On 19th of May Gartner released their quarterly report on the state of the mobile phone market. Here’s the press release.
The smartphone front looks like this as of Q1:
Android has had a phenomenal success over the last year going from 9.6 per cent market share to 36 per cent currently. It is starting to seem like Android is forming into another Windows. Symbian has gone to the other direction losing 17 percentage points. In total the smartphone market has doubled over the last year, which is frankly the only thing that has kept Symbian and Nokia barely profitable. But the really interesting part of the market is Microsoft and their new Windows Phone platform, which is going to get its first major update later this year. 3.6 million devices shipped with a Microsoft OS, though only 1.6 million of these were those new WP7 devices according to Gartner. I have discussed Microsoft’s ventures here.
I personally like the Windows Phone UI and the whole concept, but as I stated before they were late to the game and made some mistakes in their execution. Plus, everyday they are giving more advantage to Android and iOS. The fact that they only shipped 1.6 million WP7 devices against Apple’s 17 million and 36 million Androids spells, if not doom for the platform, then at least serious problems for Nokia. The platform will not get any boost from latest generation hardware this quarter and future seems murky at least when compared to the already shipping latest generation Androids. I expect the platform’s market share to drop further although some Symbian shoppers may have jumped ship.
The WP7 platform’s current state seems very problematic for Nokia who is supposed to go all in next year with Microsoft. It is not going to be easy to start with a platform that is closing in on zero in terms of market share while one’s own Symbian is doing the same. Android should be benefiting from this and I expect its market share to grow steadily in the next two quarters especially as the next iPhone is rumored to ship only after summer.
Microsoft today showed of its Mango or 7.1 update for the Windows Phone platform. See here Engadget’s liveblog from the event. Overall it seems like a very solid package for .1 update and will bring the OS closer to feature parity with its closest competitors, but the key take-away from the event is that there is not going to be new hardware or software until this fall. Moreover, Nokia states that this is the version that their first WP device will use raising the expectations that they will actually ship something for the holiday quarter.
Disclosure: I am a Mac/iPad/iPhone user