Mobile Market Wrap-Up, August 2

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!

Mobile Market Wrap-up for February 26, 2010

Once again I’m a little behind in getting out my weekly wrap-up, but this week I have a really really good reason. As most of you should know, last night was the gold medal hockey game between the US and Canada. I’m a huge hockey fan (comes with my Canadian roots) and yesterday’s game was one of the most exciting I’ve ever seen. In the end, the better team one (of course, I’m biased). Needless to say, I didn’t get much work done yesterday, hence the delay in today’s wrap-up.

Last week’s mobile news was a little sparse but that was expected following the flurry of activity around the Mobile World Conference. One of the more interesting stories was about mobile at the Olympics. Yahoo said they saw huge spikes in mobile searches related to every aspect of the Olympics. This doesn’t surprise me. The mobile web is fast becoming an integral part of our daily lives and with quick accessibility to info and news anytime, anywhere. What did surprise me are some of the key stats for searches on Yahoo last week:

  • Searches “ice skating rinks” were up 607%
  • Searches for “red Olympic mittens” were up 182% (um, there were searches for this before the Olympics?)
  • Searches for Lindsey Vonn were up 1,446%
  • Searches for “Shaun White snowboarding” were up 1,921%

Yahoo also built a specific mobilesite for the games sharing info, announcements, and results. This is truly the future of sporting events as the mobile web allows attendees to enhance their in-venue experience and for non-attendees to follow along. Well done Yahoo!

The other big story this week that caught my attention was Gartner’s latest worldwide smartphone sales and marketshare numbers. Overall, smartphone shipments were up 24% from the year before. The iPhone doubled its smartphone marketshare to 14% taking most of their growth away from Symbian (which is used by Nokia and I’ve discussed their slide in previous posts). BlackBerry ended up with 20% marketshare which represents a growth of 3%. So, for all of you who keep telling me that the iPhone is stealing marketshare from BlackBerry, it’s just not true. The iPhone is gaining ground but at Nokia’s expense, not BlackBerry.

As always, here are the latest handset rumors, announcements and reviews I found this week:

To finish off this week’s update, here are a few other articles I want to share with you:

See or hear anything else interesting in mobile.  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Mobile Market Wrap-up for February 19, 2010

My weekly wrap-up is a little late this week but today was just nuts (a good thing though).

Last week was a big week in mobile with the Mobile World Conference (MWC) going on in Barcelona. If you follow us on twitter or facebook, you would have seen several posts on the announcements during MWC. The biggest stories during the week centered on Microsoft and Google. Microsoft released their highly anticipated finally presentable Windows Phone 7 and received great reviews from the critics (yes, I’m serious) … but we won’t see it until at least Q4 2010 which in today’s mobile environment is an eternity. Just imagine what Google will add to Android by then, especially considering they told the mobile world last week that Google advocates “mobile first”.  Google seems to be saying all the right things these days and the numbers prove it with over 60,000 Android-based phones shipping per day. Can Microsoft capitalize on Windows Phone 7 or is their finally-respectable mobile product just too late? Only time will tell. Either way, MWC got me even more excited about mobile in 2010.

I’m sure you noticed but one major mobile company made no news at MWC – and that was Apple. Why not? Simple, it’s because they are just too arrogant to attend. Apple wants the world to respect them as a mobile leader yet they don’t have enough respect for the industry to attend the biggest mobile conference of the year.  Ironically, Steve Jobs won the “Mobile Industry Personality of the Year” at MWC… I don’t think he’ll be getting that award again.  Although Apple was not at MWC, they still made the headlines last week. Apple decided to use their magic veto stick and remove apps from the app store that “suggested” explicit material (not contained, but “suggested”). OK, now that Apple’s removed all those “dirty” apps, the iPhone is free of smut, right? Hmm… ever heard of Safari and the web??? I used to respect Apple and their core corporate values, but with their over-the-top egos and authoritative control, I now see them for who they are – money vultures in angel’s clothing.

Along with all the MWC excitement, we saw lots of handset news last week. Below is the list I compiled, so enjoy and start planning your next purchase:

As most of you know, I always end by sharing other stories or articles I enjoyed during the week, so enjoy:

See or hear anything else interesting in mobile.  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Mobile Market Wrap-up for Sept 11, 2009

Even though it was a holiday week, the mobile news and stories stayed strong.  This week seemed to mark the beginning of the handset wars in preparation for the Christmas holidays.  I know… it’s scary to even mention the “C”-word but manufacturers want to milk this time of year as much as possible.  The biggest stories from this week focused on Android – that Google juggernaut which gains momentum exponentially every week.  Motorola threw their support behind Android in hopes of reviving their handset business and announced the CLIQ which is getting rave reviews from tech enthusiasts around the country.  The Motorola news comes after several weeks of new handset announcements from a variety of manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, and LG.  From Google’s initial (dismal) release last year that left lots of analysts wondering about Google’s mobile future, the question is no longer “when will Google be a serious mobile contender” but instead “how much market share will Google get”.  With their current strategy and focus on a customizable OS, Google is very (very) well positioned to capture significant market share in the low, mid and high-end of the markets globally.  To give you a taste of the momentum Android is building, here are a few select stories from this week alone:

I had a hard time focusing on any other mobile news this week while I watched the Android “marching band” fill up my reader.  A couple of other stories did catch my attention, but I feel like a broker record even bringing them up.  I’ll do it anyways.  Apple continued with their 20-year old strategy by piling more bricks around the iPhone’s walled garden.  In one of my previous weekly wrap-ups, I mentioned a Commodore 64 emulator that Apple rejected from the app store that attracted lots of negative attention from the development community.  Well this week Apple approved the Commodore 64 emulator and then pulled it again.  And then, in an on-going soap opera between Palm and Apple, the latest iTunes 9 release breaks the Palm Pre’s media sync (again)I feel like I’m watching 2 kids fighting over a swing in the playground but forgot to look around and see that there are 1000 open swings next to them.  I really want to believe that Apple isn’t making the same mistakes they did in the past.  Maybe they have something big up their sleeve and will release the iPhone OS to the open source community.  A guy can dream can’t he…

 Here are other stories and articles I thought you might enjoy from this week:

Please leave a comment below with any interesting mobile news you want to share with our readers.  We always welcome your opinion.