The next generation of mobile devices is on its way, and it won’t come cheap.
While the iPhone, Android, and iPad have all been selling well, the competition is fierce, and some analysts are expecting Apple to outsell Microsoft to become the undisputed king of the mobile market.
“Apple is the most dominant mobile company, and that’s where things will be heading,” says Nick Gasson, chief technology officer at network application developer network.
“I expect Apple to overtake Microsoft in mobile.
And I think it will.
Apple’s been doing it for a long time, and the mobile ecosystem is still growing.”
Gasson’s prediction comes at a time when Microsoft’s dominance is under threat.
Apple has taken a backseat to Samsung and the likes of Google, but Microsoft has been steadily increasing its dominance.
In recent years, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform has helped the company capture nearly 90 percent of the market for smartphones and tablets, according to market researcher IDC.
That’s a massive step up from just a few years ago, when Microsoft only accounted for a little over 4 percent of devices.
With that market share now at around 15 percent, the smartphone and tablet market is now bigger than ever, says Gassons.
It’s also growing at a much faster rate than it did a few decades ago.
According to IDC, mobile devices have been growing at around 10 percent annually over the past three years, compared to around 5 percent in the late 1980s.
“We’ve got to get our hands on more smartphones and tablet, which means more and more of the consumers will have a device that is really an operating system,” Gassont says.
It’s not just that the smartphone market is getting bigger. “
And that will mean more applications on the devices.”
It’s not just that the smartphone market is getting bigger.
The tablet market, too, is growing rapidly, but Gassonson believes that Microsoft’s efforts have had a bigger impact on the tablet market than Apple has.
“There’s been a lot of talk about tablets being the next generation, and they’re actually the next step in terms of how we design our tablets,” he says.
“[Microsoft’s tablet strategy] has been a huge success.
It works really well, and has allowed them to be more agile in how they design tablets, to create new devices that are a lot more user-friendly.”
Gross margins on Microsoft tablets have been declining over the last few years, and as a result, some analysts have been questioning whether Microsoft’s tablet efforts are actually sustainable.
The company recently announced a massive deal to buy Nokia’s handset business, but the deal is currently in its infancy and the sale could yet fail.
“Microsoft is spending a lot on tablets, and I think that’s going to have a negative impact on Microsoft,” Gisson says.
But there’s one way to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“If you’re building a tablet, you need a lot to make it really good,” Gosson says, “and a lot less to make your device work well.”
And Microsoft is still making progress.
While Microsoft’s smartphone strategy has been largely successful, Gassonian sees the company’s tablet plans as a significant step forward.
“They’ve started to make a tablet with some of the best specs out there right now,” he said.
“But I think there’s still a long way to go before tablets will be the next big thing in computing.
For more on mobile, watch:The big question is how long it’ll take for Microsoft to catch up with Apple, and Gassonia says the company could still make it to the top.””
Microsoft has a long history of making phones, and now they’ve got a tablet that’s much better.”
For more on mobile, watch:The big question is how long it’ll take for Microsoft to catch up with Apple, and Gassonia says the company could still make it to the top.
“I think Microsoft is going to be there long before they catch up,” he predicts.
“They have a lot going for them.
And they are probably the most mature company in the smartphone space right now.
The Apple vs. Microsoft battle over the future of computing will undoubtedly continue to dominate the headlines for some time to come. “
So I think they are going to come close, and there will be a lot that Apple doesn’t.”
The Apple vs. Microsoft battle over the future of computing will undoubtedly continue to dominate the headlines for some time to come.
But as technology changes and mobile evolves, Gossons believes that the two companies will eventually be at the same point in their respective fortunes.
“It will be really interesting to see how the Apple vs Microsoft battle evolves in the coming years,” he adds.
“The two companies have been at each other’s throats for so long, and this battle is going be really, really interesting.”
Follow Matthew H. Taggart on Twitter at @matthew