Mobile phones device sales increased 19% Y-o-Y to total 427.8 million units in Q1,2011, On the same lines, Smartphone sales registered a 85% increase and accounted for 23.6% of overall mobile sales in 2011. Smartphones registered 100.8 million unit sales in 2011. Smartphone numbers have seen a depression due to the situation in Japan and the fact that buyers haven’t invested in smartphones in Q1,2011 anticipating stronger and bigger device releases in Q2,2011.
The smartphone numbers only re-inforce the familiar rise of Android to Ubiquitous status, the marginalization of Symbian in Smartphone OSs and pressure on Nokia to defend its leadership. Symbian lost 24% share in 9 quarters, whereas Android gained 35% of its market in the same 9 quarters propelling the likes of HTC to No.7 in Devices and lifting the ASPs for Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. Android currently is in the mode of moving into the $100 price feature phones to get into the mass mode.
Nokia’s move from Symbian to Windows was announced this February and there is a 1 year or more waiting time before the Nokia Windows Phone hits the shelves. In the meantime, consumers are expected to shy away from Symbian and thus in the ensuing quarters, Symbian market shares are expected to free fall further. By the time, the Windows tie-up kicks in for Nokia, Nokia could well be around 10% market share points and combined with Windows, it would claw back to 20% but never really challenge the dominance of the Android OS, eco-system and partners.
With presence across 90 countries from 186 CSPs, Apple has doubled its number of units sold Y-o-Y. It is unlikely that Apple will push past the 20% market share in Smartphones majorly, but the unique eco system of devices, applications, platforms and services would make it the most profitable mobile platform.
In the first quarter of 2011, RIM announced that it would transition its BlackBerry portfolio to the QNX platform in 2012. This should make its smartphones more competitive in graphics, performance and touch, and unify RIM’s tablet and smartphone user experience.
Windows devices launched at the end of 2010 failed to grow in consumer preference and CSPs continued to focus on Android. In the long term, Nokia’s support will accelerate Windows Phone’s momentum to double figures.