The 200+ million iOS devices have caused 14 billion apps to be downloaded in less than three years. The iTunes music store caused 15 billion songs to be downloaded over a 7 year period.
The two media download totals are shown in the following chart:
About 9 months ago I predicted that Apps would overtake song downloads. I was off on the timing by a few months. The app download rate slowed down in the last few months. However, the crossover point is imminent. The song download rate is running at about
The Post PC era just turned more so.
You can still get the t-shirt.
In their monthly survey update on US phone usage, comScore reported that by the end of April 74.6 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones. In the same period a year ago only 48.1 million did. The percent of smartphone users out of total phone users has reached 32%.
The following data points can also be deduced:
- 2.1 million or 474k people/week became smartphone users during April.
- 62% of smartphones in use in the US are either Android or iOS. The sum a year ago was 37%.
- There are about 20 million iPhone users and 27 million Android users in the US today. A year ago there were 12 and 6 million respectively.
- RIM’s US user base peaked at 22 million in Sept 2010. It is now 19 million and dropping.
- Usage of Microsoft mobile operating systems in the US is in steady decline dropping from 7 to 5 million users in one year.
- During April 475,000 people abandoned their Blackberries.
- Android and iOS gained 3 million users in April. One million switched from other smartphones and 2 million switched from non-smartphones.
The following chart shows the evolution of installed base share of platforms among users of smartphones in the US.
One of the details of Nokia’s warning which did not get a lot of attention was the mention that profitability for the current quarter could not be guaranteed. That is to say that Nokia may make a loss, perhaps for the first time in more than a decade.
This may not be that newsworthy except for the strange fact that as far as I’ve been able to observe, any company in the mobile phone market that ended up losing money has never recovered its standing in terms of share or profit (i.e. AMP index value has never recovered).
Here is a list companies that have “hit the rocks” in terms of mobile phone profitability and their fates (in no particular order).
Yesterday Nokia warned that its guidance for the quarter and the year were “no longer valid.” The surprise to me is that management was surprised. In February I warned that even if Nokia could fool consumers into buying products whose platform was publicly executed, distributors and operators would not likely go along with the deception. Pricing collapse is the proof of a channel breakdown.
That seemed predictable. What I struggled with was how Nokia itself could present such an optimistic forecast. Absent any explanation, Nokia’s forecast of robust sales for Symbian products into the near future belies a failure of understanding of the dynamics of platforms and especially the impact of destruction of trust and brand value that commenced in February. Distress is a slippery slope and it does not model well in a spreadsheet. It takes a leap of non-linear faith to predict the piling-on effect on the up- and the down-side.
Faith in the company’s guidance meant that the market reacted to the bad news by discounting Nokia down to a market cap of $26.7 billion. One analyst even cut his target price down to $4/share, 57% of yesterday’s close. How can this fair? What is Nokia’s phone business worth?