A timeline video illustration of the mobile phone market change 2007-2011
It all began with the introduction of the iPhone by Apple in 2007, of course, and the last quarter showed that the only ones making money off of it now are Apple, Samsung, RIM and HTC. The ascent of modern smartphone operating systems like Android and iOS caught the incumbents unprepared, resulting in Apple snatching most of the industry profits now, and Samsung multiplying its smartphone count more than five times since last year.
There are still way too many variables that haven't played fully yet, like Android being besieged with patent trolls, and Nokia entering the game with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, so the status quo is far from set in stone. Watch the amazing dynamics of the industry in the video below, starting Q2 of 2007, and ending this past quarter. We recommend watching the video full screen to enjoy all the gory and glory details.
1. hepresearch (unregistered)
This is what happens when you try to predict the (distant) future... unfortunately, in this market space, two years can be distant. Motorola being bought by Google? Who would have seen that coming even a year ago? I often find myself amazed that Samsung is still hanging in there so well, but of all the older OEM's, they have succeeded where others like Nokia, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson have not, and LG may swing into profitability soon as well. RIM may yet survive if they can get a QNX Blackberry out sooner rather than later. I would guess that in the next year Nokia will be bought outright by Microsoft, similar to Google gobbling up MOTO... I also think that Verizon will buy Sprint at some point. The market we are in now is consolidating, despite the fact that it is also growing so rapidly. We will have less OEM's, less carriers, and less choice overall. More models? Probably, but they will all be made in similar fashion by most of the same component manufacturers and assemblers, and their innards will tend to have a more predictable cost. It's like isomers: it'll all be made of the same basic stuff, just arranged slightly differently between models and (a few) brands. Just my two cents... well, 1.3 cents after taxes...