Only one quarter after launching the 3G iPhone, Apple is ranked third by revenues among smartphone vendors, just behind Nokia and Samsung, and ahead of SonyEricsson and LG.
In Steve Jobs words, Apple’s mobile phone strategy focuses on “software and user experience“. It is the usability, stupid. That is the magic why a phone without MMS, video recording, videocall or a memory card slot still rocks.
Nokia downplayed Apple’s impact in the mobile phone market when iPhone was launched. Now the financial numbers confirm the revolution anticipated by all the headlines and hype iPhone generated.
Anyone bet that Android and iPhone will outsell Symbian by end 2009?
Smartphone market grew 15.7% compared to last year.
Nokia remains the number one vendor, but it is losing market share from 50.8% in 2007 to 47.5% in 2008.
RIM is the fastest growing vendor , more than doubling their market share from 8.9% to 17.4%.
HTC also doubled its share from 2.2% to 4.1% (cosnidering only handsets sold on HTC brand, and moved to third position.
On the Operating System:
Symbian lost market share from 65.6% to 57.1%.
RIM increased its share by 126% in line with the share of its handsets.
Windows Mobile market share grew 21% to reach 12% of the smartphone OS.
Despite Q2 was not strong for iPhone -as they cleaned the channel before the 3G iPhone launch in July- it still surpassed Palm OS in market share.
In summary, Nokia is clearly losing ground to Blackberry and Windows Mobile. After the launch of the 3G iPhone in Q3, expect to see a bigger hit in Nokia’s share in Q3. Not only the iPhone will eat market share. Microsoft’s mobile OS is powering most of the nicest touch-screen models brought by LG, HTC and Samsung to compete with Apple’s phone. This will surely hurt Nokia’s share too.
But the main surprise is the growth of RIM in Q2, even before their new Bold was available. Mobile email is showing to be the killer app, and RIM’s usability for email is superb. And do not forget RIM makes money not just from the handsets but also for the email service they host and the server licenses they sell to enterprises. That is extra cash (and margin) to boost their R&D. Something Nokia might be lacking.
To make matters worse for Nokia, a newcomer will soon make appearance in the charts: Android. With so much competition, do not be surprise if we see Nokia lose their crown even earlier than forecasted by TechCrunch.
iPhone competition has not taken any break, and the first Android handset is rumored to be launched by T-Mobile US as early as September. The handset comes from Taiwanese vendor HTC, and has been dubbed Dream, although the official name will be G1, reminding it is the first Google phone in the market. Equipped with a sliding full qwerty keyboard, a full web browser and a powerful CPU, it will have access to plenty of applications to download from Google’s App Market. I can not wait to grab one.
In parallel, RIM is about to launch its Blackberry Bold, targeted to keep the heavy email business users away from iPhone, and adding functionality such as iTunes sync, GPS, Wifi and HSDPA support. Even some iPhone users might switch back to this beast from RIM once they realize email is so much easier.
Competition is great, both at the Olympics and at making us mobile users happy.
Apple, a new entrant in the market, has stolen from Nokia the top position for high-end phones in consumers minds. The revolutionary iPhone might not have yet a market share comparable to Nokia, but it is definitively the phone we all dream of. The worst is that people has realized how poor was, and still is, Nokia phones usability, and that hurts their image.
And now Android, without a single unit in the market, is generating a hype bigger than iPhone did before launch. And the hype is well deserved. Watch the video:
If handset vendors manage to get Android units in volumes by end of the year, this is going to be a big Xmas hit!