Apple 'niche player' in touchscreen phone biz, says analyst
Samsung, Motorola dominate
Apple's iPhone may have boosted awareness of touchscreen handsets, prompting a 91 per cent increase in sales between 2007 and 2006, but it's still just a "niche player", one market watcher reckons.
ABI Research this week highlighted that leap in demand for touchscreen phones, noting that while the increase is global, handsets with touch-sensitive screens are particularly popular in Asia.
Hence Apple's niche status: until the launch of the iPhone 3G, the Mac maker's handset hasn't been available - officially, at any rate - in Asian countries. They accounted for 80 per cent of touchcreen phone sales over the past 12 months, ABI said.
Touchscreen phones from Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson have, however, which is why these companies dominate this segment of the market, despite Apple's marketing successfully associating in the minds of Western consumers touchscreen technology with the iPhone.
According to ABI, Samsung and Motorola are effectively level-pegging, with 33 per cent and 30 per cent of the world touchscreen phone market, respectively. Add on the 24 per cent share taken by Sony Ericsson, and there's not much room left for the rest.
That's now. With the iPhone 3G enjoying far greater geographical sales coverage than its predecessor did, and with the debut of a touchscreen BlackBerry, there's going to be plenty of pressure on the emcumbents over the coming 12 months.
That said, Samsung for one, has been driving touchscreen technology hard, releasing a raft of phones - from the Armani to the Tocco and, most recently, the Omnia - that use big, finger-friendly screens instead of traditional keypads. It's hard to see Samsung being knocked off the top slot, but the picture looks less certain for the other major phone makers.
One percent ...
that's all Steve Jobs said he wanted ... one per cent of the mobile phone market. That's niche and that's good.
Go further and homeless people will have iPhones!
Some of these phones which claim to have touch interfaces count the fact you have to 'touch' the phone to use it!
@Ted iPhone is based on myOrigo
Umm, Apple did not invent multitouch or even the basic UI concept.
iPhone is heavily based on prototype created by Finnish company myOrigo in 2000 or so.
As far as I know Apple bought or licenced myOrigo IPR, but even if the key features would be patented, those patents are already 8-10 years old.
So even in the worst case the wait would be 7 not 15 years.
It's all about UI and polish
I've used most platforms available under WM, Symbian and some proprietary ones. Right now I have a Nokia E90, and recently had an Ameo; I've used UIQ on Motorola and LG's Viewty, and tried the Samsung effort. I've never used a Blackberry though.
Not one of them comes close to the speed and user friendly behaviour of the iPhone.
However, I still don't have an iPhone 3G (I have a cracked original one) - because I will not have a contract with O2. They don't allow tethering regardless of handset (and their internet services are limited, they don't like IM or IRC), they're awful to deal with for customer service, and their international rates are insane.
iPhone is brilliant within the realms of technology and reasonable budgets for development and hardware cost. If it were on T-Mobile, I'd actually pay to get one as an upgrade; as it is I'll probably get an 8GB N95.
HTC's handsets would be a lot better if someone other than HTC developed the software side. They make neat hardware, then run them on a mishmash of software that results in them being buggy and unstable.