Android and iOS are destroying Microsoft's Windows Phone

Image credit: PC World

In today's Android roundup: Android and iOS take more market share, while Windows Phone declines. Plus: LEGO's FUSION apps for Android, and how much should a flagship Android phone cost?

How times have changed from the days when Microsoft was feared by all within the technology industry. Over the years it has tried desperately to recreate its desktop monopoly in the mobile market, only to to be stopped at every turn by Android and iOS. PC World reports that Android and iOS both increased market share in the second quarter while Microsoft's Windows Phone has declined.

According to PC World:

According to IDC, the total combined market share of Android and iOS swelled to 96.4 percent during the second quarter, up from 92.6 percent a year ago. That left just 2.5 percent of the market to Windows Phone, down from 3.4 percent in a year’s time.

Unfortunately for Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Apple’s iOS devices dominated the high end of the market, while Android—with 84.7-percent global share in smartphone operating systems—tended to dominate the low-end, sub-$200 market. That left precious little room for Windows Phone, even though recent efforts to lower the platform’s licensing costs should have helped propel it in the market.

More at PC World

I think it's time for Microsoft to face an unpleasant reality. Almost nobody wants Windows Phone; its situation in the marketplace just seems to go from bad to worse. Windows Phone seems to have become a perpetual and ignored also-ran that has been blown off the map by Android and iOS.

One has to wonder how much money Microsoft has spent trying to attain market share for Windows Phone. However much it was, it's clear that it wasn't money well spent. I wonder what Microsoft could have done with all of that money if it had put it somewhere besides a fruitless attempt to chase Google and Apple in mobile devices?

At this point I just don't see Microsoft ever being able to salvage Windows Phone. It is past time for the company to consider abandoning mobile devices altogether and begin putting its resources into other products where it still has a fighting chance. But I don't think Microsoft is ready to accept this yet, so we're most likely in for at least a few more years of watching the market share of Windows Phone dwindle away to nothing.

LEGO's FUSION apps for Android

Android Police takes a look at LEGO's neat FUSION apps for Android that combine real world physical blocks with a virtual game.

According to Android Police:

With its new FUSION line of products, children (both young and old) can take physical blocks and create things that come to life inside of a tablet or certain phones. To launch the brand, LEGO has dropped three apps into the Play Store. I don't know about you, but six-year-old me really, really, wants to play with these.

The core functionality behind each app is the same. Players build structures using the blocks that come within each specific LEGO FUSION set, then they take a picture using their mobile device to replicate it on-screen. The starter sets provide enough diversity to appeal to a broad range of people.

More at Android Police

This is the first I've heard about LEGO's FUSION apps but I have to admit that they are very cool indeed. You can get each of these free apps in the Google Play store:

LEGO Fusion Battle Towers

LEGO Fusion Create & Race

LEGO Fusion Town Master

Be sure to check out the official LEGO Fusion site for more information about the games and what you'll need to play them.

How much should a flagship Android phone cost?

A redditor asks what's the fair price for an Android flagship phone.

According to Reddit:

I'm just looking for everyone's best explanation and/or reasoning as to why android phones are so expensive off contract, when you have devices like the Nexus 7 going for $229. I know there are a lot of factors to consider when discussing this subject, such as carrier subsidies and selling devices at or near cost to drive content. You guys probably know more than me, and I am genuinely curious as to why I have to fork over around $600, while similar hardware is going for a fraction of that cost.

Background: I'm frantically holding on to a Verizon unlimited data plan, paying full price when I want a new phone.

More at Reddit

My take on this is that we pay what the manufacturers think the market will bear, and for many people $600-$700 is a fair price. Of course there are much cheaper Android phones out there that do more than enough for the users that purchase them. So I don't see the high end Android phones that cost a lot more as a bad thing, it's just another segment of the market that people can opt to buy into or not. In the end it's all about making the smartphone choices that fit your budget and your needs or wants.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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