updated 10:15 am EDT, Fri April 25, 2008
Lost Phone Share in Q1 08
Apple joins Motorola and Sony Ericsson as the firms losing cellphone marketshare in early 2008, according to a new study by research group Strategy Analytics. Sales of 1.7 million iPhones during the first calendar quarter of 2008 are said to have resulted in an actual drop in the iPhone's effect despite its young status, reducing the newcomer's marketshare from 0.7 to 0.6 percent from quarter to quarter. The drop is directly attributed to a combination of shortages as well as a glut of unsold units in Europe at the time. The phone is simply "overpriced" for the continent at its normal cost, Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawson says.
Many European carriers often subsidize the cost of high-end handsets to a greater degree than in the US. In many cases, smartphones such as the Nokia N95 or LG Viewty are often available for free with certain contracts.
Motorola and Sony Ericsson suffered more precipitous drops during the quarter. The former's decrease is the most severe and reveals that the sales plunge reported by the company translates directly to a decrease from 12.4 percent of the world's marketshare at the end of 2007 to just 9.7 percent at the start of 2008. Sony Ericsson's modest 2 percent growth in turn generated a subtler but noticeable decline from 9.4 percent to 7.9 percent in the same span.
Both companies have slowed due to a weak phone portfolio when compared to rivals, the study notes.
Those companies most likely to grow were Korean firms as well as market leader Nokia. While Finland's manufacturer grew slightly from 40.6 to 40.9 percent, its Asian challengers LG and Samsung expanded their share by four and two times faster than the industry average. LG jumped from 7.2 percent to 8.4 percent of the market, while Samsung climbed from 14.1 to 16.4 percent. Either company can point to stronger phone collections than available in the past.
Overall phone sales are up by approximately 14 percent to 282.3 million phones in the most recent quarter alone.
Market dynamics are expected to change this year for at least Apple and Sony Ericsson. iPhones are already known to be selling out at UK stores after the start of a promotional campaign and may see an upside from the expected launch of a 3G-supporting model in June, while Sony Ericsson plans to more aggressively target smartphones in late 2008 with the Windows Mobile-based XPERIA X1.