Cringely: Apple iPhone will have 85% market share by 2011; Windows Mobile will be dead

“As personal computers fade from what Al Mandel called ‘ubiquity to invisibility,’ something has to take over. And everyone I respect thinks the new dominant platform will be mobile. So it’s my job to tell you, then, that Windows Mobile is probably doomed,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS. “Interestingly, this conclusion isn’t based on any personal preference or subjective analysis… It’s a simple matter of market economics.”

“There is generally room in any technology marketplace for three competing standards. Notice I say ‘standards,’ not ‘brands.’ …And among those three standards there tends to be a market-share distribution that is more or less 85-10-5,” Cringely writes.

“This is not a time to bet against the iPhone, which is changing the entire landscape of not just smartphones but mobile phones in general. For all its teething problems, there is a new sheriff in town and his name is iPhone. We’ll see nothing but progress and market-share gains there for at least another two product cycles or three years,” Cringely writes. “RIM is another story altogether… RIM is facing a huge challenge. I’m not saying they won’t meet that challenge, I simply don’t know.”

“If I had to bet right this moment on the mobile 85-10-5 of 2011, I’d say iPhone, Android, then RIM, Symbian, or something completely new from behind Door Number Three,” Cringely writes. “And where will Windows Mobile be in 2011? There way things are headed now, given that Microsoft can’t really afford to be anything but first or second on the platform that supplants Windows, I’d say Windows Mobile will be dead.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “scopie” for the heads up.]


  1. Mobile phone will not replace computers but coexist with them. LOL. I heard this garbage back in the early 90’s when everyone said that interactive tv will replace computers. They were proven wrong.

  2. And we all know what an amazing prognosticator Cringley is.

    Great that he’s in favor of iPhone taking control of the mobile space, But 85% share? And personal computers fading?! Bob, please send a box of whatever you’re on to me. I’d like to escape for a bit.

  3. I think he’s on to something. No, i mean he’s on something. But i sure like the thought of WinMob dead and buried! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Given that there will be a valid replacement for the keyboard, a “wearable monitor” that works, far better connectivity, then perhaps we’ll all be wearing computers that will act as telephones.

    But they won’t like like anything out there right now.

  5. Well, Isn’t Windows mobile 7 delayed until perhaps as late as 2010 for actual deployment? Hasn’t Apple already blown by Windows mobile in market share? Didn’t Apple just sell more phones than RIM? This phone has some serious traction, and their competitors haven’t come close to providing a product that rivals it. And you know Apple is not sitting on their laurels at this point, but are making iPhone even better. 85% seems a bit far-fetched, but Windows mobile seems pretty irrelevant now, and with another year to wait for improvements, they could well be squeezed out. The usual MS bully tactics and monopoly leveraging will do them no good here.

  6. Time will tell, but I do agree that the laptop will fade away from public use and be left at home or the office. When I travel for less than a week on a b-trip, I used to take at least one laptop, now, I only take the iphone. Do I miss my laptop sometimes, sure, but do I really need it, is it REALLY worth the weight or hassle at the airport…NOPE!

  7. A personal computer is overkill for the average person.

    Or at least what the average person does most – e-mail & other communication, web browsing & other information retrieval (think of iPhone’s weather and stock apps for starters), and games.

    Portable devices probably won’t be up to serious word processing anytime soon. Not because of processor power or storage, but because of the limited physical interface. That will be both for internal as well as cloud apps. Similarly for number crunching (spreadsheets) or databases (other than retrieval and simple interactions).

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.