May 19

Get ready to rumble, the latest Gartner and IDC smartphone numbers are out to give us a pretty good idea of how things shape up globally. Remember, IDC measures vendor shipments while Gartner measures actual handset sales to end users. So what does the data tell us? Well, to start with, in terms of smartphone devices, Gartner claims a 48.7% increase in smartphone sales of 54.3 million units in Q1 2010 compared to Q1 2009 — IDC pegs growth at 56.7% on 54.7 million units for the same period. Both estimates easily outpace the 17% or 21.7% growth in worldwide units of mobile phones moved according to Gartner and IDC, respectively.

IDC’s list of top 5 smartphone device makers (pictured above) has Nokia at the number one spot repeating its 39.3% share as it did in Q1 of 2009 while RIM is down slightly from 20.9% in 2009 to a 19.4% market share in 2010. Apple (up from 10.9% to 16.1%) more than doubled its device shipments in the last year as HTC (up from 4.3% to 4.8%) and Motorola (up from 3.4% to 4.2%) all managed to increase their shares on higher volumes.

Regarding smartphone OS market share, Android’s global numbers echo its success in the US jumping from a 1.6% market share to 9.6% in just one year. Gartner claims that sales of Android-based phones increased 707% year-on-year to displace Windows Mobile in the top 5 for the first time. Apple’s iPhone OS also saw growth from 10.5% in 1Q09 to 15.4% in 1Q10 as both RIM (down from 20.1% to 19.4%) and Symbian (down from 48.8% to 44.3%) dropped. See the OS numbers broken down into a no-nonsense table after the break.Continue reading IDC and Gartner award smartphone growth prizes to Apple and GoogleIDC and Gartner award smartphone growth prizes to Apple and Google originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 May 2010 04:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments [From IDC and Gartner award smartphone growth prizes to Apple and Google]

It’s pretty clear who’s not doing well anyway. Faster growth is always possible from a small base so let’s see how Android grows now that it is in the same market share range as the other main contenders. Nokia has the most to lose.

Apr 21

Tomi Ahonen, former Nokia executive and self-professed expert on mobile phones, 11 days ago:

You read it right. I am writing the first history of the
once-iconic iPhone, written now in early April 2010, before Apple
has released its first quarter earnings for 2010. This is
literally the peak of the short reign that Apple’s iPhone had as
the most emulated smartphone. […] And mark my words, the numbers
are now very clear, Apple’s market share peak among smartphones,
and among all handsets, on an annual basis, is being witnessed
now. Yes its true, Apple cannot grow market share into 2011. But
its not for reasons you might think.

[ten thousand words of gibberish snipped]

The Apple iPhone sales pattern differs from all other major
smartphone makers because Apple only releases one new model per
year. So the sales take off strongly and then decline as the
rivals keep releasing newer phones. Apple’s best quarter is its
Christmas quarter. This year they were not able to grow market
share. And we already know, that Apple’s January-March quarter was
a heavy fall from the Christmas level of sales (as it always is,
this is the normal pattern).

Apple, today:

The Company sold 8.75 million iPhones in the quarter, representing
131 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

So the “heavy fall from the Christmas level of sales” we “already know” about was, uh, an increase of 50,000 iPhones. This was the most iPhones Apple has ever sold in a quarter. (And does not count the 63 percent year-over-year growth in sales of the iPod Touch.)

[From Claim Chowder: Tomi Ahonen on iPhone Sales]

Making predictions is a tough business 🙂

Apr 17

Brilliant, must-read piece by Stanislav Datskovskiy:

I argue that Apple now has not one but two monopolies:

I) A nearly-total monopoly on computer (and pocket computer)
systems designed with good taste.

II) A total monopoly on the Microsoft-free, hassle-free personal

Mr. Jobs is indeed starting to behave like that other convicted
monopolist we know and love. Yet unlike the latter, Jobs did not
engage in underhanded business practices to create his
monopolies. They were handed to him on a silver platter by the
rest of the market, which insists on peddling either outright crap
or cheap imitations of Apple’s aesthetic.

(Via Alex Payne.)

[From Non-Apple’s Mistake]

This is quite a funny article actually 🙂

Creativity requires a mind, and a herd has none.

Mar 24

The high profile failure of Palm’s efforts to revitalize its flagging smartphone business with the Pre’s new webOS has analysts casting doubt over parallel phone platform reinvention efforts by others, including Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.[From Palm’s failure to take on iPhone casts doubt on Nokia, Microsoft]

They’re all doomed! Doomed I say!

