Rating: Research firms also predicts that RIM and Nokia are in deep trouble
Figures pertaining to smartphone usage in the UK have just been by YouGov‘s technology and telecoms team. Significantly, they confirm the gut feeling of many industry observers. For example, Apple’s iPhone is in pole position with nearly 30 per cent share of the smartphone market whilst Blackberry has steadily lost share over the past two years declining to17 per cent. That puts it on par now with HTC, with the world’s biggest supplier of handsets – Samsung, growing to 20 per cent. So, while RIM/BlackBerry is very definitely down but not out – neither is Nokia. The problem is that Nokia still dominates the featurephone sector with a 40 per cent share but smartphones currently represent almost half the market (47 per cent). Within a year, however, YouGov expects smartphones to dominate with over 55 per cent of the market.YouGov’s research has focussed on how the players can meet the challenge of converting featurephone users over to smartphones?
Guess who it predicts will be the biggest losers – Nokia and RIM/BlackBerry, of course.
YouGov’s arguments also point to Apple’s dominance of the smartphone sector being challenged as well.
Stating the almost obvious, John Gilbert, consulting director of YouGov’s technology and telecoms team, observed, “Nokia, despite currently having the lion’s share of the feature phone market, has been unable to convert this base to its smartphone models (Lumia).”
The research firm predicts that Nokia may capture just 4 percent of featurephone converters over the next 18 months.
“This situation may be a case of Nokia coming to the smartphone party, too little and too late – their loss of share may be permanent,” Gilbert added.
Unless the company bites the bullet and produces Android handsets as GoMobile News constantly urges.
YouGov merely suggests that RIM’s problems are well documented. But what if the company pulls a rabbit out of the hat, GoMobile News asks?
What if the next QNX-based version of the BlackBerry OS really does run Android apps on its smartphone offerings whilst still retaining features like BBM?
It’s also GoMobile News‘ interpretation of YouGov’s figures that Samsung or HTC (or both) could eventually overtake the iPhone.
Why? Because both tackle the main gripe of featurephone Refuseniks – namely that smartphones are too expensive.
The research also implies that the likes of ZTE could also steal valuable market share from Apple, too.
GoMobile News also totally agrees with this observation from Gilbert.
“Smartphone features, such as the wide variety of apps, need to be communicated more effectively, as they will play an increasingly crucial role in handset selection in future,” he says.
Too often handset manufacturers fail to mention the fact that a particular model is running Android (and not Windows Phone 7 Mango), we feel. Sony in particular seems to be tackling this ommission.