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Smartphones at a Glance

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Smartphones are every increasing in numbers day by day.  How many people even use “normal” cell phones anymore?  More than likely they have one because they can’t decide between an iPhone or an Android phone..or maybe a Blackberry…or maybe its because they can’t afford the data plan..yet.

Smartphones are here to stay.  To show what kind of growth is out there, the staff over at GigaOm but together the graphic below:

What does all this mean?  Well, lets let one of GigaOm’s subsidiaries, JKontheRun, provide the analysis:

The major takeaways from the graphic:

Symbian — we often overlook Symbian in the U.S. but it is still the 800-pound gorilla in the smartphone space. Even though global market share has dropped over the past 3 years, if Nokia ever figures out how to seriously enter the market here, many players have good reasons to be concerned.

Research In Motion and iPhone– the growth of both the BlackBerry and iPhone over the past 3 years has been outstanding.

Windows Mobile– the platform from Microsoft has continued its downhill spiral. Windows Phone 7 series is hoped to end the skid, but recent revelations concerning what will be missing from the next version aren’t likely to help.

Android — Google’s smartphone platform is growing at a tremendous rate, but it’s still a drop in a very big bucket.

I tend to agree with JKontheRun’s assessment here.  Symbian is forgotten here in the US.  Most people have a Nokia phone as a “starter” cell phone from their carrier, since its usually free or really inexpensive, before they move to something else.  I use a Nokia phone as a back up for my cell phone.  Nokia phones just work.  They just arent “sexy” like my G1.  Blackberry and iPhones will continue their growth.  The only thing that will stop them, is them with their lawsuits and other nonsense.  Windows Phone 7?   Not sure on that.  Windows Mobile has been in steady decline for a while.  Maybe the new Windows Mobile 7 will revitalize them back into the smartphone game.  And Android, well I am rooting for these folks.  They are the little operating system that could…and hopefully will.

Its a big market out there, with lots of options to choose from. The smartphone isnt going away, its just going to continue to grow into whatever our grandkids wind up using to talk to their friends.  I am hoping for a combo Dick Tracy TV watch with holographic imaging and surround sound.

A 15-year veteran of the tech wars, Amy is a gadgetgrrl from way back. Amy is started with the her first PDA, a Palm Pilot III all the way through her current sidearm, a T-Mobile G1. She suffers technolust like any good gadgetgrrl, but its always tempers with whether it will match her shoes and handbag. She bounces from one device to another. She is an OS agnostic-- liking them all for different reasons. She has seen it all and wants to see more.

2 Comments

  1. Stuart

    03/18/2010 at 12:04 pm

    Symbian is not forgotten by those who want features that the other “smartphones” can’t give you. It’s easy to use and familiar for those who have been using it and has the advantage that is is more “world-centric” than “usa-centric” or “carrier centric”.

  2. Nameless

    03/19/2010 at 7:21 pm

    “How many people even use “normal” cell phones anymore? More than likely they have one because they can’t decide between an iPhone or an Android phone..or maybe a Blackberry…or maybe its because they can’t afford the data plan..yet.”

    I use an old LG LX350 dumbphone, but not because I want to. As long as I’m not paying for my own phone plan, that’s all I get, and I won’t run myself into debt just to have the HTC Touch Pro2 that I want AND use it as a fully-fledged, always-connected smartphone. I have enough regular Wi-Fi access to do without.

    Of course, even if I could have a smartphone, now I’m not sure about staying with Windows Mobile if developers are going to abandon the old OS for the infinitely worse Windows Phone 7 Series. (Apps only installed through MS Marketplace? No memory card slots? Unchangeable home screen? NO CUT/COPY/PASTE? Oh, thanks a lot, MS, you took out everything I liked about WM and made another iPhone OS, but worse!) Maemo/MeeGo/whatever isn’t on enough platforms yet. Android is tempting, but I need far better PIM support.

    Or maybe it’s not a smartphone I want (and I only want a smartphone because they don’t make hx4700-style PDAs any more), but the Microsoft Courier if it’s small enough.

    That said, I do await the day when the typical cell phone IS a smartphone, and the carriers don’t force overpriced data plans on us because of the distinction. (That, or just have a low-cost unlimited data rate and not bother with selling minutes since I’ll be using VoIP apps like Skype or Google Voice any way.)

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