Mobile Computing - Next War Zone for Tech Firms (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)
Monday, May 02, 2011 2:51 PM

For a long time, companies like Microsoft and Nokia have been ruling their respective business realms owing to limitations of the computing technologies. Steadily, as processors, hardware, and allied technologies developed, the focus started to shift from traditional desktops and laptops to mobile computing devices. An entirely new market opened up as people now increasingly prefer handheld computing devices to bulky and immobile computers. In essence, some people say this is an example of the world getting flatter. But not really since the new players in this mobile device market are not players with limited bank accounts either. Furthermore, Nokia and Microsoft faltered, one because they failed to keep the pace with the developing market and second, because they had idled into a comfort zone.

Spoiling for Revenge

Apple and Google shook things up while seeing a crack in the door. A recent report published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. states that by 2017, the global smartphone market will reach 1.641 billion units. Apple undoubtedly at present controls the smartphone market; whereas Google with its open source mobile OS Android follows closely. The major difference here is, Google is not a smartphone manufacturer, but powers some of the leading smartphone's available in the market. Nokia and Microsoft have forged ties so that they can regain the market they lost to their rivals.

How Many Apps does Someone Need?

Microsoft as usual has found a way to gobble up its rivals by releasing an application programming interface (API) that will allow iOS (owned by Apple) application developers to seamlessly make iOS only applications compatible with Windows 7. The logic, consumers perceive that the higher the number of applications a company provides in essence translates into people believing that that smartphone is better in terms of functionality and value added services. This probably is the reason why Apple's AppStore, with more than 350,000 paid and unpaid applications, rules the smartphone market. Google follows closely with 200,000 applications. Microsoft on the other hand can offer just 11,500 applications to Windows 7 phone users.

Symbian Software and Nokia Hardware will soon Part Ways

Increasing the application repository is critically important for Microsoft now as once Nokia starts rolling out Windows 7 based phones by 2012, its application market should be developed enough to cater to Nokia phone owners. The present applications Nokia offers are Symbian based and would become redundant once Nokia and Windows 7 integrate.

Data Usage is the Financial Gateway Now

Global Industry Analysts, Inc's report also states that the demand for smartphones will emanate from Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Once economies like China and India hook on to the smartphone and application market, the demand would be 10 times more than what it is at the present moment. The smart phone revolution is still in its infancy. Not to forget the fact that newer technologies like 3D display, NFC, and faster processors will make the smartphones even more desirable because their capabilities are only going to expand. If analogies are to be drawn, this can be compared to services offered by carriers. Several years ago, major business generated by cellular service providers originated from voice calling. However, as hand-phones were replaced with smartphones, data usage is driving the business of carriers.

Microsoft and Nokia Must Catch Up Thus the only option in front of tech giants like Microsoft and Nokia is to cater to the growing mobile computing market, or they will be stuck playing second fiddle. In addition and slightly off topic, some people are still upset at Microsoft for ever presenting them with Vista.



Symbol :


Market news:

More news


    Recent Estimates

AnalystFirm NameSymbolEPS Estimate
ja teremtipTTG Investments GE$0.28
markinsurace guru CINF$0.36