WhatsApp is dropping support for older smartphones that aren’t compatible with its latest features. At least one generation of iPhone, alongside older versions of Android and Windows Phone, will no longer be able to use the service at the end of the year.
Here we go again, more numbers, more Android and iOS domination. According to IDC, 8 out of 10 smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012 included either iOS or Android. Android continues to lead the pack with a total of 59% of the 152.3 million smartphones shipped, while iOS accounted for 23% respectively. Combined they populate 82% of the smartphone market, up 27.6% since Q1 2011. These numbers are an amazing testament to Android’s growth as well as iOS’s stability (which is amazing considering they only have a few devices).
Not many surprises here. According to the latest research from the NPD Group, Android and iOS continue to dominate the OS arms race. Combined, these two powerhouse operating systems account for 90% of smartphone sales. Report after report, we continue to see the same thing: Android an iOS on top.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Prowling the showfloor for scoops on the second day of Mobile World Congress, we happened to stop by the Windows Phone 7 booth, where we discovered that just hours before, an original first-generation iPhone beat a top-of-the-line Windows Phone in one of Microsoft’s very own challenges. Oh, delicious hubris!
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — There’s a curious flipside to Microsoft’s iron-grip on the minimum specs for Windows 7 phones: They’re pretty much all alike. This is clearly to Microsoft’s advantage — who cares what brand is on the box as longs as it runs Windows? But it makes it hard to write much about new handsets unless they have great style (Nokia) or, say, a fancy camera. And so there is almost nothing to say about the ZTE Orbit.
Windows Phone 7 hasn’t been the runaway blockbuster that Microsoft probably envisioned when it launched nearly a year and a half ago. Despite advertising campaigns and a strategic alliance with Nokia, Windows Phone use still ranks well below iOS, Android, and BlackBerry use. But new details about the platforms future that were leaked earlier this week show Microsoft may have a solid strategy for gaining marketshare with the next major Windows Phone update, which will likely coincide with the launch of Windows 8 for PCs and/or tablets.
One thing that seems very clear from this new information is Microsoft seems to be taking cues from Apple’s playbook when it comes to creating an ecosystem of devices – like making it easy to shift apps from a phone experience to a larger tablet experience.
The question is, can Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 on tablets challenge Apple’s iPhone and iPad dominance in the business realms?
You don’t need to know anything more about the state of the mobile industry than the fact that the worst mainstream smartphone OS, Android, is the number one smartphone platform by numbers, while one of the best — Windows Phone 7 — justy can’t get any momentum.
That’s a real shame, because short of iOS, WP7 is the best mobile OS out there: it’s got an innovative tile-based interface, slick hardware, and a cogent design philosophy. But not only is Windows Phone 7 not getting any traction in the market, but Microsoft is going so far now as to reportedly bribe retail store employees to recommend WP7 over Android or iPhones. Yikes.
It’s probably not very popular to say on a Mac blog, but Windows Phone 7 is actually pretty damn good. Not iOS good, of course, but it does a lot of cool, unique things, and unlike Android, doesn’t just rip off Apple’s ideas wholesale: its tiled Metro UI is very pretty, very informative, very smart and its own thing entirely.
Even so, if you’re on an iPhone, you aren’t likely to envy Windows Phone owners very much, but if you want to see how the other half lives — and find out for yourself that it’s not actually that bad — Microsoft has just posted a WP7 emulator in HTML5 on their official site.
In a bout of self-congratulation as laughably misguided as that of the toothless hobo hanging outside of Albert Einstein’s office claiming that whole Theory of Relativity thing was his idea, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows Phone is now “feeling flattered” that Apple copied so many great iOS 5 ideas from Windows Phone 7. As if.
When it comes to mobile, Microsoft has been caught with its pants down twice in the last four years.
The first time was when the original iPhone completely turned the smartphone industry upside down overnight back in 2007. Microsoft was so slow to respond that by the time they released their first true touch-based operating system, Windows Phone 7, in November of last year, they had gone from a dominant player in the smartphone market to losing almost all of their market share.
Before Microsoft could even get Windows Phone 7 out the door, though, it happened again. Apple released the iPad in 2010, and this time, iOS didn’t just revolutionize smartphones… it attacked the very foundations of Microsoft’s Windows empire itself, cannibalizing laptop sales and utterly destroying the netbook market.