ThoughtPiece: The State of the Smartphone Market

Comments



Windows Mobile
: Microsoft HQ
I know this is a software platform rather than one specific hardware vendor, but to me all Windows Mobile smartphones are kind of like the Borg in Star Trek: lacking individuality, kind of all the same, part of a larger collective effort to overwhelm the competition more on sheer numbers rather than with uniqueness or elegance.

Upside: A very recognized brand, and many vendors with deep pockets (not to mention Microsoft) ensure that this arm of the competition will be around for a long time. As the market for smart phones continues to grow, undoubtedly so will the number of Windows Mobile devices in use.

Downside: With an operating system that many find aggravating to use, these devices will be outflanked by the BlackBerry in the enterprise segment and Apple in the consumer market.

Overall outlook: Solid but not exciting.

Palm: Palm HQ
Upside: The Treo brand still has value in the market place and the company remains on a relatively firm financial standing. The addition of some former Apple execs may bring some new life.

Downside: No new OS or hardware redesign in years, one wonders how much longer Palm will remain relevant. Surveys show that Treo owners are particularly likely to convert to the iPhone.

Overall outlook: Fading but not gone just yet; the key will be new products introduced at the end of this year and into next year.

Conclusion
:
The smart phone market is one that is both lucrative and growing, and so all competitors have an opportunity to realize significant profits. However, it will be very interesting to see how the market divides itself up in the future. The only sure thing is that consumers will be the winner from all of this competition.

  • http://www.dragonhunting.com/ James

    Until you can add your own applications to the iPhone, it is NOT a smartphone. It is a very slick media phone, and is going to really eat into Sony Ericsson’s market share. Apple may eventually go that route, but it’s going to be at minimum 6 months to a year before we see anything from them. RIM is definitely in good standing, but as mentioned by one of their execs, they cannot get complacent with Apple around.

    They have the upperhand and should act on it, roll out 3G and WiFi as quick as they can, bump the specs in their consumer phones to record video with higher meg cameras and they should get some kind of system to alert owners when new updates are available so that we don’t have to troll forums to find the latest software.

    As for Windows Mobile, it’s always going to be there, and it seems even with high profile devices like the Q and Blackjack, MS and Co. aren’t able make huge gains. I haven’t used WM6 so I can’t comment on if it’s a big improvement. As long as RIM can keep and improve in the enterprise arena they should be alright against MS.

    Palm is close to dead. I give them one year before they’ve completely changed. Either they get eaten up by someone else, move entirely to WM or go chapter 11. They seem to have gotten confused with the correct date for April Fool’s when they released the Folio.

  • http://www.dragonhunting.com James

    Until you can add your own applications to the iPhone, it is NOT a smartphone. It is a very slick media phone, and is going to really eat into Sony Ericsson’s market share. Apple may eventually go that route, but it’s going to be at minimum 6 months to a year before we see anything from them. RIM is definitely in good standing, but as mentioned by one of their execs, they cannot get complacent with Apple around.

    They have the upperhand and should act on it, roll out 3G and WiFi as quick as they can, bump the specs in their consumer phones to record video with higher meg cameras and they should get some kind of system to alert owners when new updates are available so that we don’t have to troll forums to find the latest software.

    As for Windows Mobile, it’s always going to be there, and it seems even with high profile devices like the Q and Blackjack, MS and Co. aren’t able make huge gains. I haven’t used WM6 so I can’t comment on if it’s a big improvement. As long as RIM can keep and improve in the enterprise arena they should be alright against MS.

    Palm is close to dead. I give them one year before they’ve completely changed. Either they get eaten up by someone else, move entirely to WM or go chapter 11. They seem to have gotten confused with the correct date for April Fool’s when they released the Folio.

  • Kevin

    This is very USA centric–how about the Symbian platform? In Europe, Nokia is a significant if not the dominate smartphone vendor.

  • Kevin

    This is very USA centric–how about the Symbian platform? In Europe, Nokia is a significant if not the dominate smartphone vendor.