Thursday, November 6, 2008

Canalys Data Summary: Smartphone Shipments 3RD Quarter 2008

In the previous post , I mentioned CNet reporting on new smartphone data from Canalys.  I broke up the post because the previous post was something about the post itself.   Now, we'll get into the actual report itself.

What does the data from Canalys say about units shipped?

  • Smartphone shipment rose 28% in the 3rd quarter over last year.
  • 39.9 million units shipped.
  • Nokia retains pole position to be followed by Apple in distance second.  Nokia took a hit in its marketshare as well.  But all things considered, Nokia held its own.
  • The market is huge.  Onxo always believe there is enough room for multiple players to grow.  However, Microsoft has to start firing on all cylinders to maintain the status of a major competitor in the market.  Or else, remember Palm? 
  • RIM came in 3rd but new devices may allow it to capture the silver in the 4th quarter.  Apple has but only one device.
  • When it's all said and one, Nokia and RIM should gain shares are their new products are launched and have had a chance to reach intended markets.
I don't find Apple's 5X shipment increase all that important due to lack of previous metrics to make comparisons.  We need to see how it does once the iPhone distribution has settled.  Last year, the iPhone was only sold in the United States.  By the end of the year, it will be sold in about 70 countries.  Regardless how the data is interpreted, Apple hit a grand slam first time at bat.  And it did so again the 2nd time around.  Unfortunately for Apple, its reputation for innovation leaves it very little room to fall short.  To continue the baseball analogies, even a triple could be viewed as failure.
Here's what we need to look out for in the coming quarters:
  • Blackberry numbers may be skewed since it will have additional devices on the market.  I really want to see how the retention rate is for RIM.
  • HTC's 4th quarter number and beyond are very important.  Why?  Android.  
  • More specifically, which platform is doing well.  We know Apple's iPhone OS made a great splash but how will Android fare a couple of quarters from now?  
  • How low will Windows Mobile go?  It grew 42% but its competitors grew faster, including Linux.  It is in danger of being made irrelevant if folks latch onto other platforms currently with all the momentum.
  • How will iPhone's sales be affected by new mobile devices?  And how will iPhone's sales affect adoption of new competing models?
  • Can Apple sustain market share with only one model?  If not, perhaps subsequent drops in future quarters may point to Apple release more than one model of iPhone if they want to satisfy the different needs of mobile users.
Next post, let's look at this report from the OS angle.  Visit CNet and Canalys for more details.

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