Apple’s win is an opportunity for Windows Phone and BlackBerry [Opinion]August 24, 2012 2 Email article | Print article
Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now.
The above quote is from Bill Cox, the Senior Director of Marketing Communications for the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft, and it just about amplifies what Android manufacturers should be feeling right now.
Despite Microsoft’s gutsy attempt at offering a differentiated iPhone and Android alternative, Windows Phone has not really taken off like Microsoft would have hoped (although Windows Phone did just pass BlackBerry in marketshare, according to reports). The main reason behind this is not necessarily the lack of competitive features in Windows Phone but the lack of OEM support. Aside from Nokia, no manufacturer has really gotten behind Windows Phone like they have Android. Apple’s win over Samsung, however, is likely to make Android manufacturers ask themselves if Android is worth incurring the wraith of the mighty Apple. Doubt for the future of Android is a huge opportunity for Windows Phone.
If Microsoft plays its cards right, they should be able to win over more OEM support for Windows Phone. Microsoft should be going into overdrive talking to mobile manufacturers about the benefits of Windows Phone, particularly the part about how Apple and Microsoft have cross-licensing agreements. These agreements mean even if Apple goes after Windows Phone manufacturers (which it is unlikely to do unless manufacturers modify Windows Phone software themselves to add or change features and Apple feels those modifications infringe on Apple intellectual property), OEMs can fight off Apple with Microsoft’s help. Sign a few licensing deals with mobile giants and Microsoft may just secure the otherwise questionable future of the Windows Phone platform.
Similar to Windows Phone, the hit Android took today represents an opportunity for BlackBerry. Aside from simply churning out BB10 touch devices themselves, RIM should be considering the possibility of licensing their completely redesigned, touch optimized BlackBerry 10 to other manufacturers. We all know RIM wants to be like Apple and control the software and the hardware but if it was that easy to be Apple, everyone would be doing it… and trying to be like Apple doesn’t fair very well, does it Samsung? Jests aside, RIM needs to start licensing BB10 to reassert its dominance in the smartphone market and shore up its business sector business. If RIM doesn’t open up BB10, it may as well kiss the smartphone industry goodbye because the likes of iOS, Android (if it survives), and Windows Phone will swallow it whole.
However, the above is just one self-proclaimed (dot)Techie’s opinion. What do I know, I’m no MBA-holding executive. Feel free to share what you know in the comments below.