I can't imagine that either Microsoft or Apple is happy with the story that these numbers tell. It would appear that Android, even with the fragmentation problems that it has, is on its way towards becoming the de facto standard for smartphones. Combine that with the decline in PC sales and Google could end up with a stranglehold on this market. Can the monopoly police be far behind?
So, it is obviously going on for a while. I think what the data tells us is that smartphones are no longer either high-end or value added handsets. It's now the mainstream, mass market product available in volume -- on the verge of getting highly commoditized.
Can't be a good news for anyone in the smartphone market.
You're right, Junko. Not much surprise here. Certainly the directly has been clear for a long time. But the more interesting part is what this means for mobile broadband service providers and, in turn, to retailers and other businesses that will benefit from the thundering herd. Revenue for the carriers will surge.
One question in my mind is whether there is enough spectrum in the US to meet the demand. I already hear many, many complaints from 4G phone owners (myself included) who can't get service when they need it, or get service that is so slow that it remind you of 2G. If service deteriorates and the number of smartphones soar, many of the phone owners will question why they have a smartphone at all. Most of us spend enough time on computers...do we really need to spend another $50 a month to get inferior service when we're on the go?
Except Apple and Samsung. I think this is a case of disagreement among two market research firms: IDC, who calculates that the balance shifted in the first quarter, and IHS, who calculates it happened in the second quarter. Either way, seems as though smartphones are the lead dog now. But I thought feature phones were making a comeback of sorts?
Dylan, no, unfortunately feature phones aren't coming back. That said, low-end smartphones today aren't that different from high-end feature phones, except for the fact feature phones don't use Android OS.
In that regards, I do agree that the whole distinction of "smartphones" and "feature phones" is dumb. It is no longer relevant as another thread in the message board shows.
The point I made earlier in my blog entitled "Time to Rethink Featre Phone?" ( http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1318970 ) wasn't about th comeback of feature phones, but I wish handset makers would think about it...rather than pumping out indistinguishable Android-based smartphones.
According to the data, the overall market size of smartphone has increased by 46.5%. It is substantial. Among all OSs, Android, iOS and Microsoft have gained in number of handset shipment. The struggling blackberry has shrinked. The bleeding seems to be unstoppable.
To common wisdom, the attraction of any smartphone OS is heavily depending on availability of popular apps and the diversity of apps. RIM took a seemingly good direction by making BB10 able to run Android apps. Why is Blackberry failed to gain attention? The -ve movement is puzzling to me.
On the bright side, Microsoft has roughly 83% gain. Although 3.3% market share is too small to celebrate, the executive shall not be too upset of the gain. Question is whether the trend can be improved. Will you consider Windows phone if there are more and better apps?
ChanjO: To answer your question: yes, I will consider a Microsoft phone and a Surface tablet if a) the price become more competitive (this is really what drove the Droid market), b) More apps are available (and they will be, because the Droid and iOS markets are saturated), and c) Microsoft continues to include basic Office on the Surface RT.
It would be nice to have a phone and tablet that can open Office docs without acquiring an expensive App that doesn't quite work correctly. The business world is not about to start running on Open Office or Google Docs. Not this decade.
Perhaps with this milestones we can stop calling the phones smart or dumb...they will all be smart very soon...the problem with the smart label is what you do afterwards...very smart? super smart?...this applies to phones, grids (as in smart grid), appliances (as in smart appliances) etc...would it be better to start classifiying them based on communication technology they are using? (2G, 3G or 4G)
Yes, market categorization by technology, price points, OS and network capability. In the early years of advanced mobile phones, the adjective "smart" may have been descriptive, but today it is far more relevant to ask if a phone is Android, iOS, Windows, etc., whether it is 3G or LTE, whether it can multitask, and how much it costs.
Ah - but listen to your intonation when you say "smart phone" - the stress is on "smart" not "phone". That stress is different to if you were answering the question "is that phone a dumb phone or smart phone?". Yes, etymologically-speaking, a smart phone is a phone that is smart, but language moves on: a smart phone is a kind of phone (which happens to be smart amongst other things like running iOS or Android, having a touch screen etc).
(I'm making the assumption that the stress in American English is the same as in the British English I speak. That isn't always the case - American's say "chinese food", for example, with stress on "chinese" not "food", which to my British ears sounds like thy're answering a question, eg "would you like chinese or indian food?").
I do believe that there is a different market for each cell phone., therefore, I am not surprised that the sale of cell phones continues to increase. In terms of smart cell phones, I do not believe that all cell phones will be Smartphone in the future, unless the price is reduced. We have to remember that there are customers who cannot afford to buy a Smartphone. I have a Windows smartphone and I love it!
Maybe the price will go down more when more "free" open-source operating systems are used. It must cut development costs and time to market quite a bit. How competitive does use of Android/open source make a smartphone?
Susan, the price of smartphones has been already coming down quite a bit, if you take a global view. Thanks to Android, commoditization of smartphones is happening and that's precisely what this market data shows.
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