Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple’s iPhone 3GS blunts Palm Pre impact, challenges BlackBerry

Apple RIM Palm smartphone share

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

A new consumer survey shows smartphone ownership is still growing rapidly, future demand is strong, and that Apple’s iPhone 3GS has made a big impact since its launch, overshadowing the Palm Pre and approaching RIM’s BlackBerry.

Apple’s iPhone 3GS blunts Palm Pre impact, challenges BlackBerry
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The survey of 4,255 users was conduced by ChangeWave Research last month to provide a look at how the launch of the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre have affected the US smartphone market.

Smartphone ownership among those surveyed is now up to 39%, two points higher than the previous quarter and nearly double the level of just two years ago.

smartphone adoption

Future demand is also healthy, with 11.6% saying they plan to buy a new smartphone in the next 90s days. That’s down 3 points from June when users were anticipating the launch of the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre, but ChangeWave says its “still one of the highest percentages ever recorded” in the company’s regular surveys.

In terms of current market share, RIM’s BlackBerry phones remain in the lead with 40% ownership, but that’s off a point from the previous quarter and is the lowest level for RIM in the last two years.

Apple gained 5 points this quarter to reach 30% ownership; ChangeWave observed “for the first time it has also placed them within striking distance of the number one spot in the consumer market.”

ChangeWave also notes that “36% of those who plan to purchase a smart phone in the next 90 days say they’ll get an iPhone,” and that Apple’s iPhone satisfaction ranking (74%) is vastly ahead those users assigned to makers of other smartphones, which ranged from Sony Ericsson at 17% to RIM at 43%.

Palm’s position remains unchanged at 7%, but the company notes that “this is the first survey in nearly two years where their share hasn’t fallen – and that’s a clearly encouraging sign.” Just three years ago, Palm had the top spot in smartphones with 36%.

Apple RIM Palm smartphone share

Additional details published by ChangeWave tracking future smartphone demand and satisfaction ratings can be found in the research group’s full report.

  • ChuckO

    Palm just seems dead. There seems to be no excitement out there for them. I suspect the most frequent reference to them that you’ll see going forward is how bad they’re doing and as a cautionary tale.

  • luisd

    Hi Dan,

    The graph at the top does not support the title of the article though. A quick glance shows that the gain in Apple share has been at the expense of Palm. RIM has pretty much continued undisturbed. The apparent slow decline of RIM may just be normal fluctuations as it oscillates around 40%.

    What is interesting in the graph is that in the last period Jun-Sep 09, RIM stayed stable at 40%, and so did Palm at 7%. Apple though went up 5%. These are new costumers that had not have a smartphone before.

    What I read from the graph is that Apple is attracting new costumers, RIM is keeping its volume (but slowly loosing share as the number of smart phones increases) and well, Palm is dead.

  • http://blog.cytv.com cy_starkman

    Let’s not get to harsh on Palm, Ol’ Apple once had and in some areas still has such a meagre percentage and lack of market growth.

    I still wish Palm luck, or maybe simply a management that isn’t running a business as a personal vendetta against their old boss.

  • roz

    @luisd
    Considering that Palm launched the Pre it seems like title is accurate. Also consider that BB is nearly free to consumers at this point. Verizon will give you **two** Storms for $50. That is a crazy deal considering that there is not much to that cost of good that is different from the iPhone. The fact that anyone wants to pay money for the iPhone with that sort of deal on the table is amazing and quite a testimony to the unique value people associate with the device.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    I think Palm will end up doing well. I’ve used a Pre, and it’s really pretty good. It blows away the Wimo phones, in fact the only phone that is better is the IPhone. And it shows that Palm is capable of learning from their mistakes, unlike the rest of the Smartphone manufacturers.

    Now will the baby Pre work? If it does, it’s going to take the low end of the market, where Apple doesn’t play.

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

    Android FTW

  • dpaus

    I think you’re overlooking a couple of important points: Palm’s market share was dropping at 1 – 1.5% per quarter since Q3 ’08, when all they had was WinMo devices and badly outdated Palm OS devices. By June ’09, they had dropped to 7%. Then they launched the Pre, and dropped their older devices (except those already in inventory at carriers, which are not reflected in these numbers). So that 7% number reflects sales of the Palm Pre, a brand-new device with a brand-new OS and very few apps. Now compare that to Jul ’07 when the original iPhone came out – a brand-new device with (effectively, at least for the mobile market) a brand-new OS, and very few apps. Apple was able to capture only 4% of that market, which is very good for a brand-new device on a single carrier, but still almost 1/2 of Palm’s 7% success with the Pre (also on a single carrier, and a much smaller one at that). Furthermore, Apple only gained 1 – 1.5% share per quarter for the next 5 quarters, as the apps built up. Palm’s app catalog is building quickly, and Palm only needs to grow at 1 – 1.5% per quarter to exceed Apple’s success. With the low-end Pixie due out any day, and the Pre and Pixie coming to Verizon in Jan and possibly AT&T in Mar, and two more devices coming out in Q1, I’d say the likelyhood of Palm’s meeting that are very good. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

    And, ChuckO: “no excitement”?? The Pre was named Best Product at the electronics show, was a “Top 10” in the Popular Mechanics user-vote poll of top products of 2009, and was ranked 14th in PCWorld’s Top 100 products of 2009 (the iPhone 3GS came in at 27) Palm’s been doing a very good job of placing the Pre in episodes of prime-time shows, too CSI: New York and CSI: Miami, Heroes, Flaskforward, Lie To Me, The Colbert Report, Numb3rs, etc)

    I’m also wondering about the “customer satisfaction” numbers quoted without a source. CFI Group did a survery recently, and while the iPhone was a solid 83%, the Pre has a close second at 77%, and that survey was done in July, while the Pre was still experiencing teething problems that have since been ironed out.

    Palm’s got a long, difficult road ahead of them, but it’s way too soon to write them off.

    (full diclaimer: no I don’t own either a Pre or Palm shares, but I’m in the market for a new smartphone, and it’s down to the 3GS or the Pre)

  • ChuckO

    Based on the various posts here it sounds like the iPhone is going to need to be cheaper. It sounds like $100 with a contract in the next year or two probably makes sense. Maybe that wouldn’t be true if Apple started really pulling away on the hardware side.

    It would be interesting to know how many people are out there on second hand iPhone’s. That’s like a freebie for AT&T.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    WTF? It’s $89.00 Canadian at the Rogers store. Of course their monthly charges tell you why they fly the Jolly Roger above their headquarters.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    Newest IPhone killer debuts, journalist calls it sexy, I wonder if he knows what sex is.

    I mean, this looks so boring.