up, nor a lot of money. I often take my 10" 2-in-1 and work from my living room, office/baby's nursery or somewhere out the house. You ask why would I write this. Simple. I believe that's the direction the market is moving. If another company was pioneering what MS is pioneering at the scope MS is doing it, then thier name would saturate these pieces and not Microsoft's. You state as fact that the smartphone will be the central personal computing device for the next 10 years. With even Google (read part 3 fir that) moving toward a partially merged Chrome/Android OS, the influence of MS with it's 1.5 billion PC install weight and the potential of Google with it's 1.5 billion Mobile install weight both potentially competitively pushing the industry toward a converged device (not to mention influences like AR, and bots,etc) I really doubt "smartphones" last until 2026 I'm pretty confident whether Microsoft or Google wins the day: ultra-mobile PCs of some flavor will be adorning our pockets. -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • I told you Jason, in the last article, the phone is a wonderful invention. Just stop trying to say the PHONE part is dead and you'll be fine, like I said before, they should call it the power phone because (It makes you more than smart, it makes you powerful). but communication is the foundation of healthy relationships, without communications we would all be savages, not even in 2nd world country tech. I doesn't matter how much tech you got, or what you are doing at any given moment during your busy day. when your cell phone rings, chimes, vibrates, or whatever you programed it to do when you were wasting time, and your LOVED ONE calls, you drop everything and take that call because communicating with them and being able to share your experiences in person or over the phone verbally is important to people. even if you only talk to them once or twice a day while away from them. Its the most important thing you do, calling your wife in the middle of the day to let her know that your thinking of her. letting your kids know how much you miss them when you are out of town, **** like that. You cant deny it, the portable phone is one of the top 5 most important inventions to date. The only thing ms can do to get folks to appeal to their mobile offering is make it less expensive to actually own along with decent service and that continuum stuff could be a selling point too.
  • Lol Hey Albert:-) I hear you and yes communication is absolutely key. But communication takes many forms.
    Suppose while I'm working on my next Smartphones are dead articles on my very Mobile 10" 2-in- PC, my wife Skype calls me to communicate how much she loves me. Did my PC become a phone? I'd say no. Can I can communicate with my wife using my mobile PC. Absolutely. Now suppose MS shaves a few inches away from a 10" form factor and provides say an ULTRA-MOBILE PC, with telephony. One can still communicate via this ultra-mobile and well, one might even argue ultra-personal computer. All those lovey dovey communication scenarios you so eloquently communicated would be right on home on this device formerly known as a phone. :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Really, I don't get it. I mean how does it really work. I can go to a computer store spend I don't know $150-$250 walk out with a fine computer take it home and life is good, Or I can spend $550? To hook up to my TV? to use the computer on my phone? when I got a perfectly good computer in the other room? it really does not make sense to me. IJS, if you are smart enough to get a job that can afford to send you out of town on business, don't you make enough money to afford a laptop? Or are these companies paying their employees minimum wage and sending them off to rep the company out of town without the tools that they need to do so. What's the end game here? What's the point here? I think the new CEO is just as lost as the last one when I comes to mobile and Microsoft. Now I don't know what MS is going to do but, IMO if they made a google card board like solution and your windows phone could I don't know (BE a Hololens) then maybe, just maybe at&t would have something extreamly cool to demo at the store. Add legacy apps, & continuum and this thing becomes a no brainer sale.