No kidding, right? I think maybe everyone but Nokia saw it coming. Or maybe they did too…just not at this drastic of a level.
According to the popular market research firm Canalys, Nokia’s market share dropped down to 38.9 percent in the third quarter; which is down from 51.4 just a year earlier. On the other hand, Apple jumped to 17.3 percent, and RIM increased to 15.2 the same quarter.
Canalys credits some of the Apple and RIM increases to new phones and new marketing strategies. In a statement, the firm said “”The introduction of the iPhone 3G in July and Apple’s expansion into many more countries helped propel the vendor to second place globally.”
Nokia has held the top dog position with smartphones for the past several years. But that margin is becoming more narrrow. This year, their sales dropping in the third quarter was the first time ever, probably because they were only zipping out new “top-end models.” This, combined with suddenly competing with all those highly hyped phones like the Storm and the G1, certainly didn’t help any.
The researcher from Canalys further said that “it was ‘quite feasible’ to expect RIM to take the second place from Apple in the holiday sales fueled fourth quarter, helped by new products — Bold, Storm and clamshell Pearl 8220.”
All the changes caused Microsoft (with its Windows Mobile) to drop down to fourth place on the smart phone food chain, holding a 13.6 percent market share.
Who will be holding the lead next year? I think Nokia will still have it, but just barely. I think the real race will be to see who is holding the number two spot. Will it be the cocky RIM who says they have nothing to worry about from Apple or will Apple shove them out of the way? I don’t think we have to worry about Microsoft taking over that hot spot just yet. Guess time will tell. What do you think?