PARIS — "Tipping point" is an overused term. And yet, identifying the tipping point in a vast range of phenomena can be the key to understanding where and how (and possibly why) mysterious changes occur in the marketplace.
In the smartphone market, for example, we’ve seen a few critical data (and possible tipping) points in the past few months alone.
During the first quarter this year, for the first time in the global marketplace, smartphones out-shipped feature phones, the International Data Corporation reported in late April. This alone, in my opinion, represents a tipping point for the mobile industry today.
Top 5 smartphone vendors, shipments and market shares, Q1, 2013
The Financial Times last week published an article that Nokia will stop shipping Symbian handsets this summer. Undoubtedly, this decision marks the end of an era for feature phones — a segment where Nokia has always held a sizable share.
Although Nokia itself hasn’t announced the cut-off date for its Symbian phones, the news shouldn’t surprise anyone. The big clue came when Nokia — betting its life on Microsoft’s Windows platform — closed its own Symbian site at the end of 2012.
Then, earlier this month on Friday, June 7, Samsung Electronics’ shares sharply fell, supposedly triggered by a research note from J.P. Morgan analyst J.J. Park, who wrote that shipments of the Galaxy S4 for the third quarter would likely “disappoint” investors, resulting in lower-than-expected margins for Samsung.