Smartphone market shares across the world

by Volker Weber

market share

This graph probably explains to American readers why Nokia smartphones like the E61i or E90 are so important to me, although they are almost unseen in the US. The North-American market is very different from the rest of the world, with strong segments for Microsoft, Palm (Access), and RIM. In Europe (EMEA) the market is dominated by Symbian (read: Nokia), with a small Microsoft pocket and an even smaller RIM market share. It's also interesting to see the large Linux share in Japan and China (PRC).

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The popularity of rim devices has always baffeled me. I do not believe americans are anywhere near as tech saavy on mobile communication as others...
Rim devices are popular here for the corporate slaves because you turn it on and you have email pushed to you-kind of like driving through macdonalds..when i show people what an e90 or an e61i can do they look amazed...
Btw-yes i use s60 3rd

Robert nobleman, 2007-09-11

What is symbian's definition of a smart phone? I'd not be surprised that a great many of the smart phones included in this survey are just used as plain old mobiles by there users. I've currently got a nokia n70 and I don't think I've ever used any feature that was not in my old nokia 6310, but it probably get classified as a smart phone. Chalk one up for symbian.

Kerr Rainey, 2007-09-11

I've got an E65, and I hate Symbian- it's slow and buggy, and counter-intuitive, and the learning curve is horrific for people that aren't tech-savvy.

Bring on the iPhone!

Dave Burrow, 2007-09-19

I own both an E61i (work) and an iPhone (personal). Although the E61i has more features than the iPhone, I rarely use them. It is counter intuitive big time. Mobile Opera looks like an outdated browser next to Safari on the iPhone. Being able to quickly access useful info on the E61i is almost impossible.

Google Maps and Safari are the killer apps on the iPhone for me. iPod and e-mail are cool. But, it's really just how effective the iPhone's UI is that just makes all other "smart phones" look like "dumb phones" IMHO.

Just wait until iPhone hits Europe and the rest of the world. 3G or no 3G. iPhone will start to get more market share. It all comes down to how fast you can access the info you need. The iPhone browser supports multiple tabbed windows. I keep 20 windows active and just go to the tab I am interested in and refresh. Always get the info fast and easy.


Josh Katlof, 2007-09-19

simple question:

EMEA = Europe, Middle East, Asia
PRC = People's Republic of China
N. Am. = North America
ROW = ?

John Lascurettes, 2007-09-19

NM (never mind), I just realized it meant "rest of world." Might have gotten it if it was RoW instead of ROW. ;)

John Lascurettes, 2007-09-19

I agree with Dave Burrow about Symbian. I bought a Nokia E61 on the basis of looks and Nokia reputation and putting faith in the fact that if Symbian marketshare was so high in Europe it must be decent. It turned out to be truly the most infuriating, least user-friendly electronic device I have ever owned. The Symbian software is maddeningly slow and full of bugs. How Nokia can sell an email device that through at least four revisions of the software still has bugs in its IMAP implementation that make it unusable, I don't know. I stopped adding to my "Things I hate about Symbian and my Nokia E61" after it grew to over 100 items.

I have used every smartphone type out there except Linux. RIM totally gets efficiency and its shortcuts and email features can't be beat -- as long as you're connected to a corporate Blackberry server. The web-based Blackberry Connect version for individuals and SMBs is dismal. Palm was great and that it is still even in the running is testament to how good it was at one point. Too bad they stopped developing the OS and innovating about 3 or 4 years ago. Windows Mobile has all inefficiency and slowness of Symbian, the lousy legacy code like Palm, and the typical Microsoft bloat.

I now have an iPhone. It's far from perfect. If I could have a RIM connected to a corporate server, I'd probably still go with that, but for IMAP iPhone is best out there now. I also believe the iPhone is going to get incrementally better in typical Apple fashion - a slowly building wave that becomes a tidal wave. I do hope that their presence in the market really makes the smartphone OS vendors kick it up a notch.


P.S. @John Lascurettes: ROW = rest of world

Drew Tagliabue, 2007-09-19

"The popularity of rim devices has always baffeled me. I do not believe americans are anywhere near as tech saavy on mobile communication as others..."

The American market is drive by IT purchasing; IT exists solely to pocket "incentives" from Microsoft. And, I guess, RIMM.

Tom Barta, 2007-09-20

n.b. @John Lascurettes: EMEA is more usually Europe Middle East & Africa.

karan juneja, 2007-09-20

I too am baffled by the popularity of Symbian in other parts of the world. I bought a Nokia N75 because I figured there must be something to it since it's widely used everywhere but the US. It's the worst cell phone I have ever owned, and I have owned many. It often crashes in the middle of calls or web browsing, and won't turn back on until I take the battery out and replace it. The software is buggy and counter-intuitive, the email implementation is crap (I'm lucky if I can access half my emails), and the battery barely lasts a day with moderate usage.

Sure, it can do a lot of things (the web browser is really great when it actually decides to load a page and not die, and Flickr integration is nifty) but I'd rather have a phone that I can rely on. I'm trying to hold off on getting an iPhone until they release a 3G model, but at this point, I want to dump this piece of crap as soon as possible.

So basically this is a long way of saying, color me confused as to why people like Symbian so much!

Graham Kaplan, 2007-09-20

Wow! The iPhone is having a great impact for being on the market for only 3 months! Wow!

Since an iPhone will probably be used a long time rather than quickly replaced like cheap cell phones, its impact on the market can only get larger over time.

Since the iPhone also is being gradually updated in software - unlike those of Microsoft, Palm, and RIM, the iPhone will also have a longer lasting impact on sales of cell phones than others over time.

Wow! Way to go Apple!

James Katt, 2007-09-20

The reason the market in the US is so different is because most Cell-phones are tied to the network the customer buys into. Roaming really doesn't work.

The US had a bunch of incompatible mobile networks (requiering people on the move to have 3-4 phones from different vendors) while GSM was an accepted standard in the rest of the world.

In short, the US was very late to market. While most of the world used SMS to text each other, RIM (with its Radio-based comm) was the only thing usable across US, as You couldn't send SMS between the different networks in the US.

The iPhone will not be usable in EMEA without 3G/4G. Watching my N95 kick back to slow and old-school GSM-Data & GPRS/Edge when at VMworld in San Francisco was a pain.
Coming back to Oslo and getting HSDPA up and running again (3.5G) made me realise why we have moved on and why I don't want to go back.

As for Symbian being slow/unstable. Well, I can't say that the two Windows Mobile units I've had (HP and HTC) where anything to brag about. They were truly useless because of short batterylife, intollerable instability and bad integration between its apps (MMS truly sucks on WinMob)

Dag Kvello, 2007-09-20

This just goes to demonstrate just what an enormous impact the iPhone is going to have.

Nokia and other Symbian are going to be taken to the cleaners, clearly. The old Psion OS is just not up the job of doing what Apple can with OSX.

Jon Tilney, 2007-09-20

i have had a few symbian smart phones and symbian seems to get worse with each iteration. my latest is a Sony Ericsson UIQ phone - horrific. The iPhone will kill Symbian as a smart phone OS.

nikolaus heger, 2007-09-21

I just get a kick out of people who say how horrible their phone is, "cannot do anything with it, buggy, terrible software, " yet they say that they will go with it because of some little thing. :-)

When you have to use a phone cause its the company phone, I understand. But when its up to you, well, pick and enjoy. Or not. :-)

PS, I do agree with the above. Apple will have a long lasting product that will only grow and grow. Cell phone makers of the world, get off your butts and improve, or get your clocks cleaned. LOL


elder norm, 2007-09-21

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