News was a bit slower last week on the mobile front. It seems as though the market took a little breather to digest all of the hot new summer phone releases. Speaking of which, we got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy S, or Vibrant as its known on T-mobile. The handset has not disappointed. The device is thin and light, lightning fast, and the Swype keyboard application is awesome. It’s worth a look if you’re in the market for a new phone. Look for the Captivate if you’re on AT&T, and later this year as the Fascinate on Verizon and Epic on Sprint.
With the hot summer handset releases behind us, who is the worldwide leader in the market? According to Strategy Analytics, Nokia (remember them?) sold the greatest share of the 308M handsets sold in Q2. Nokia’s share was 36.1%, follwed by Samsung at 20.7%, and LG at 10%. RIM, the only dedicated smartphone maker in the top 5, came in fourth at 3.6%. So while smartphones grab all of the media attention, the low-end of the market accounts for all the volume. If the market is largest at the low end, then why are all the manufacturers chasing the smartphone market? Because that’s where all the profits are. For example, Apple is nowhere to be seen on the market share list, yet they are far and away the most profitable mobile phone company.
Speaking of market share, a report on mobile search was released by StatCounter last week. At the top of the heap was Google, with a whopping 98.29% share of the market. I’m not sure how accurate the numbers are, but even if they are off by 20%, that’s still a dominant share of the market. If that doesn’t convince you that you should have a mobile presence that Google can index, then you’re losing lots of business to your competitors who do have one – without even knowing about it! Both Yahoo! and Bing, the two other big mobile search providers, account for just 1.25% of the market. On the bright side, I guess Yahoo! and Bing’s share can only get bigger, because it certainly can’t get any smaller!
Finally, just to kick start everyone’s favorite rumor mill, I am going to jump on the bandwagon and say that AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity may be coming to an end this year. Why? Well, AT&T made a statement that they are going to be the premier vendor for Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. I don’t understand why AT&T would back a competitor to the iPhone unless their exclusivity is coming to an end. It’s time to place your bets. I say that the iPhone is available on another carrier for the holidays, and I’ll predict T-mobile over Verizon since T-mobile’s GSM technology is the most compatible with AT&T and Apple, out of spite, wants to stick it to Verizon for their Android promoting, iPhone-bashing ads. What do you think? Feel free to sound off in the comments!