Thinking About The Future

zhris

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DISCLAIMER: This post isn't meant to be WP bashing. Personally, I love my phone. That being said...

Does WP have a future?

I'm not saying WP is doomed; quite the opposite, I don't want it to be. But what I also want is to know that the ecosystem I'm chosen to invest my time and money in will still be around in 3 years, or 5 years. But taking a high level view of the OS as a whole, the outlook is grim. For example;
  • WP is a very distant 3rd to Android and iOS, and besides Cortana I don't see much happening that will change that. It's like Blackberry all over again, a phone OS slowly spiraling into obscurity despite how awesome it is. Doesn't matter how or why really, just observing the trends.
  • The 'app gap, while over-rated, is real, and I don't see an easy way out. Like a digital Ouroboros, devs don't want to make apps for a system with such a small market share, which is mainly so small because devs don't want to make apps for it.
  • MSFT isn't exactly sounding a ringing endorsement for thier baby either. Many of the MSFT apps lately have come out faster/ better on competing OSes. While I understand (but not necesarily agree with) the logic behind it, think about this; would Apple ever release a version of iTunes on Windows, but not OSX?

...so what can be done? While I'm sure Satya and Joe are both way smarter than I am, I do have a few ideas;
  • Clean up the Lumias. The Lumia numbers seem to mean nothing outside MSFT Marketing. Is the 925 better than the 920? What about the 1020 vs the 1520? Everyone knows the Nexus 5 is the upgrade from the Nexus 4, same with the iPhones. Lumia needs 4 ranges; small, mid, high/flagship, and phablet. Have a single NXX for each line, and increment them without changing the N.
  • Get the Apps. MSFT can aggresively (or at least proactively) go after Clash of Clans and Candy Crush and all the other 'key' apps that for Andoid and iOS have that we don't. I thought it was supposed to be *easier* to develop for WP?
  • Chase the carriers. By now, it'a apparent that the whole 'If we build it, they will come' isn't working for MSFT. All 3 carriers treat WP like a red-headed stepchild, and do the absolute bare minimum to promote and support it. MSFT needs to reach out to the carriers and make it worth thier while to push WP.

Again, I want WP to succeed, it's just starting to feel like I may have backed the wrong horse. This isn't about bemoaning the success of Google and Apple, it's about MSFT figuring out if they want to be a player in this industry and what they intend to do about it. This is the House of Gates, from whence came the Zune; greatness is possible, it just needs to be realized.
 

Karthik Naik

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i think windows phone is gonna pick up marketshare once MS finishes the "One OS" mergiing of all its platforms which has already started
about lumia numbers i agree they should have kept it this way-
5x0 - budget lumia(replace the x with a number-520,530,540 etc)
6x0- budget lumia with more features
6x5-same as 6x0 but packing a larger screen
7x0-best low light and mid range lumia overall
7x5- same as 7x0 but with a bigger screen
8x0- budget flagship lumia
8x5- same as 8x0 but with bigger screen
9x0- full on flagship
9x5-9x0 with larger screen
10x0- 9x0 with the 41mp sensor and sd slot
13x0- budget phablet lumia
15x0- best overall lumia phablet flagship
 

psoham777

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Some people say WP is doomed, but its not. In 24 countries WP has already crossed iPhones in market share. IPhones are good, but for an OS to excel, it also needs low end phones(apple would never consider that). IPhones 5c/5s were a huge success, but still its market share decreased. So even if iPhones 6/6+ or the future ones are sold in huge numbers still its market share would decrease. (by saying that, I don't mean that apple will suffer loses, no. That would never happen, even if in future iPhones drop to 0% market share, apple would still make huge profits from its other products)

So according to me WP will cross iPhone sales for sure in the upcoming years. Also wp is coming with the major updates, it's really trying to keep up, so I don't think WP will fail in future
 

zhris

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Some people say WP is doomed, but its not. In 24 countries WP has already crossed iPhones in market share. IPhones are good, but for an OS to excel, it also needs low end phones(apple would never consider that). IPhones 5c/5s were a huge success, but still its market share decreased. So even if iPhones 6/6+ or the future ones are sold in huge numbers still its market share would decrease. (by saying that, I don't mean that apple will suffer loses, no. That would never happen, even if in future iPhones drop to 0% market share, apple would still make huge profits from its other products)

So according to me WP will cross iPhone sales for sure in the upcoming years. Also wp is coming with the major updates, it's really trying to keep up, so I don't think WP will fail in future

Yes, but those 24 countries make up a fraction of a percent of global market share. When looking at the 'big picture', no one really cares if WP outsells iOS in Tanzania (no offense, it's a beautiful country). In order for WP to overtake iOS, 2 things would have to happen; MSFT would have to do something incredibly brilliant (possible), and Apple would have to do something incredibly stupid (unlikely). Even then, it really doesn't matter; the goal isn't to beat the other guy, the goal is to sell enough product to remain viable. WP can easly do that from 3rd.
 

