Apple Leapfrogs RIM As 4th Largest Phone Maker
This blogger (that is, yours truly) sat down before the weekend and had a chat with The VAR Guy about Apple. We agreed that Apple has overwhelming momentum. So, a question worth asking: Will Apple ever slow down? The last 10 years have been Apple’s greatest ‘second act’ ever. Re-enforcing that claim is an IDC report putting Apple Inc. as the 4th largest phone maker in America, bumping RIM down the 5 spot. What are the implications? Here are some clues.
IDC reports that the mobile market saw a 15% increase in growth in 3Q 2010 vs. 3Q 2009. That’s kind of a big deal. IDC puts the following handset makers in order or biggest market share, to smallest.
- Nokia – 32.4%
- Samsung – 21%
- LG – 8.3%
- Apple – 4.1%
- RIM – 3.6%
Why is this a big deal for Apple? Consider that Apple makes a lot of different things, but makes/sells one specific phone. All the other companies make multiple phone variations, mobile devices and hardware, while also making other consumer electronics. You also have to consider that Nokia, Samsung and LG all provide handsets that will run a variety of OSes, from Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile Phone 7. Apple, again, produces one type of phone that runs one OS. The size and scope of Apple compared to all these other companies is tiny, but they now commandeer the No. 4 spot.
What’s more, RIM, whose entire consumer campaign is a focus around the BlackBerry brand, is falling behind Apple — which is relatively new to the smart phone market, having been competing for only about four years.
The numbers speak for themselves. Apple has captured a momentum and presence in the market because they’re offering something that consumers truly want. Apple’s innovation in the years to come — and the ability to produce something that a consumer almost unconditionally desires — seems to be the secret to that momentum. When the time comes that Apple stops making compelling products, this will be the sign of Apple’s decline.
But don’t hold your breath.