Apple, RIM profit from Euro smartphone shift
But Sony Ericsson, HTC experience explosive growth
Sony Ericsson's shift to Android proved spectacularly successful during the last three months of 2010, figures show.
According to market watcher IDC, the company's unit shipments into Western Europe during Q4 2010 rocketed 3121 per cent when compared to Q4 2009 - all thanks to the Xperia X10 and X10 Mini.
But temper that glee: taking into account all mobile phone types, and SE's unit shipments fell 15 per cent across those two quarters.
Only Apple and Research in Motion say phones shipments increase between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010, IDC's numbers show. Other top five players - Nokia and Samsung - saw sales slip: 11 per cent and two per cent, respectively.
Apple shipments were up 66 per cent, RIM up 67 per cent. That puts Apple's market share at nine per cent in Western Europe - third place behind Nokia (33 per cent) and Samsung (27 per cent). Sony Ericsson and RIM both took seven per cent of the market.
Focusing on smartphones, Apple came second during the quarter, taking 20 per cent of the market to Nokia's 27 per cent. A year ago, their shares were 24 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively.
RIM took 15 per cent, HTC 13 per cent and Sony Ericsson - thanks to the aforementioned Xperias - took nine per cent of the market. Every company in the top five chart saw smartphone sales increase.
HTC's unit-shipments growth wasn't as spectacular as SE's but 284 per cent isn't to be sniffed at.
As a whole, smartphone shipments almost doubled between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010 to 25.6m units. Broad mobile phone shipments were up just three per cent.
The advantage for Apple and RIM: they don't sell ordinary mobile phones. The others do, and for all their success selling more smartphones, those gains failed to compensate for falling voice-centric handset sales. ®
In fact, Android won by a mile
This is a very strange write-up that conveys very little of the sense of IDC's original press release. Smartphones are now nearly half of the market by volume, and, presumably, 70-80% or more by value. Feature phone sales are now largely irrelevant in commercial terms.
IDC's conclusion is this: " The Western European mobile phone market will be dominated by smartphones, and Android will be the king of the hill." This statement is supported by Android's share of the smartphone market rocketing to 31% (2009Q4: 4%). Nokia - almost entirely Symbian - lost market leadership but remained in second place with 27.3% (2009: 46.1%).
Despite the bullish headline, Apple's share actually fell to 20.3% (2009: 24.2%) and RIM's share - Blackberry OS - fell slightly less rapidly to 14.8% (2009: 18.0%). Windows mobile gets lost in the rounding, but, despite the launch of Windows Phone 7, lost market share even more rapidly than Nokia.
The smart/dumb phone demarcation line used to be fairly clear a few years ago: most phones were dumb phones and smart phones were essentially PDAs with phone capability.
Currently we have three broad categories:
Dumb phones: A "traditional" mobile, does voice, text and maybe some wap and e-mail.
Feature phones: A dumb phone with added goodies, such as better e-mail, storage for sensible amounts of music, better screen that may or may not be touch and a better browser. May also be capable of loading additional apps. Most Nokia s40 phones probably fit in this category.
Smart phones: Feature phones taken up another notch. Better support for e-mail, ability to load additional apps, usually a larger screen, more likely to be touch-screen. Most Nokia s60 and Symbian^3 phones probably fit in this category.
Anyway, you get the picture.
Unfortunately, placing a particular phone in a particular category can be troublesome and largely a matter of semantics.
Most Android phones will be in the "smart" category, but there will be some that lean heavily into the "feature" category. WP7 devices (like iPhone 1) are really in the "Feature" category at the moment, despite what the marketing 'droids say, but future OS upgrades will likely change that in the same way that the iOS ones did for Apple.
I expect that the categories used for this data would be the ones that manufacturers are using, so the Nokia figures won't cover all Symbian handsets, just the ones that Nokia markets as smartphones.
My Nokia E52 has -
A normal keyboard (like any phone)
GPS and maps with voice nav
VoIP builtin to the Contacts UI (call them with VoIP or gsm)
push email and calendar to Gmail and google calendar
voice output of email and SMS
MS Office document read and write
DLNA client and server
Traffic info from ITIS (uses GPS to locate)
Metro app (public transport routing)
FM radio (RDS with station population by Nokia server, ie you don't have to find the stations, you just select where you are and the stations pop-up)
Internet radio (with station directory)
Some games (for the kids)
Some video stuff (for the kids)
16GB microsd (for the maps and audio-books/music)
3.2mp camera with flash
excellent call quality and reception (aerial is in the lower edge if this helps)
quite a lot of other stuff
Can be used entirely with the left hand (as I did when the right was in a cast)
Goes about three days without a charge
Other than not fit in my pocket and need two hands to use what is it missing?
SE out of the frying pan
...and into the fire.
When sheeple see an "Orange Boston" running Android 1.6 and with 12 hours of standby heavily promoted by the operators as a "smartphone" for the same price as a T715, which is a thoroughly better-quality, less laggy, well-thought-out featurephone, what do you think gets bought in the end?
Besides, SE stopped developing featurephones. The only difference between the W995 and the T715 is integrated GoogleMaps, FaceBook and Twitter.
small "i" in front of the name :-)