Analyst: iPhone threatens Microsoft hegemony

iPhone vs. Windows Mobile

The popularity of the Apple iPhone may force Microsoft to abandon its emphasis on proprietary formats and systems in the mobile world, says an analyst with Blackfriars Marketing. Aric Winton observes that because of its control of desktops through Windows, Microsoft has been able to keep mobile users "locked in" to its technology, examples of which include Exchange e-mail servers and the Windows Media format. Some mobile devices will only play Windows Media files. By contrast, while developers cannot make local iPhone software, the product's music and e-mail standards are more universal.

Microsoft will have to work quickly to counter this threat, according to Winton. Although the company sold approximately four million cellphones with Windows Mobile in 2006, an increase from two million in 2005, Winton estimates that many of these were replacement units for their buyers, and so the total number of Windows Mobile phones in use should be no more than seven million. Apple hopes to have sold 10 million phones by the end of 2008 alone, which could immediately reduce Microsoft to second place.

  1. jdonahoe 07/12, 11:48am

    Ballmer may have to eat his earlier words about how Micro$oft sells "millions" of phones and Apple doesn't. Maybe with a little wasabi.....

  1. simdude 07/12, 12:09pm

    Ballmer must be really throwing chairs now when anyone mentions Apple. I sort of feel sorry for him. I really think he doesn't get it. Well, he's rich anyway so he has that. I wouldn't mind being rich and clueless.

  1. ZinkDifferent 07/12, 01:14pm

    Feel sorry for Balmer?

    I hedge no sympathies for people that cause their own downfall and wallow in their own ignorance.

    I kind of look forward to some journalist asking Balmer the tough questions, once Apple surpasses Windows dumbphones sales, and reduces MS to second place.

    Of course, that won't happen - journalists, especially in the tech sector, are too spineless to ask tough questions... still, it would be fun to revisit Balmer in a year from now with his various iPhone quotes.

    In that respect, Gates, as of late, is far more diplomatic in his public statements regarding Apple - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see him carrying an iPhone around one of these days.

  1. brondee73 07/12, 01:19pm

    Symbian OS controls the smart phone market with 73% market share, followed by Linux with 17%, and finally Microsoft's Windows Mobile with less than 6% of the smart phone market. So with the rise of iPhone, it will knock Microsoft down to 4th place. Maybe Apple could surpass Linux by the end of 2008, but definitely by 2009 if sales stay as brisk as they've been so far. We should hear more on iPhone next Wednesday during the 3rd quarter results.

  1. Herod 07/12, 03:03pm

    till our friends at M$ just unplug the internet?

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