Are the BlackBerry and Windows Phone OS Doomed?

We’re heading toward a smartphone market in which only iPhone and Android models will prevail in the U.S. At least, that’s the impression you’d get from recent news reports.

Here’s a sampling of headlines from just one day, April 16th, that, when combined, seemingly spell doom for the BlackBerry and Windows Phone platforms.

“Can Nokia pull itself back from the edge?”

This story, posted April 16th on the Digital Trends blog, says: “Nokia looks like it’s on the verge of losing its top phone-maker title. Just last week, the company sent out a warning that its financial results for the next two quarters weren’t going to be as rosy as it had hoped. Couple that with a high-profile stumble in its effort to re-enter the European and North American smartphone markets and you have a company that’s not just struggling — it’s fighting for its life.”

That last part refers to the discovery of a software bug in Nokia’s Lumia 900 that may cause the new Windows Phone to lose its data connection. You can read more in our story “Nokia Lumia 900 Phone Free Until April 21.”

BusinessWeek also reported on April 16th that “Moody’s downgrades Nokia debt to near junk.”

Gizmodo added insult to injury with its article, “Dear Windows Phone: Get Your S**t Together.” The writer, Kyle Wagner, starts off this way: “We love Windows Phone. It was a hugely important step forward for how people think about phones. It promised to be a true, thoughtful, original alternative to the iPhone. But it still kinda sucks.” Wagner goes on to describe what’s wrong with the Windows Phone OS, which includes broken windows, apps that are “full of half-measures and required workarounds,” and more.

Meanwhile, over in BlackBerry territory, The Wall Street Journal posted an article on April 16th entitled “The Lonely BlackBerry Store.” The article describes the only stand-alone retail BlackBerry store in North America’s lackluster presence as symbolic of RIM’s current status.

The store “serves as a somber reminder of RIM's failed strategy to stave off competition from larger rivals domestically. Apple's iPhone and phones run off Google Inc.'s Android operating system have since decimated RIM's once-dominant share of the lucrative North American smartphone market. The company's share price has tumbled, and it has struggled with a series of product delays, a tablet that has so far flopped and big operational problems—including a three-day global outage last fall.”

On balance, these are just headlines from one day. Maybe tomorrow will bring better news for BlackBerry and Windows Phone devotees. Let’s hope so, because more competition is always better for consumers.


Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Phone