Saturday, May 26, 2012

Smartphone wars - Android dominates while Nokia dropped the ball

Overall, the smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2012 has is 49.9% as compared to the same period in the previous year. 

Current operating systems - Android dominates

Android. Continues to be the top operating system for mobile phones, and now accounts for 59% of the market, with an increase of 145% from shipments in the same period in 2011. Samsung phone account for 45.4% of the Android smartphones shipped.

iOS. Apple has the second number of smartphone shipped, its iPhone taking 23% of the market. This is an increase of 88.7% from the same period in the previous year.

Apple iPhone sales are heavily dependent on carrier subsidies. The has been some grumbling these past few months from US carriers, but so far so action has been taken to reduce iPhone subsidies. However, Windows Phones in the US have been sold subsidized at substantially lower prices than the iPhone, in the second quarter of this year. This could be something to watch.

Windows Phone/Mobile. Windows phone market share actually dropped in the first quarter of 2012, at 2.2% as compared to the 2.6% in the previous year. While these is no breakdown between Windows Phone and Windows Mobile sales, it would be safe to assume that the lost in market share was mainly due to cheap low cost Windows Mobile devices disappearing from the shelves.

I would think, the final test for the viability of the Windows Phone platform is the second and third quarter of the year, which will show how much Nokia backing has been able to improve the market share of this operating system.

In the last quarter of this year, you have the Windows Phone 8 launch, which should see new devices which should breach the two year technology gap between current Windows Phones and their Android and iOS competition.

Operating systems which are in the process of transition - Nokia dropped the ball

Symbian. With Nokia's move to the Windows Phone platform, sales of Symbian OS powered phones, mostly Nokia's, continues to slide now making up just 6.4% of the market. 

The time gap between Nokia's announcement that it was migrating to the Windows Phone platform and its actual release of Windows Phone devices was too long. Nokia's Windows Phone 7 roll-out has not been fast enough to move Nokia Symbian Phones to Nokia Windows phones. Even if all existing Nokia users migrate to Windows Phone devices, this would give Windows Phone a market share of about 9%.

Still, 9% is not a bad place to start.

BlackBerry OS. The BlackBerry OS share in the market is not now just 6.4%, which is 29.7% lower than its shipments in the first quarter of 2011. Like Nokia, it looks like its transition to BlackBerry 10 may be a bit too slow.

BlackBerry's strength relies on its the associated services rather than the hardware itself. As it market shrinks so do the number of users on its services. BBM for example is really only as useful as the number of persons on the service.

Having lost 29.7% year on year, with BB 10 handsets another six month away things do really look dim for the BlackBerry OS.


  1. Android's leading now. Let's see what's next

    1. Q2 sales figures should show whether or not Nokia is boosting Windows Phone sales.


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