Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Chart of the Day: The half-life of a cellphone vendor

May 29, 2012: 10:58 AM ET

Can the collapse of RIM, Nokia and LG be predicted down to the quarter?


FORTUNE -- Updating a chart he first posted last year (see here and here), Asymco's Horace Dediu on Monday tried to estimate how long three badly wounded veterans of the smartphone wars -- Research in Motion (RIMM), Nokia (NOK) and LG -- might survive.

He defines what he calls the "post-traumatic period" of a phone manufacturer's life as beginning with their first loss-making quarter and ending with their exit from the business. How long that lasts, he suggests, depends on the company's commitment to the industry. A diversified conglomerate like LG might cut its losses and be out in six months. RIM and Nokia, having no fall-back options, could linger for years.

For more on his hypothesis, click here.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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