Print 37 comment(s) - last by michael2k.. on Dec 4 at 11:02 AM

Apple's iPhone is stealing market share from dominant smartphone makers like Nokia and Palm

If you ask the average person to name a smartphone, many of them will blurt out iPhone. Since the iPhone 3G launched the mobile device has become one of the most popular phones around.

New data was announced this week that shows the iPhone now holds 16.6% of the entire global smartphone market for the quarter ending in September. The top smartphone brand globally is Nokia with 43.6% of the market.

A year ago Nokia held a massive 63.6% of the smartphone market, the loss of slightly more than 20% of its market share is squarely due to the soaring popularity of the iPhone 3G. According to Electronista, analysts cite the iPhone 3G as the reason that the smartphone market hasn’t had a significant slowdown.

Smartphones from RIM and those running Windows Mobile saw slight downturns over the quarter. Microsoft's Windows mobile platform holds 17% of the smartphone market and Palm OS devices hold 10% of the market. Much of that is likely thanks to the low-cost Palm Centro that has been one of the best selling smartphones in America.

Analysts claim that the increasing popularity of the iPhone signals a wider preference for the business model used by Apple and Palm where they make their own operating systems and have control over the hardware.

Analyst Charlie Wolf from Needham said, "The Symbian operating system is generally considered to be less robust than Windows Mobile or the Palm OS. But Symbian was able to retain a huge lead over competing operating systems chiefly through Nokia’s endorsement and marketing muscle, especially in Europe, along with Microsoft’s difficulties in attracting major handset manufacturers."

Wolf doesn't feel that RIM's Blackberry Storm will gain traction and pose a significant challenge in the market. He cites high-profile mixed or negative reviews that show the Storm doesn’t challenge the iPhone and leaves traditional Blackberry users out.

Strangely, Electronista cites data showing that the iPhone is currently the second most popular smartphone in America behind the Blackberry. NPD released data in November that showed the iPhone was not only the most popular smartphone in America, but the best selling phone in the country overall.

It's interesting that while the popularity of the iPhone is undeniable, it still lacks some of the basic features that other phones offer. The iPhone has been criticized for its poorly performing camera that can't record video. The phone also lacks voice-dialing built-in, though some Apps for the device can fix that omission. Among the other missing features iPhone users wish for are copy and paste, the ability to synchronize iTunes over Wi-Fi, landscape view for the emails, and the ability to hide icons that aren't needed.

The iPhone also makes for an excellent gaming platform, though the iPod touch is faster by some accounts for gaming. Apple has also found itself in hot water over its advertising campaigns for the iPhone. The court proceedings center on ads that boast in a cheeky manner about the speed of the iPhone. Some consumers have claimed that the ads are misleading; Apple basically said in court documents that consumers who believe those ads are fools.

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Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By austinag on 12/3/2008 11:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
I'd bet that next year at this same time, the iphone will have lost a lot of ground to the avalanche of new smartphone coming out.
I'm saving up for shinny new Nokia N97!

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By Gzus666 on 12/3/2008 12:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
If it wasn't for the fact it has a resistive (ewww) touchscreen, I would be interested as well.

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By austinag on 12/3/2008 12:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
Lay some knowledge on me: what's a resistive touchscreen? (what's bad about it in comparison to a regular touchscreen?)

By piroroadkill on 12/3/2008 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's a capacitive touchscreen, not resistive, as far as I know - it basically means you couldn't use a stylus/anything that's not your finger, very much like a laptop touchpad

By Clauzii on 12/3/2008 3:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
One of my friends iPhone screen has a big crack in the glass, ~2 inches long. Guess what, it still works. I don't know exactly how the iPhone screen is build, but i'd say it can take some :D

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By silversound on 12/3/2008 12:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
N97 is too thick and heavy, the white one looks good, iphone's screen already a bit too small to browse internet, N97 is even smaller, good try nokia for a 700 iphone killer though

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By micha90210 on 12/3/2008 1:43:17 PM , Rating: 3
iPhone3G - N97
Width: 12.3 - 15.9/18.2 at camera area
Weight: 133g - 150g
Display: 3.5" - 3.5"
Res: 480x320 - 640x360
Camera: 2MP - 5MP
Capacity: 8GB/16GB - 32GB/48GB
Talk Time:300min(3G) - 320min(3G)

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By michael2k on 12/3/2008 2:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
You don't think by the time the N97 is released next year that Apple won't have a 32GB/64GB iPhone? And with other additional features?

