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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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RE: Nokia and Palm?
By akugami on 12/3/2008 12:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with Nokia (and other phone vendors) in America is some of the better or more diverse models do not get subsidized with phone plans. That means no cheap "free" or "$50 to $100 with plan" phones. Nokia phones are not bad and I used to have an N80 phone. I actually prefer Nokia brand phones over most other phones. The N95, while large, was certainly a very solid phone in terms of features as is some of the other "N" series phones.

The most intriguing phone from Nokia is going to be their new flagship N97. It will have a touchscreen similar in size to the iPhone as well as contain a slider with QWERTY keyboard. I actually think this might be the first real challenger to the iPhone in terms of popularity buzz. It's slated for the first half of 2009, which in Nokia speak is second half of 2009.

The iPhone has a lot going for it. That is without question. I find it fantastic as an ebook reader using Stanza. Compared to my old N80 it is a much better web browser, not to mention the battery life is much much much better on the iPhone. There are plenty of free apps, some quite useful such as Evernote and the aforementioned Stanza.

The problem is all the maddening lack of features. Features which should be implemented in software. This is especially true in a corporate environment which makes Windows Mobile and RIM phones more suited for that environment.


RE: Nokia and Palm?
By michael2k on 12/3/2008 1:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has traditionally been good about adding features in software, so that is merely an issue of time and resources.


RE: Nokia and Palm?
By Myg on 12/4/2008 6:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
I must say; its great to see that all the money Apple has spent on advertising has paid off.


RE: Nokia and Palm?
By michael2k on 12/4/2008 10:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
Oh come off it. The ported AAC, ALE, and limited contact support all the way back to their original iPods. They released the 2.x firmware update for the original iPhone and made it available to the iPod touch.

What makes you think, barring CPU or performance/hardware limits, they won't continue to do the same, moving forward, with future iPhones?


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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