In his own words, Brian writes:
Mobile Phone Market Share
This note is to alert you to my statistics which now show that Symbian/Nokia is suddenly and rapidly losing market share.
Back in late February and early March, Nokia was neck and neck with Blackberry, perhaps 10% behind, but there was not much in it.
However, Androids (several brands combined) have just passed Nokia and Blackberry after steady growth.
In the last six weeks, the market share of Nokia compared with Blackberry has slumped. Blackberry is declining slowly, but Nokia is declining rapidly.
Nokia is due to replace their Symbian operating system with Windows 7 Mobile around Christmas time. A partnership with Microsoft was announced in February.
Nokia has withdrawn from the MeeGo open source project which missed its October 2010 deadline and was expected to miss the April 2011 deadline. Essentially Nokia had wanted to have an operating system distinct from all the others, but their plans have failed and now they are in bed with Microsoft.
One friend believes that this chain of events will have a major effect on the Finnish economy.
Between now and Christmas Nokia phones will be hard to sell, because iPhones and the newer Android phones are preferred by consumers. There are massive advertisements for Nokia deals at the moment, in conjunction with Vodafone and Crazy John's (who are actually owned by Vodafone). Come Christmas, and Nokia will have to launch their Windows offering against well established players. The current market share of mobile phones running Windows is very small. I presume Nokia will lose massive amounts of money between now and Christmas in the smart phone market.
Nokia's hardware engineers will be shaking their heads in disbelief, as reviewers regularly acknowledge that Nokia phones often have the cleverest and best features.
Note that my observations relate only to people surfing the net with a mobile phone. I have no figures on actual sales, or about sending emails or using Twitter or Facebook etc.
However it's very clear that few people want to surf the net with older mobile phones, when their Internet experience is so much better with new Androids, iPhones and iPods. Not to mention the newly released iPad-2.
Commentators and pundits, everywhere, are echoing these prognostications. It seems that Nokia's market share (and their share price) is falling. The alliance with Microsoft has, if it had any effect at all, accelerated their decline.
Nevertheless, even though Nokia's overall share is declining the ageing leviathan can still lay claim to a considerable chunk of the market. Their aggregate sales, as a raw number, are huge and might still match their competitors ... If they focussed only on the sales volumes, Nokia could claim quite rightly that business is good. And even though a few Nokia spokespersons have tried to put just such a positive spin on their sales results, the reality is that the smart phone market is booming! And if Nokia can't increase their sales volumes at almost the same rate the market is growing, they are probably not long destined for this world. This is just the cold, hard, darwinian mathematics of survival of the fittest, when species compete to occupy the same emerging niche.
The question on everyone's lips is: Can the new WP7 phones, scheduled for release later this year, arrest Nokia's declining market share?
The remarkable thing about commentary concerning Windows Phone Seven is the polarity it has induced. Most comment falls into one of two divergent camps:
- Radiant, gushing, almost embarrassingly sycophantic enthusiasm ... Or
- Negative or (worse still) dismissive criticism.
This also seems to apply to discussion of sales figures. Which generally fall into the one of the categories "Best ever" or "Dismal".
Could it be, that the glowing positive reports are mostly a product of the prodigious Microsoft marketing apparatus?
Whatever the case, it will soon be impossible to disguise what Microsoft's WP7 unit sales actually were for the first quarter of 2011.