Smartphone wars: The big pictureAugust 3, 2010: 8:01 AM ET
Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, Linux -- who's in it for the long haul?
Two news events -- the imminent arrival of Research in Motion's (RIMM) newest entry and Apple (AAPL) falling behind Google (GOOG) in U.S. market share -- has triggered some interesting long-term thinking about where we are in the battle for smartphone supremacy.
Here's who we've been reading (while we are supposed to be on vacation):
- MG Siegler in TechCrunch: Wait, So 20 Phones On 4 Carriers Outsold 1 Phone On 1 Carrier? Shocking. The latest Canalys data from the perspective of a fierce Apple loyalist.
- Fred Vogelstein in Wired: Doing the Math on Android vs. Apple. Let's get our numbers straight, he writes. It's a battle between operating systems, and although Android is catching up to iOS, it still isn't even close.
- Tim Bray in ongoing: The Great Game. The battle today, he writes, is bigger than the computer industry ever was: "This is as fierce a concentration of R&D heat and manufacturing virtuosity and distribution wizardry and marketing mojo as humanity has ever seen."
- Tomi Ahonen in Communities Dominate Brands: Understanding Smartphone Market Share? Battle not for phones, is for platform! If you step even further back and look at the global smartphone market in terms of platforms, you can't write off Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT). A sample of Ahonen's long and provocative piece below the fold:
"The iPhone is a blip on the radar and is meaningless in the long war for the OS. We have recently seen newcomers join the battle, but there was a time when Microsoft's Windows Mobile powered 3 out of every 10 smartphones. There was a time when Palm was the world's second bestselling smartphone. There are new rivals today, but the smartphone was invented by Nokia. The giant of smartphones, when Palm challenged it was Nokia. Palm died in that contest. The giant when Microsoft challenged for the smartphone market was Nokia. Microsoft lost its 2nd place and is today lingering in 5th place. The giant when RIM challenged for it, was Nokia. RIM growth has stalled and is now on a plateau or even declining. The giant when Apple challenged it, was Nokia. Apple's iPhone reached its peak market share in 2009 and is now in decline. Now the newest challenger is Android." (link)
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]