The mobile platform wars escalated once again in the first quarter of 2012 as BlackBerry finally took the wraps off its much-anticipated new operating system. BlackBerry 10 was announced in January and was gradually rolled out to markets around the world in the ensuing weeks, finally hitting U.S. retailers as the quarter came to an end. Meanwhile Android continued to build on its dominance both worldwide and in the U.S., cementing a two-horse race with Apple.
Other highlights from the quarter include:
- Samsung unveiled plans to bulk up its line of Android offerings to target both business users (with ultrasecure devices and services) and consumers (with an expanded app store to compete with Google Play). The moves come as Samsung prepares to produce its first handsets running Tizen, a new open-source mobile operating system.
- T-Mobile USA became the first tier-one U.S. operator to cease subsidizing handsets, instead introducing new plans that enable users to pay for handsets in monthly installments. The struggling company also said it will finally begin carrying the iPhone, addressing a glaring hole in its smartphone lineup.
This report examines these and other developments, as well as looks at how they are likely to impact the mobile market during the rest of the year and beyond.