Mar 02

Apple is using its strong patent portfolio to fight iPhone competitors in court. Its latest target is HTC. Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the cell phone manufacturer. The suit involves “20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.” Steve Jobs is quoted in a press release saying: “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” The lawsuit itself is not available yet online. We’ve asked Apple for a copy. The lawsuit could be a way to go after Android, although Android is not mentioned in the press release. HTC manufactures some of the most successful Android handsets, from the first G1 up to the latest Nexus One. HTC’s touchscreen Android phones are the most similar to the iPhone. If that is the case, the lawsuit is a shot across Android’s bow and a warning to all Android manufacturers. This is not the first time Apple has gone after a mobile phone competitor. It is involved in similar patent litigation with Nokia. That lawsuit is more about Apple trying to get Nokia to license its patents. And the HTC suit may have the same motivation. But the fact that the lawsuit was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) as well as in a U.S. District Court in Delaware suggests that Apple is really going for the jugular. “The ITC does not award damages,” says Peter Toren, a patent lawyer with New York City law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman. The only remedy the ITC can award is an order to stop the importation of the infringing product. HTC is based in Taiwan. Apple thinks it owns the concept of the touchscreen Web phone and it wants other cell phone makers to pay for copying the iPhone or to stop altogether. Who will Apple sue next? Motorola? Palm? Research in Motion? Update: The complaint is embedded below. Some of the patents in questions are Patent Nos. 7,362,331, 7,479,949, 7,657,849, 7,469,381, 5,920,726, 7,633,076, 5,848,105, 7,383,453, 5,455,599, and 6,424,354 .

Apple vs HTC

CrunchBase InformationAppleHTCInformation provided by CrunchBase

[From Apple Goes After HTC In Lawsuit Over 20 iPhone Patents]

With all this suing going on it will be interesting to see if some of these patents (Apple’s, Nokia’s and others) actually stand up, and who has to concede what when the dust settles. In several years time…

Feb 24

Though the overall mobile market is slowing—sales are down about one percent for 2009 year-over-year—a slight fourth quarter sales jump balanced the dips during the rest of the year. The good news is all in smartphones, as sales were up a whopping 41.1 percent for the fourth quarter and 23.8 percent overall, according to the latest data from market research firm Gartner. Nokia still commands large but declining chunks of smartphone and overall mobile phone sales, while iPhone and Android devices saw big leaps last year.

Overall mobile phone sales were down about 11 million units for 2009—perhaps good news for the growing concern about the contribution mobile phones make to the growing e-waste problem. Three of the top five vendors saw sales decline over the year, with Nokia down a couple points, and Motorola and Sony Ericsson seeing their shares cut almost in half. Samsung’s share of the mobile phone market is up to almost 20 percent, and LG bumped up a couple points to 10 percent. Gartner told Ars that Apple doubled its share of the overall market from 1.2 percent in 2008 to 2.1 percent for 2009, though it wasn’t enough to put it in the top five.

[From iPhone and Android biggest winners in mobile market in 2009]

Don’t forget RIM.

Feb 17

Jim Ray:

More importantly, though, with something like browser rendering engines, I’m philosophically opposed to a monoculture.

First, I was observing more than celebrating. (But if any one rendering engine had to win the whole mobile shebang, I’m delighted it’s WebKit. But I’d love to see Mozilla get its mobile balls on.) But, bigger point: if any individual WebKit platform vendor disagrees with the direction of the mainline WebKit trunk, or simply thinks they can do better, they can do so. Real open source.


For one, replace “WebKit” with “Flash” and suddenly the iPhone is the holdout.

Really? Every WebOS, BlackBerry, and Android phone today ships with Flash? I didn’t know that. (Not to mention Windows Mobile 7, phones with which aren’t shipping until “holidays 2010”, and which apparently aren’t going to ship with Flash.)

[From Jim Ray on the WebKit Mobile Browser Monoculture]

On the desktop Adobe had years to develop a Flash player to run properly on Mac OS X and Linux and failed. If they can’t provide a good implementation for more than one desktop platform how can they possibly provide a half-dozen or so mobile versions that aren’t dreadful?

Feb 09

Bumper year for finger-friendly phones The world’s smartphone makers shipped more touchscreen models in Q4 2009 than at any time in the past – and more touchphones than devices with buttons.…The power of collaboration within unified communications [From Touchscreens take lead in smartphone biz]

And Apple is the leader in touchscreen smartphones.

Jan 26

Apple reports a 50% increase in profits after seeing its most profitable quarter ever over the Christmas period. [From Apple sees profits increase 50%]

These results just mask the fact that they are really beleaguered.

Jan 17

First Nokia sued Apple. Then Apple sued Nokia. Last week, Nokia went to the International Trade Commission and requested a ban on the import of infringing Apple products. Today, Apple asked ITC to ban the import of infringing Nokia products. This game of patent-infringement ping pong dates back to October, when Nokia first sued Apple for violating 10 patents, including holdings related to GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN. About a month and a half later, Apple countersued, claiming that Nokia was attempting to steal their technology. Since then, both sides have filed further lawsuits claiming further patent violations of various sorts. This week, the squabble’s stage has moved to the International Trade Commission. A few days ago, Nokia requested that the ITC ban the importing of any and all Apple products, from MacBooks to iPhones, that make use of the patents in question. Today, Apple fired back, requesting the same ban on Nokia’s mobile phone imports. The ITC’s evaluation process takes 15 months, so don’t worry about these companies’ products disappearing from shelves anytime soon. But Apple’s latest filing reminds us that we shouldn’t expect this this legal game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better to go away anytime soon. [Bloomberg][From Nokia Moves To Ban Apple Imports, Apple Moves To Ban Nokia Imports [Lawsuits]]

So what’s the next step then? An undisclosed settlement?

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