Make Competitive Smart Phones or Get Out of the Market

Ben Bajarin / July 29th, 2011

We all know the world is moving from feature phones to smart phones. This is happening in some regions like the US and Europe faster but it is happening at a global level.

The latest data from Strategy Analytics and IDC released today both show overall growth in the global handset market along with declining growth of the feature phone market.

This is significant when we look at the top 5 leaders of global handset sales. They are in this order:


The first thing we need to observe is that one on that list is not like the other. Everyone but Apple makes both feature phones and smart phones. This is why the Nielsen data released yesterday confirms Apple as the number 1 smart phone handset maker.

So if you look at the data over the past few days you will conclude that having a competitive smart phone will be critical to anyone on that list above Apple if they want to stay above Apple. Apple climbed to the top of the smart phone vendor chart quickly and they can climb to the top of the global handset list as well just as quickly.

I agree that feature phones are still important particularly in the developing regions but those who are in that market hopefully realize that priority needs to shift in future thinking and RND around the smart phone market. If they don’t they will become irrelevant.

For more data on the profits captured and lost related to this data check out Asymco’s article on how “Apple Captured two thirds of available mobile phone profits in Q2.”

Lastly I believe it is only a matter of time before HTC makes it onto this list. They released record earnings today as well as 12.1 million handsets shipped in Q2 2011.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio
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