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Canalys: iPhone outsold all Windows Mobile phones in Q2 2009

Canalys global smartphone figures

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Apple’s iPhone held onto a 13.7% share of global smartphone unit sales in the second quarter, outpacing Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, which now claims just 9% of the market, according to Canalys.

Canalys: iPhone outsold all Windows Mobile phones in Q2 2009.

“Apple has revolutionized the smart phone sector, leapfrogging more experienced rivals,” Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham said in the company’s report. Sales in the second quarter did not include much of the surge in new sales spurred by the release of the iPhone 3GS.

In the North American market, the iPhone grabbed a 23% share of smartphones sold, despite being tied to a single carrier in the US. Apple’s US debut occurred months before sales were expanded to other countries, and international sales of iPhone really began a year later with the launch of the iPhone 3G. RIM held a commanding 52% share of US smartphones.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Nokia maintained a 64% share while Apple took second place with 13.6%, followed by third place RIM with 10.3%. Those numbers indicate Apple has been much better at competing internationally against Nokia than RIM has, despite its having been in the smartphone business for nearly a decade compared to Apple’s barely two year old iPhone assault.

Canalys global smartphone figures

Worldwide, Nokia still leads smartphone sales with 44.3% of the market, but that represents a significant slide over the last few years. As recently as 2006, Nokia’s Symbian platform accounted for over 72% of smartphones sold; now it represents just 50.3%.

Nokia has particularly lost ground among business users due to the popularity of RIM’s BlackBerry, which now claims a 20.9% share of smartphones. Nokia recently announced a “partnership” with Microsoft, which largely just involves porting Pocket Office apps to Symbian in a bid to make Nokia’s devices more competitive with the BlackBerry.

But Nokia is also being battered in consumer markets by Apple’s popular iPhone, which in just two years has surpassed the sum total of all vendors’ Windows Mobile sales put together as well as the remains of the once significant Palm. Apple’s rapid success is particularly noteworthy when compared to Google’s free Android platform, which in a similar period of time has only managed to leave its brand on 2.8% of the smartphone market.

Canalys also notes that the iPhone’s touchscreen form factor is emerging as the most popular, representing nearly 40% of all smartphones sold, compared to 12.3% being keypad devices like the Palm Treo or BlackBerry and just 10.7% being keyboard devices like those sold by HTC using Windows Mobile.

The perils of a competitive landscape

Chris Jones, a Canalys VP and principal analyst, contrasted the emerging smartphone market with that of desktop computers, saying “PCs are a highly standardised, commoditised platform, where one model is often largely indistinguishable from another. Consequently, PC price points are incredibly low, which is good for customers, but the industry lacks excitement.

”Smart phones are different – Nokia, Apple, RIM and Palm have all achieved success by developing their own operating systems and delivering distinct devices and interfaces. Android customisation will further add to this diverse mix. As a result, new smart phones are front page news around the world.“

With healthy competition between platforms in the smartphone industry, Jones wrote that ”independent application providers face the cumbersome process of porting apps to multiple operating systems. The main loser has been Microsoft’s highly standardised Windows Mobile platform. Its smart phone market share has now fallen below 10% and the trend is likely to continue as many of its OEM partners, including HTC, Motorola and Palm, are focusing investment on other platforms.“

  • jdb

    Well since nobody else has done it, the money quote–

    “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” said Ballmer. “It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”
    –Steve Ballmer in USA Today dated 4/30/2007

  • gus2000

    The only thing I love more than being a smug bastard is wiping the smug look off someone else’s face. I also laugh when Moe pokes Curly in the eye (referred to as “das stoogenfreude”).

  • aftershave

    WinMo’s tragedy is that it tried to emulate the tried-and-true Microsoft model of killing off competition and rotting at the top as the market leader. Blackberry saw an opening and initially delivered the death blow to their enterprise aspirations. iPhone took all the good post-paid customers, leaving WinMo with the riff-raff who don’t really give a damn about their mobile phone.

    I’m not sure how Blackberry is planning to hold their position for years to come. Just like they’re cannibalizing Symbian’s marketshare, the same is happening with Android devices which are projected to slowly eat into RIM’s profits. I just don’t see how there can be any excitement about the platform given that it produces few dozen models, with divergent capabilities. And BB user experience is horrendous.

