Changes in the Smartphone Market

A significant factor in the success of social network services is related to the the increase in people using smartphones with good quality cameras, GPS and the ability to install and use apps. Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram are just a few examples. So, it is an intersting exercise to look at trends in smartphone platform marketshares. Asymco compared smartphone unit shares for Q2 2008 and Q2 2011 (three years) to gauge the change in smartphone platform market shares. Note that the first Android phone did not appear until Q3 2008.

The fate of mobile phone brands
In Q2 2008, the top three smartphone platforms were:

1. Nokia/Symbian 47%
2. RIM BlackBerry 17%
3. Microsoft Windows Mobile 12%

Apple was a distant fourth, fifth if you count “Other,” with a 2% share. Three years later, we see a very different smartphone market share story:

1. Android 48%
2. Apple iPhone (iOS) 19%
3. Nokia/Symbian 16%

RIM’s BlackBerry has dropped to become the #4 platform with 12% while Windows Mobile/Phone has a mere 1% market share. Had Asymco looked back an additional three years (to 2005) and we probably would see Palm OS as a major player and Windows Mobile probably had about 20% of the market. The lesson to be learned is that three years is a long time in the mobile technology sector. While Android and iOS (iPhone) look unbeatable today, it may be a very different story in Q2 2014.


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