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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 31, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Report: Breakout year for BlackBerry, Windows Phone

Windows Phone and BlackBerry should no longer be seen as forlorn platforms as both will make a strong showing in 2013, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The firm predicted that Windows Phone will end the year with 45 million handsets in active use and BlackBerry 10 reaching 20 million users. It also expects there will be 5.5 million Windows tablets in use.

That’s enough scale to attract app developers who will nourish the platforms’ growth.

Windows Phone and BlackBerry will continue to trail Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android but “the future won’t be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now,” the firm said in a release.

ABI senior analst Aapo Markkanen said in the release that 2013 “should be seen as a relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry.”

“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,” he said. “Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would 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 platforms.”

A BlackBerry image of a launch event in Paris:

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