Leading the charge against entrenched smartphone incumbent Nokia, both RIM and Apple have proven that consumers are a finicky bunch. Following on data that had Apple and RIM at least doubling the size of their slice of the smartphone market, at Nokia’s expense, we’re presented with new data from Gartner that confirms Apple and RIM’s mobile OS offerings are leading the charge against the Finns and their Symbian mobile OS.
Gartner’s data shows looks at the growth of smartphone market share through mobile OS market share – all smartphones come installed with a mobile OS, which makes mobile OS market share growth a reliable way to measure smartphone market share growth. Apple blew past other smartphone makers with its Mac OS platform showing an explosive growth rate of 245.7% from 2007 to 2008. Apple saw their Mac OS selling over 11 million units in 2008. RIM held its own by growing its BlackBerry platform 96.7% from 2007 to 2008, on sales of more than 23 million in 2008.
Meanwhile, Nokia saw their Symbian market share shrink 6.1% on sales of just under 73 million units. It’s clear that Nokia is still the market leader, by a fairly large margin, but there’s no doubt that the “little guys” are playing catch up as we speak.
Apple ended 2008 with 10.7% of the global smartphone market, with RIM capturing a solid 19.5% of the worldwide smartphone space. Nokia saw its majority share of the world’s smartphone market drop to just 40.8% in 2008 – still a formidable slice of the pie no doubt, but a smaller, formidable slice, to be sure.
Worldwide, smartphone sales were up 13.9% in 2008, compared with figures from 2007. It seems the global demand for smartphones has outpaced the dwindling global economy. After all, we’re always going to need cellphones.
We can only imagine Nokia’s troubles are just starting, what with Palm’s WebOS expected to take the world by storm later this year. Unfortunately, Nokia’s move to go open-source with Symbian might not be enough to fend off the advances from the likes of Apple and RIM.