In 2007, worldwide smart-phone sales to end users grew 52.5% compared with 2006, reaching 122 million unit sales. 4Q07 was the strongest quarter on record, with sales up 50% year over year. Gartner - March 2008
So at this moment in time, June 2008, the best guess on total smart phones to be sold in the first two quarters of '08 would be something like 75 million units. What makes a smart phone? Well its all of the mobile phones that are not PDA-like - meaning if it looks like a large piece of bread when holding up to your ear (like a lot of the Microsoft Mobiles) its not a "smart-phone". A bit of a wobbly statistic qualifier I know but reasonably accurate IMHO.
That large classification behind us, I would then divide the world into to one handed smart-phones versus two-handed. RIM, Microsoft, and Apple are the essentially players in two-handed phone use so that is one group... maybe 30 percent of all smart-phones out there. And Android will likely further fragment that group mostly at the pain of Microsoft. Nokia's are essentially one handed smart-phone designs and have say 45 percent of all smart phones and only bit play in the two-handed domain. That leaves the remaining smart-phone players with 25 percent of worldwide smart-phones as mostly one-handed designs.
What is of common to the smart-phones...? They all connect to the Internet and have the potential to by-pass legacy phone connect services - hmmm pretty smart. All have cameras, some better than others (3 mega-pixel is so last month) and all but the less-smart-phones now have GPS. And if you are really a smart smart-phone user, your smart-phone has WiFi too! Nothing like getting your GB at a discount when your can!
Gartner's reports average $1500 a copy so you have to watch the smoke signals. And the smoke signals suggest the following to me:
Nokia dominates the category called smart-phones everywhere but in the US were it just does not yet have much market share. That is going to change as 3G really takes hold in the US in a significant way over the coming year. Currently, in the US RIM dominates as the defacto of the smart-phones followed by Apple iPHONE (wahoo!). World wide iPHONE is way back in the pack in count but likely number "uno" in passion and most-desired factors - it ain't no sandwich up against your head!
And I will really stretch out on this one... Symbian is no slouch OS... but what they do for two-handed smart-phones is yet to be seen? Apple is to die for but it will always be Apple's... Android, is a dark horse that will keep all the OS players honest but my suspicion is that the carriers are also going to be just a "bit" wary of Google's gift... somewhere in Google's "do-no-harm" the carriers will loose control and just be a bit-player in the big Ethernet?
And FYI... From Gartner via Computerworld's budget/leverage....
June 6, 2008 (Computerworld) While much of the attention in the U.S. smart phone market is on the next-generation iPhone, which is expected to be revealed by Apple Inc. on Monday, the global leader for smart phone sales is still Nokia Corp., analyst firm Gartner Inc. said in a report released today. Nokia had 45.2% of the worldwide market in the first quarter, followed by Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of BlackBerry, with 13% and the Apple's iPhone (first generation), with 5%, was third, Gartner said.
In the U.S., RIM was ranked No. 1, at 42% for the first quarter, while Apple was No. 2, at 20%, Gartner said. Earlier this week, research firm IDC reported similar findings, putting RIM in the U.S. at a 44% share and Apple at a 19% share.
Gartner found that RIM's global market share increased to 13.4% in the quarter, up from 8.3% in the first quarter a year earlier. The iPhone was not shipping until June 2007. Nokia slipped slightly to a market share of 45.2% this year from 46.7% in the same quarter last year, although the total number of units shipped rose from 14.5 million units in the quarter, up from 11.6 million in the first quarter of 2007.
Globally, total smart phone growth in the first quarter grew 29%, making up 11% of all mobile devices sold. Sales in the first quarter totaled 32.2 million units, Gartner said.
In Europe, Middle East and Africa, growth was 38.7% in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2007, with 11.7 million units sold, Gartner said. Nokia is especially strong in Europe. By comparison, smart phone sales in North America were up 106% in the first quarter compared with the first quarter a year ago, with a total number of 7.3 million units sold.
Smart phone growth was driven by buyers replacing older phones, but also by new devices with touch screens and a variety of new applications, Gartner analysts said. Growth in the smart phone segment is expected to continue as more open-platform devices are announced, such as Android-based phones, they added.
Despite an economic downturn, the smart phone market continued to expand in the U.S., driven by lower-cost devices and heavy advertising and marketing, said Hugues De La Vergne, a Gartner analyst. Wireless operators in the U.S. and Canada are also giving the smart phone devices their attention, since they can provide higher revenue per user than more traditional devices, he added.
Globally, the fourth-ranked smart phone in sales was a tie between Sharp and Fujitsu, each with 4.1%, Gartner said. All other smart phone makers had nearly 28% of the market, but Gartner did not specify which devices. Microsoft Corp., maker of the Windows Mobile operating system, contends that Windows Mobile smart phones have the largest share globally, but their numbers are not included by either IDC or Gartner because they are sold across four device-makers and include ruggedized devices