The Continuing Rise of Smart Phones.


The Gartner report on the Third Quarter Sales of mobile phones makes an interesting read. Smart phones as a category are now 20% of the total sales. While this may seem less, the fact that their sales and market share have doubled over the year is significant. If the current trend continues they could outsell featurephones pretty soon. I picked up the term featurephone when I came across the news article that LG was exiting the featurephone market and focussing exclusively on the smartphone market.While what is a smart phone is always debatable I reckon all iPhones, All Android Phones, All Blackberry Phones, All Nokia phones shipping with Symbian operating system and all Windows mobile platform phones would fall into the Smartphone category.

Here’s some of my perspective on how things are shaping up in the Smartphone market.

  • Apple seems to be King of the Hill for the moment. They shipped 13 million units last quarter and coupled with their popular App store they are in an enviable position as attested by their share price.
  • Android clearly has momentum going for it. With multiple manufacturers putting their weight behind the platform and product launches in all segments I suppose they would take over from Nokia pretty quickly. I guess Steve Jobs rants and the patent cases against HTC are not misplaced. This fake Steve jobs blog seems to sum things up Apple's fear nicely. While On surface this looks to be a repeat of the PC v/s Mac battle, I do believe the times and the markets are different. Something I will dwell up on in a future article.
  • Blackberry (RIM) will go the Palm way if the Torch and Playbook don't do too well in the marketplace. They do have a dedicated set of users and good phones but the challenge for them is whether they are able to stop Apple from eating into the corporate market.
  • Nokia continues to struggle losing both market share and mindshare very rapidly. With Gizmodo famously refusing to review the N8 saying it’s “Like a top-of-the-line horse-drawn carriage released shortly after Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon" it remains to be seen how Nokia can arrest their free fall.
  • I do believe Microsoft is late to the party and I would be really surprised if they are able to go beyond 5% of the market share.

What’s your opinion on how the smartphone market will pan out? Do give your feedback in the comments and let us know what you think.

Ravishankar V is in the process of creating a 2.0 version of himself. Starting his career in 1993 he has worked on possibly all technology waves that the IT industry keeps showering on the world. In a rare moment of clarity this year he decided to fire himself from his job and promote himself to CEO. He is now in the process of setting up a startup that will be focussed on providing services and building products in the mobile and cloud computing space.

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