ABI Research claims that RIM, or rather the newly-christened BlackBerry, will have 20 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones in active use by the end of the year. The firm also expects to see 45 million Windows Phone devices activated before the arrival of 2014. But how will these platforms fare after December 31?
"The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success," said Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen.
But the pre-existing consumer base of the prior-generation platforms (aka BB9, WP7) should be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their new platforms, he said.
The firm said on Thursday that on a more global, multi-platform scale, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use before the end of 2013. Unsurprisingly, 57-percent of these will run on Android and 21-percent on iOS, thus leaving 22-percent of the market to BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8 and other mobile platforms (like Firefox OS).
On the tablet front, there will be 268 million units in active use by the end of 2013, with 62-percent offered by Apple and 28-percent using Google's Android OS. Microsoft is also expected to have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets, having launched both Surface RT, Surface Pro and related products offered by OEMs. The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44-percent for smartphones and 125-percent for tablets, the firm said.
"Despite of Apple’s and Google’s strong hold of the market, ABI Research anticipates that the future won’t be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now," the report said.