Skip to main content

The Surface Phone Vicious Cycle


Microsoft's smartphone market share all but disappeared last quarter, certainly Strategy Analytics stopped reporting Windows phone sales and lumped Microsoft's platform into the other category. An unsubtle nod to the utter destruction of the Windows Mobile platform in the last twelve months.

Windows fans are pinning their hopes on the mythical Surface Phone, the device that will bring the platform back from the dead. 

Sorry to disappoint folks, but it's really not very likely.

Windows 10 Mobile will be all but dead by the time Q4's sales numbers are published in January. Even the bargain basement clearance of existing devices and sales numbers for recently launched devices from HP and Alcatel aren't going to add up to much. 

By the time March rolls around I suspect we will see a complete halt to all third-party Windows Mobile development. That's a serious blow for Microsoft, because without Windows Mobile there's little incentive to develop UWP apps and if you're not developing UWP apps you might as well abandon the Store and deliver Win32 apps with full control on pricing, content and updates.

No apps means no market. At what juncture do you accept that investment in any new Windows Mobile makes no sense at all?

To even have a hope of tempting buyers the Surface Phone would need to be so remarkable, so innovative and so appealling that its development costs would be off the chart. With no guarantee of sales would anyone sign off on that investment?

Not to mention the difficulty of coming up with something innovative in the phone space right now.

No, if the Surface Phone was coming, then it was coming last week, when there was still a chance to stem the collapse of the platform. It didn't happen and now it probably never will.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.