Technology Wars: Winners and Losers for 2012

We came upon an article on the Venture Beat blog, and thought we’d share their thoughts with you. They rated various devices and operating systems. We agree with most of what they said, but we disagree on a few small points, and one very important one. Let’s take a look at what they said about the mobile device industry.

Their big winner was Android, which had a 75% market share for the third quarter of 2012. 2012 will pretty much be remembered as “the year Android did everything right.” Venture Beat chose Samsung and their Galaxy S III smartphone as the second big winner of 2012.

Samsung sold 55 million smartphones in the third quarter, and when the numbers came out for record-breaking December, we saw an even higher number. 18 million of those smartphones were the Galaxy S III.

Apple’s iPhone 5 was seen as the next big winner, being chosen as Time’s “gadget of the year” and helping Apple regain a slim lead in the US smartphone market. The iPad Mini was also chosen as a “winner,” and is one of Apple’s best-selling iPads, but we can’t call it a winner for reasons we will give in our closing.

Their biggest loser was RIM and their Blackberry line. Blackberry was “first in” as a smartphone. If they don’t do better, they are going to be “first out” too. Nokia was chosen as another big loser, and we can’t disagree there, either, as their market share of smartphones is now at 4 percent.

In their “win some, lose some” category, they listed Apple. They made tons of money, sold lots of devices, but lost a lot of market momentum to Android. They put Amazon and Microsoft in this category, too. We disagree slightly with all three, unless they want to call the category “wait and see.”

We like what Amazon did. They sell their Amazon-optimised Kindle series at the price it costs to make them. They make no profit on Kindles, but make their money on the Kindle books that customers are compelled to buy.

Apple should pay close attention. They priced their iPad Mini too high, allowed Google tablets from Samsung and Asus to establish serious momentum.

As for Microsoft, we think they priced their Windows 8 tablets too high. We expect the market to correct their error for them.

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