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iPhone Nabs 16.6% of Smartphone Market; Staves off Industry Decline

According to a recent note from Needham analyst, Charlie Wolf, the iPhone is now not only the world’s second most in demand smartphone, but has actually had a hand in rescuing the entire market from decline.

Elecronista reiterates that for the second quarter which ended in September, the iPhone held 16.6 percent of the global smartphone market, placing it directly behind the world’s leading smartphone producer, Nokia, whose significant hold over the market has been since dwindling away. It is noted that the launch of the iPhone 3G had shown such success, that is was able to guise potential declines in the smartphone market as a whole. Wolf claims that Apple’s presence in the industry is the only reason that the market did not show significant declines.


For the US, the iPhone is second only to RIM, earning nearly 30 percent of overall sales to the Blackberry ensemble’s 40 percent. Wolf explains that while Windows Mobile and Pam OS are continuing to decline, users are making the shift to Apple and Rim products for the fact that they utilize proprietary operating systems, thus having greater control over their hardware. Smartphone producers have been disinclined to license operating systems for multiple devices, essentially unwilling to allow for another Microsoft monopoly. “The desire from companies such as HTC and Sony Ericsson to develop front-ends like TouchFLO or the XPERIA panels for Windows Mobile simply shows that many of them have felt a need to mask a difficult stock interface,” Wolf Adds.


“The Symbian operating system is generally considered to be less robust than
Windows Mobile or the Palm OS,” Wolf claims. “But Symbian was able to retain a huge lead over competing operating systems chiefly through Nokia’s endorsement and marketing muscle, especially in Europe, along with Microsoft’s difficulties in attracting major handset manufacturers.

Wolf maintains that one must also take into account how Google’s Android may chip away at Symbian’s share, as developers may opt to work with the free platform, while adding that Microsoft’s inherent advantages of Office and Exchange severs had been swept away by the Blackberry and the smartphone market in general.

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