Jas00555

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Yes, but those 24 countries make up a fraction of a percent of global market share. When looking at the 'big picture', no one really cares if WP outsells iOS in Tanzania (no offense, it's a beautiful country). In order for WP to overtake iOS, 2 things would have to happen; MSFT would have to do something incredibly brilliant (possible), and Apple would have to do something incredibly stupid (unlikely). Even then, it really doesn't matter; the goal isn't to beat the other guy, the goal is to sell enough product to remain viable. WP can easly do that from 3rd.

Italy, with over 60 million people, is small? WP outsells the iPhone there, and it's only like 1.5% away from passing the EUR5 (the top 5 countries in Europe). By your logic, almost no country except for China and India would be "real" markets. Agree on the rest.
 

RumoredNow

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The countries where WP is picking up steam are, in large part, those countries in which more and more users are picking up their first smart phone...
 

zhris

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Italy, with over 60 million people, is small? WP outsells the iPhone there, and it's only like 1.5% away from passing the EUR5 (the top 5 countries in Europe). By your logic, almost no country except for China and India would be "real" markets. Agree on the rest.

Compared to China (1,227,360,000), India (904,510,000), and the US (327,577,529)? Yes, yes it is. And WP doesn't outsell iOS there, it outsold. Past tense. Best I can tell, there were a couple months in 2013 where WP snuck ahead of iOS.

Once again, though, it doesn't matter; the goal isn't to beat the other guy, the goal is to sell enough product to remain viable. I don't care if WP is 1st, 3rd, or 15th, as long as it remains profitable enough to enjoy a nice long future.
 

dkp23

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Italy, with over 60 million people, is small? WP outsells the iPhone there, and it's only like 1.5% away from passing the EUR5 (the top 5 countries in Europe). By your logic, almost no country except for China and India would be "real" markets. Agree on the rest.

Probably best to look much broader than those countries.

With all those countries where WP has higher market share than ios, still, the world market share is only at 3.5% so in terms of percentage, yes italy is very small. Even if those euro countries grow, the impact on the world wide market share wont be significant, china, u.s and india are the areas of growth wp needs to be in and right now they are struggling in those key territories.
 

Jas00555

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So basically what you two are saying is f*ck the rest of the world and focus on China, India, and US only? I'm glad you aren't CEOs then. For Windows Phone to a) make money and b) get apps (and yes, both of those are connected), it doesn't have to just focus on pure numbers. I'm not trying to stereotype the Chinese or Indians, but those two are notorious for buying mainly low margin phones and pirating apps. Controlling the entire market that does that is not what attracts developers. If it was, then the App Store would be 1/10 the size and quality of the Play Store, but it isn't. Don't get me wrong, market share is important, but it's also the quality and potential of what market share you have that I would argue is more is almost if not just as important.
 

zhris

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So basically what you two are saying is f*ck the rest of the world and focus on China, India, and US only? I'm glad you aren't CEOs then.

At the risk of sounding redundant (too late), I don't care about market share. Go ahead and read that last part aloud if it helps. What I care about is knowing that the ecosystem I've chosen isn't going to be shuttered next year. If WP can stay in the black at 5th place global, then that's just groovy. Being #1 isn't as important to me as being around tomorrow is.
 

dkp23

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So basically what you two are saying is f*ck the rest of the world and focus on China, India, and US only? I'm glad you aren't CEOs then. For Windows Phone to a) make money and b) get apps (and yes, both of those are connected), it doesn't have to just focus on pure numbers. I'm not trying to stereotype the Chinese or Indians, but those two are notorious for buying mainly low margin phones and pirating apps. Controlling the entire market that does that is not what attracts developers. If it was, then the App Store would be 1/10 the size and quality of the Play Store, but it isn't. Don't get me wrong, market share is important, but it's also the quality and potential of what market share you have that I would argue is more is almost if not just as important.

WP struggling in the key countries doesnt change anything for countries they lead in, the point is, even in those countries with high market share, it wont impact much in terms of world market share which is VERY important in terms of getting developers to develop apps for the platform.

Lets put it this way, you run a company that develop apps whether it is a game, productivity app, photo app, or whatever. You have expenses related to running a company and paying your employees so you have to take into account finances and resources to make money to support your business. Currently we have three major players - android, ios and windows phone. You want to allocate resources and invest in platforms that will have good ROI, which one would you choose? The ones with the most market share of course and then the ones that are easiest to develop for.

Creating apps for two platforms takes up a lot of resources and money so developing for a third platform could be costly especially one with less than 5% market share? If a company feels that market share can bring back ROI, then they would, but if not, the choice is easy, go with the ones that make the most money. I bet most of the time, it is easier just to make money with the higher market platforms instead of developing an app with continuing support in "hopes" that platform will growth because right now, wp isn't growing on a macro level, if it, we are talking maybe a few tenths of a percentage.

In reality though, MS was late top the game and the wp8 restart hurt them more, people are already invested in the ios/android eco system, whether the platform is "better" or app situation is in parity, doesnt matter, it will still be difficult to move those users off existing platforms they have been using for years and spending money for years. So idealistically, wp future doesnt look pretty even with MS's deep pockets.
 

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