With only one product and a late-year launch, Apple has really done well for itself with the iPhone. The fastest-growing segment in the mobile phone industry is the smartphone segment, and it’s been growing every year – growing 72% over 2006. And, a new report from Canalysis estimates that Apple became the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer in Q4 2007. Apple has apparently taken up a cozy position behind Nokia and RIM in global smartphone shipments in the quarter.
“When you consider that it launched part way through the year, with limited operator and country coverage, and essentially just one product, Apple has shown very clearly that it can make a difference and has sent a wake-up call to the market leaders,” said Pete Cunningham, Canalys senior analyst.
Further, the iPhone has attained a 28% smartphone market-share in the US for Q4 2007. That puts the iPhone in second-place, trailing RIM’s (the BlackBerry maker) 41% market-share. To put this into perspective, Palm’s 9% share and Windows Mobile’s combined 21% share has already been over-shadowed by the iPhone. But, then again, we’re not all that surprised, given that the iPhone’s market-share already overtook Windows Mobile in Q3 2007.
In the European theater, the iPhone (which launched halfway through the quarter in limited countries) took fifth-place behind Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola. What’s surprising is that the Apple phone has clinched more market share than long-time smartphone makers Sony Ericsson and Palm.
By OS, overall global market share looks like this:
- Symbian 65% share
- Microsoft on 12%
- RIM on 11%
- Apple on 7%
- Linux at 5%
The iPhone clearly has quite a way to go in Europe, and the market-leaders are already working furiously to push out a touch-based interface to compete with the user experience delivered by the iPhone. The European theater could prove to be a tough nut to crack for Apple, but in the US, it’s clear that the iPhone is making serious inroads to the smartphone market.