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By othercents on 12/3/2008 2:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Apple is looking to increase the iPhone size past the 16GB mark, but if they do I doubt it would be larger than 32GB which is the current iPod Touch size. Other than processor and memory size there isn't much more to do with the iPhone other than software updates and size reduction. Maybe fix the 3G issue with a new piece of hardware, but then they will need to agree that it is broken first.

I personally would love a 64GB version since I exclusively use the iPhone for my music and I don't have an iPod or any other device for music. The overall package for the iPhone is much better than any other phone available. I like the G1, but there are not as many apps available for it. It is good to be first to market.

Maybe once the exclusive contract with ATT is up Apple will start producing the phone for other carriers. Doing this could significantly increase their market share.


By michael2k on 12/3/2008 5:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
If they stop increasing the capacity of the iPhone, they'll have to drop the price (due to competition and falling component prices).

In other words, by this time next year, 64GB of flash will cost the same as 16GB today...

So if Apple doesn't adopt 64GB, they will actually be spending more per GB than they do now!

It's essentially the reason why Apple has increased capacity of the iPod despite the fact that most users don't have more than 12GB of music (or so). What Apple might do is release an iPhone Nano with only 16GB of flash, just like the iPod Nano.

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By Hare on 12/3/2008 2:35:38 PM , Rating: 4
You forgot to mention the friggin hardware qwerty keyboard :|

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By michael2k on 12/3/2008 1:05:56 PM , Rating: 4
I wouldn't make that bet. What's different now than in 2001 after Apple released the iPod?

The manufacturers may be more saavy, but not that much more or Apple would never have had to release an iPhone in the first place.

In case your history is lacking, Apple's iPod was released in 2001; their next closest competitor, Creative Labs, didn't release a similarly sized and featured product until 2004.

Apple released the iPhone in 2007, and now it's 2008 with nary a real challenger (the Storm and G1 have had mixed reviews, unlike the iPhone, and as someone else mentioned the N97 uses a resistive touchscreen). Microsoft won't have a solution until late 2009, so no WinMo phone will be able to enter the fray until then. The fact that Nokia is losing marketshare is not good.

Of course I'll be modded down as a fanboy, but the point stands: The iPhone is popular, growing faster than rivals, and unmatched (for now). If anyone matches the iPhone, it will be the old 2007 model (the Storm doesn't even have WiFi!), and if they catch up to the current iPhone, Apple will release a new model with additional features and capabilities (of course, like cut and paste and voice dial and video, but also other features the competitors won't imagine).

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By mondo1234 on 12/3/2008 2:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," said Ballmer

Ballmer said wouldnt happen and I believe him.
All Hail Ballmer

By othercents on 12/3/2008 3:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
So 16.6% isn't significant? Darn I wish I had 16.6% of the market share.


By kelmon on 12/4/2008 7:04:38 AM , Rating: 2
What I want to know is, why isn't that the quote at the end of this article?

RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By sgtdisturbed47 on 12/3/08, Rating: 0
By othercents on 12/3/2008 3:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
meaningful features

Meaningful to who? Email, Text, Phone, Music, Internet, other applications.... What else are you expecting it to do? Granted cut and paste is a hassle, but not enough to ruin Apple's market share. There are many people wanting to get an iPhone, but won't until it is on another service other than ATT.

beyond media and mediocre internet browsing

Mediocre?? Compared to what? Sidekick, Blackbery, Palm, and Nokia have worst internet. The G1 is the only one that comes close and I can't use that because it doesn't have push email. I have never owned an iPod, but the iPhone also takes care of my music and gaming fetish.

few of them are actually loyal to it and a lot end up either switching back

Really? I didn't switch back and I was running a blackjack and prior to that a Blackberry. The one thing that those don't have is the internet browsing capabilities that the iPhone has that I needed.

The numbers don't lie. 16.6% of market share and still growing. This is based on current registered phones with the phone carriers not based on what was purchased. If everyone was switching back then those numbers would be far worse.


RE: Same Bat time, same Bat channel...
By Freddo on 12/3/2008 3:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's likely the iPhone lost a lot of ground in this following quarter already.

The iPhone 3G sold extremly well the 3rd quarter this year because it was released that quarter (July 11th), in plenty of countries that didn't have iPhone before.

Now the people who wants to have an iPhone, have an iPhone. And they have no reason to buy another one.

By michael2k on 12/3/2008 4:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
You know, people have been saying that four six years now about the iPod.

And the only thing that killed iPod sales? iPhone sales.

There are plenty of people who don't have iPhones; in fact, over 70% of people :)

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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