I don’t want to start a mobile operating system war. But I’m honestly quite surprised, and I really want to know, Microsoft, why is Windows Phone selling so badly? With all the marketing poured into it, and Nokia helping you out, you still lose out to… Bada?
Eh, I think some of you might be asking, at this point, what is Bada? That’s just it, Windows Phone coming in behind a relatively unheard of operating system. It’s that bad.
Bada, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a mobile operating system developed by Samsung for smartphones and tablet computers. Bada was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2010. At that time, I thought it was silly to introduce yet another mobile operating system. Platforms were converging. What was Samsung trying to achieve by developing their own operating system?
Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2011 must have gotten Samsung worried. On the one hand, there is Apple’s increasing market share with iOS-driven iPhones. Samsung’s dependence on Android could potentially be a strategic liability with mobile phone hardware directly coming under Google’s wings. Not surprisingly, Samsung’s chairman told its top management team to focus more on Bada.
At that time, Bada wasn’t doing too badly. It wasn’t that great. But it was doing better than I’d have expected. We all know Android and iOS would be at the top. Symbian would fit in somewhere there too. It may not be so clear to you, if you haven’t been following their market share developments, where the other mobile operating systems fit in.
In 2Q2011, Gartner’s report put Bada in 5th position for Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System with 1.9% market share, ahead of Microsoft’s 6th position with 1.6% market share. Just a freak quarter? Well, their positions did not change in 3Q2011, with Bada widening the margin 2.2% to 1.5%.
I didn’t think much about it anymore. Until yesterday when this issue was revived because someone at Microsoft was over-enthusiastically promoting Windows Phone. Gartner’s latest report for 1Q2012 still puts Bada in 5th position with 2.7% market share, with Microsoft lagging behind at 6th position with 1.9% market share.
|Research In Motion||6.9||8.8||11.0||11.7||13.0||14.6|
I wonder where all the Bada customers come from. Just primarily South Korea? Perhaps the people of South Korea are very nationalistic and want to strongly back their own national product. Do they have enough people there to buy that many Bada phones? But I’m sure they buy other types of phones too, don’t they?
Anyway, so I wonder, why isn’t Windows Phone selling as well as it should. I’ve heard people rave about it. Nokia has been desperately saving themselves with Lumia phones running Windows Phone. The Lumia 800 debut in 4Q2011, and 900 in 1Q2012. I must honestly say the Lumia phones looks good, at least as far as the physical build is concerned. The 1Q2012 should have reflected the sales of Lumia 800 handsets. Instead of closing the gap with Bada, Microsoft lets Bada leap ahead. Alright, not quite a leap, but surely a firm step forward.
I’m also very curious about how Android is doing that well. Too well. I thought the 3 largest carries in the US all reported they sell more iPhones than all other types of smartphones put together. Gartner’s 1Q2012 data says Android outsells iOS by over 2-to-1. But a report from NPD of the 3 largest US carriers should iOS outselling Android by almost 2-to-1.
So wherever the Android buyers are, they aren’t coming from the US. China, perhaps? Unlike South Korea, it might be more believable that a big country like China could easily flip the percentages around. It’s an impressive flip.