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Snapshots of the smartphone industry show space in transition

What's next for smartphones? That is a complex question with many moving parts.

When predicting the next stages of the mobile phone market, it pays to take a wide look. After all, there are two dominant operating systems rather than one, and a horde of aspirants hoping to rise to the top. Beyond that, numerous manufacturers have made their presence felt in the hardware world. This is the environment mobile content developers have to deal with when determining how to shape their next offerings. Watching the movements of the various forces within the space can pay off when organizations connect with their customer base by releasing the right native or Web app at the best possible moment.

The Microsoft question
The eternal query hanging over the mobile space is what Microsoft will do next. The tech giant has been attempting to crack smartphone success for years now. According to Forbes contributor Ewan Spence, the software giant is on solid conceptual ground with its latest effort to do away with its mobile operating system altogether and fit its main version of Windows 10 into mobile hardware. Spence noted that Microsoft is betting on developers being more friendly to its ecosystem when mobile and desktop software are one and the same. The author explained that apps are the crux of the smartphone market and Microsoft is aware of this fact.

The Apple and Samsung battle
According to MarketWatch, Apple is finally catching up to Samsung when it comes to hardware shipments. The source noted that the current status quo has been in place since 2011, with Samsung going for variety and Apple doubling down on its limited line of iPhones. Canalys analyst Chris Jones told MarketWatch that this most recent quarter will be the closest the contest between Apple and Samsung has been in the four years since the latter became the shipment leader. It appears the expansion of the iPhone line to incorporate the large, expensive iPhone 6 Plus has been a windfall.

Here comes Huawei
​One of the accepted patterns of the mobile industry thus far has dictated that manufacturers in growth economies typically focus on affordable smartphones rather than entering the high-end competition. According to The Wall Street Journal, however, Chinese device-maker Huawei is about to present a new option in the battle for consumer dollars. The source noted that not only are the devices getting more pricey and feature-packed, the firm is intent on exporting and competing outside of the bounds of China. Already, more than half of its revenue originates outside its home country.

HTC in trouble?
Completing this roundup of smartphone news, Forbes contributor Ralph Jennings recently cast doubt on the success of HTC's latest device offering. The manufacturer has created a strong smartphone called the M9, which Jennings pointed out may end up overshadowed by strong branding efforts from Samsung. The author noted that HTC will have to become more intent on marketing its products, especially as it has seen its market share plunge from 10.7 percent to under 4 percent. In a smartphone scene that is heating up and seeing new development from a huge variety of sources, traditional powers need to keep up, lest they slip from their perches quickly.

Mobile Readiness
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