updated 02:55 pm EDT, Fri July 24, 2009
ABI on Phone Share
The world cellphone market is shifting in a way that could permanently change the market in the next year, according to ABI Research. In spite of Research in Motion's strong fiscal quarter, estimates now suggest that its market share for spring has suffered from "contractions" along with companies that have been losing share for months, such as Motorola and Sony Ericsson. By comparison, Apple's 5.2 million iPhones have contributed to the company "making headway" with 1.93 percent share along with relatively small smartphone producers like HTC.
The fastest movers in the group were Korean firms. LG's breakthrough sales led it to gain 2.2 percent of absolute share at 11.1 percent, but Samsung has fared well and claimed an extra 1.45 percent of the market to reach 19.4 percent. Nokia also reversed several months of losses to get back 1.67 percent of the market and maintain its lead at 38.3 percent.
All these are signs of fast movement for ABI and are interpreted as clues the market will soon consolidate and force one or more of the phone makers out of the market. None of these are expected to occur this year but are likely to hurt those companies that can't or don't integrate their hardware, operating systems and app development systems well; it may be impossible for some companies to keep up with those that spend the most resources on this strategy, the researchers say.
Most of the major smartphone hardware and OS developers have all taken at least a partial cue from Apple and lately have been adapting their OSes to new hardware as well as launching new app stores, such as Android Market, BlackBerry App World and Windows Marketplace for Mobile.