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Samsung was the fastest growing major smartphone vendor

The smartphone market grew 73% in Q4. Here are the growth rates for vendors which regularly report smartphone sales:

  • HTC: 142%
  • Motorola: 96%
  • Apple: 86%
  • RIM: 40.5% (period ending November)
  • Nokia: 36%

Samsung plans for Android, Bada, Windows Phone and Symbian phones

“We are not seeing visible demand for Symbian,” she said.

via Samsung says to focus on Android, bada software | Reuters.

I was ready to dig into this, but the same person is quoted saying this of Microsoft’s new Windows Phone:

“There is still some professional, specialized demand there,”

Whaaa?

Windows Phone is anything but professional and specialized. It’s designed to orphan business users and is targeted to mainstream use.

Another example of head-scratching random marketing word generation.

RIM now ranked 4th, Apple 6th in phone market shares

First quarter market share ranking of top mobile phone vendors according to Strategy Analytics:

  1. Nokia, 107.8 million
  2. Samsung, 64.3
  3. LG, 27.1
  4. RIM, 10.6
  5. Sony Ericsson, 10.5
  6. Apple 8.75
  7. Motorola, 8.5

These numbers are shipments or sell-in, which may differ from sell-through or end-user purchases.

RIM breaks into top 5 in surging phone market | Reuters.

Platform Bonanza! Three new Platforms in one Day

Delivering precisely what the world needs today:

  • Samsung launched Bada
  • Microsoft launched Windows Phone “7 Series”
  • Nokia and Intel jointly announced MeeGo.

Three new ambitious platforms starting with zero installed bases and no applications are going up against the following:

  • Symbian with more than 200 million users and 20k apps
  • WebOS with less than 3 million users and about 1k apps
  • Windows Mobile with 30 million users and about 2k apps
  • iPhone OS, about 75 million users and 150k apps
  • Android with 3 to 5 million users and approx. 20k apps
  • Blackberry OS with more than 50 million users and a few thousand apps.

It should be noted that Microsoft’s new Windows Phone “7 Series” will compete with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 which will continue as a product line.

MeeGo will also compete with Nokia’s existing Symbian OS for developers, replacing Maemo.

Most of these new platforms will not have products shipping for at least 6 months during which time another 50 million (at least) new users will join existing ecosystems.

There are now nine smartphone platforms, but who’s counting? I’ve been hearing predictions of consolidation for years and although platforms have come and gone (PalmOS, SavaJe), the total number continues to increase.

If nothing else, this seems to indicate that the industry is not in any state of maturity or point of “over-service” where commoditization takes place.


Calibrating iPhone Growth

I calibrate my growth rates on the assumption that Apple will overtake the combined share of the two money-losing handset vendors.

Sony Ericsson and Motorola are the weakest competitors in terms of portfolio and competence with software. Their sales, units and profits shares for 2008/2009 are shown in the graph above (source: Morgan Stanley).

Therefore, my thesis is that Apple could beat these two weakest competitors in 3 more years.

Here is the basic top-down view:

In 2009 174 million smartphones were sold out of a total of 1.13 billion phones (IDC, Strategy Analytics). Using a 10% CAGR on this figure gives 1.65 billion phones in 2013

Apple obtained 2.1% share in 2009 and about 1.5% share in 2008. My forecast share for Apple:

2010: 3%

2011: 4.1%

2012: 5.5%

2013: 7.5%

During the last quarter, Sony Ericsson held 4.5% share and Motorola 3.7% therefore my 2013 target for Apple is a little less than the sum of what these two hold today.

This results in unit sales for Apple of 125 million units for 2013 and a compound annual growth rate of 50% a year.