    To illustrate my point, this is the creme of the crop of Blackberry apps – Podtrapper: http://www.versatilemonkey.com

    As for comedy relief of mobile platforms – Palm Pre is dead in the water. The device has officially failed, now that Kosher2Go is being introduced as the latest and greatest app in their marketplace with a PR release. Are you fucking serious?

  • tinytim09


    Balmer was talking about ALL phones not smartphones.
    Let’s see how much marketshare Apple has for all mobile phones.

    [Nice revisionism, but he was clearly talking about smartphones, even though WiMo smartphones set a very low bar. There are no “feature phones” that ship with WiMo, so Microsoft has no non-smartphone business to be talking about. Regardless, Microsoft has less market share going forward even in the Q2 trough of Apple’s iPhone cycle. Imagine what iPhone share is going to do in this Q3 counting everyone who just upgraded? – Dan ]

  • http://blog.weaverling.org/ weave

    Didn’t Jobs say in early 2007 that Apple was just trying to get 1% of the smartphone business? Absolutely amazing.

  • enzos

    @gus2000 .. I like your humor! yota yota yota

  • beanie

    Dan commented to tinytim09:
    “Nice revisionism, but he was clearly talking about smartphones”

    According to the first comment posted here, Ballmer said 1.8 billion phones which is clearly All phones. Anyway, that was when iPhone was $400-$600 and I think was before Android and Symbian was closed-source. iPhone now sells for much less.

    Licensed and free models of Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile should win as the smartphone and smartbooks market grows larger to greater than 500 million units.

  • http://blog.cytv.com cy_starkman

    I’d say ballmer was talking about all mobiles as well. I’m sure he would like to see 60% of all mobiles running Windows.

    I’d like a brand new fully kitted macpro for free too, unlike ballmer though I have some sense of the difference between fantasy and reality.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    I think Tinytim and Dan are both correct. The problem is that Ballmer’s quote doesn’t make sense. First, he refers to the “1.3 billion phones that get sold,” which is clearly the entire mobile phone market – not just smartphones. But then he compares Windows Mobile’s potential share of the *smartphone* market (the “60% or 70% or 80%”) to the iPhone’s potential share of the *entire* market, including feature phones.

    Anyway, semantics aside, the point is that the iPhone ended up capturing more of the market in 2 years than all Windows Mobile devices could do in 10.

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  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Don’t be surprised when the Windows Mobile 7 / Zunephone appears to be a Microsoft/Nokia phone.

    When Nokia announced it’s first netbook today I was (as others) surprised it would run MS Windows. But then, certainly when you look at the figures presented in this article, it makes perfect sense.
    Microsoft and Nokia are the No.1 in respectively the computer and the mobile phone market. Apple is forcing a merger between these two markets resulting in a combined smartphone/laptop market space. Apple now is a huge and immediate threat to both Microsoft and Nokia.
    Microsoft is good at software (well…….) and bad at hardware. Nokia is good at hardware and bad at software. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It is not even a secret: the Microsoft/Nokia alliance has officially been announces.

    The future is to be Microkia ;-)

  • luisd

    Or NoSoft

  • AvantKore

    Well I like NoSoft better obviously.

    The Microsoft Mobile platform’s future is now all depend on how Zune HD will be received. If Zune HD tanks, which is not a slim possibility, Microsoft might as well get out of the mobile market completely for there is NO HOPE!

    But now Zune HD is enjoying raving hypes like the Win 7, so the future might not be so gloomy for MSFT after all. Talk about raving hypes, I seriously don’t understand what’s so great and exciting about Zune HD or Win 7, they are OK, but nothing extraordinaire for that matter. Must be a major depressive disorder thing or something.

  • Pingback: iPhone panic spurs Nokia to dump Symbian on high end — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()

  • KenC

    I’m sure Ballmer loves his $57M in revenue last quarter from those WinMo OS sales, according to NPD, or whomever came out with that stat last week. Compare that to Apple’s over $3B in iPhone revenue last quarter, and it’s shocking that Ballmer hasn’t thrown more chairs. $57M is too small for a giant company like MS to notice, and unless they increase it fast, they should just kill it. Which, all points to, MS getting in the cellphone hardware business one way or another.