More Than 137 Million Reasons The Monopoly is OVER

“IDC expects smartphone shipments to hit 137 million units in 2011, the first time for shipments to break the 100 million mark in the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region.”

As we have seen smartphones are much more than telephones without wires. They are personal computers and the huge growth of smartphones means that the Wintel monopoly is finished. Anyone wanting to be free of monopoly can choose to access the web or even do the normal desktop stuff with a smartphone. Similar technology is surging in tablets and will soon invade notebooks and desktop computers.

According to IDC, again referring to APEJ, “by 2015, smartphones will grow eight times as fast as feature phones to reach 359 million units. Three in five mobile phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones, up from one in five in 2010.”

see IDC

Global behaviour will not be much different except lower-priced models will be more popular in emerging markets. The world is demanding small cheap computers and the smartphone is the ultimate in small, if not cheap at the moment. Smartphones will be cheaper in the future because the ARM technology and Android are very low cost technologies with many suppliers.

According to IDC:
” February 7, 2011 – The worldwide smartphone market ended the quarter and the year on a high note, with vendors shipping record volumes of units. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 100.9 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2010 (4Q10), up 87.2% from the 53.9 million smartphones shipped during 4Q09. For the full year, vendors shipped a total of 302.6 million smartphones worldwide, up 74.4% from the 173.5 million smartphones shipped in 2009.”

At this rate, in 2011, shipments of smartphones will exceep shipments of ordinary personal computer shipments. Only a few percent of smartphone shipments use that other OS. The rest use a variety of non-free software or Android/Linux. M$ will not port their OS to ARM until 2012 at the earliest, so the monopoly, defined as 50% share, will be gone this year. Can M$ regain share against this tide of diversity? I doubt it. With ARM, the situation will be reversed. Android/Linux on ARM will have more applications that consumers like than that other OS. This is all happening at the same time that M$ is losing share in the non-ARM personal computing market.

See “The Smartest Smartphone” for a little comic relief.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to More Than 137 Million Reasons The Monopoly is OVER

  1. It is interesting to see M$’s response to the oldest small cheap computer model, the thin client. At first they paid people to go around the world telling people how silly the new tech was. It was not hard to convince people because the first thin clients performed poorly with tiny servers and low-bandwidth networks. Even today when folks have P4ish thin clients on gigabit/s networks on multi-core 64bit servers, you can still find people who call them “dumb terminals” as an insult. M$, however, cannot ignore the thin client any longer and sells servers and client software for thin clients. They will do everything they can to tax the new technology whether it is client software, connections to servers or company-wide agreements/licensing. M$ is making a serious attempt at providing cloudy services but they are hampered by trying to prop up their fading desktop monopoly. That will hold them back eventually. Customers just cannot save money or optimize price/performance by paying money to do what others do for free.

  2. Bender says:

    Microsofts power will weaken as their business model is based on selling software. With the onslaught of cheap smartphones/tablets they will be either forced to give away their software (as they probably do now with W. Phoney 7). That way they will have to shed all their parts that are losing money and concentrate on Other OS/Office. Anyway, they WILL lose the monopoly.

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