BlackBerries outselling Apple iPhones
Fanboi excuses aplenty
To help the BlackBerry pass the iPhone, however, Verizon had to give RIM's phones away. From February 6th through March 31st, Verizon ran a "Buy One, Get One" promotion for the BlackBerry line, a giveaway that NPD's director of industry analysis, Ross Rubin, understandably identified as "aggressive marketing."
Also contributing to RIM's success was the fact that the BlackBerry Curve costs about half that of the iPhone - and that world+dog is waiting for the next-generation iPhones, which are widely rumored to appear this summer.
This impending release of new iPhones was almost certainly a factor behind AT&T's recent report that iPhone sales had slipped to 1.6 million in the first quarter, down from as many as 2.4 million in the third quarter of 2008. The same sales dive also took place before the iPhone 3G replaced the original iPhone last July.
The NPD report identified the top five smartphones as follows:
- RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
- Apple iPhone 3G (all models)
- RIM BlackBerry Storm
- RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip)
- T-Mobile G1
RIM's smartphone line accounted for nearly 50 per cent of all smartphone sales, an increase of 15 per cent over the previous quarter. That jump was at the expense of phones from Apple and Palm, which both declined by 10 per cent.
Smartphones in general are gaining ground on less-capable handsets. According to NPD, they now account for 23 per cent of all mobile-phone sales, up from 17 percent in 2008. ®
World domination requires pre-planning
... so I'd guess that some phones really are going for world domination and probably requires as a prerequisite sufficiently many phones on order with scheduled manufacture & delivery dates, a suitably motivated and in place sales team co-ordinated nationally, regionally and internationally.
Some phones might conform to the above, some might not.
What seems hot is a race to a more pleasant graphical user interface on top of the range with anything goes UI on bottom of the range.
I suppose it is more of a mobile phone/cell phone ecology rather than anything else.
Q: Where does that put the iPhone 3G?
my A: just exactly where Apple wants it to be and I'd guess that Apple will also outsmart the rest while wannabee models are chasing iPhone 3G looks, feel and functionality yet at the same time overlooking the cross device integration of all things Apple courtesy of Mobile Me.
2 for 1 on BB's?
I'm not surprised. their build quality is so frankly shite (thin plastic and silver paint, hollow keyboards, storm screen has a gap around it, etc etc - not to mention the s/w bugs) you'll need 2 to see out your contract.
Alright! Alright! Calm down!
Before the iPhone fanboiz and their opponents start getting too aerated, have a look at the link to the original press release given on the Register article. Then think about it. Three problems are immediate:
1) What's the baseline? In other words, from what figures are these percentages made? NPD's last survey? They imply that, but don't say. Without some sort of baseline figure, it's like saying "Bill runs faster than Fred by 15%". Well, how fast does Fred run? He might be a crippled WWI war veteran, for all we know.
2) What's the sampling, and how is it chosen? NPD says: "sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month". How are these online consumers chosen? Is it a fair sampling, or is it skewered towards customers of Blackberry outlets and against those from iPhone outlets? NPD leaves us clueless. Is 150,000 a fair sampling of wireless mobile phone sales in the US, or is it the equivalent of asking four dog owners whether their dogs prefer Winalot and extrapolating from that? We can't know.
3) What's the margin for error? All serious survey companies - NOP, yougov etc, will include a margin for error (in their case + or - 3%, but it can be higher or lower). I don't see it in the NPD survey.
You don't need to have a mathematical degree in statistics to spot these problems - I certainly don't. You just need to have read The Tiger That Isn't by Michael Blastland & Andrew Dilnot (quite cheap on Amazon) to start making real sense of surveys, figures etc regurgitated in the media, including the Register, to see through them clearly.
I have no particular axe to grind one way or the other on the wireless phone issue. NPD's survey and analysis may well be correct. It's just that we have no way of knowing.