Time to do the final count for 2011 smartphone numbers. This is the one big blog about all the smartphone numbers you could ever hope for.. So please mark this page for your reference in the future and do send your colleagues here too. If you blog or write about smartphones, you may want to link here.
As always, this Quarterly and Annual blog article series is as heavily based on global stats and facts as possile. So each of the major smartphone manufacturers has provided their Quarterly results for Q4 (not all provided the numbers we hoped to receive) and the big 4 analyst houses (Gartner, IDC, Canalys and Strategy Analytics) have each given their count of total smartphone sales (or shipments, depending on their methodology). As usual, I use the average of the big 4 as the starting point, then use the best available info to calculate or closely estimate the actual numbers for each individual brand. If you want to see last year's numbers and analysis, they are here.
So while my own analysis suggested somewhat a larger number of smartphones sold in Q4 when adding all of my individual data points, the total we have to live with for Q4 is 155.1 Million units sold. And yes, we have now celebrated the first full year when smartphones have sold more than all types of personal computers (including tablet PCs like the iPad) combined. I do a separate calculation of the biggest computer makers by units sold, when smartphones are included in the count. Last year's top manufacturer list is here.
This blog article is also my official estimate (and that of my company, TomiAhonen Consulting) of the market shares both for Q4 of 2011, and as we finished the full year, this is also the final count for the full year 2011. As I started to do a year earlier, in 2010 the 'Year of the Bloodbath' in smartphones - I also will grade each major smartphone maker for the quarter and full year, for their performance with some commentary for this ended year 2011 which I called 'Year 2 of the Bloodbath, the Electric Boogaloo'.
I know some want the big picture numbers so here they are, first the full year - what will be most useful in the longer run - and then the Q4 results:
2011 FULL YEAR SMARTPHONE SALES STATISTICS
Rank . Brand . . . . 2011 units . Market Share . 2010 units . Market Share
1 (3) . Apple . . . . 93.1 M . . . 19.1% . . . . . . . 47.5 M . . . . 15.9%
2 (5) . Samsung . 90.9 M . . . 18.7% . . . . . . . 24.0 M . . . . 8.0%
3 (1) . Nokia . . . . 77.3 M . . . 15.9% . . . . . . 100.3 M . . . . 33.7%
4 (2) . RIM . . . . . . 52.5 M . . . 10.8% . . . . . . . 48.0 M . . . . 16.1%
5 (4) . HTC . . . . . 44.6 M . . . 9.2% . . . . . . . 24.6 M . . . . 8.3%
6 (7) . Sony . . . . . 26.8 M . . . 5.5% . . . . . . . . 9.5 M . . . . 3.2%
7 (8) . LG . . . . . . 23.3 M . . . . 4.8% . . . . . . . . 7.0 M . . . . 2.4%
8 (-) . . Huawei . . . 20.0 M . . . . 4.1% . . . . . . . . 5.0 M . . . . 1.5%
9 (6) . Motorola . . 18.6 M . . . . 3.8% . . . . . . . 13.7 M . . . . . 4.6%
10 (-) . ZTE . . . . . 12.0 M . . . . 2.5% . . . . . . . . 3.5 M . . . . . 1.2%
Other . . . . . . . . . . 26.5 M . . . . 5.6%
TOTAL . . . . . . . ..486.0 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297.8 M
Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
The overall industry grew by 63.2% in just one year. Apple did incredibly well growing by 96% and taking top honors for the year. Samsung had an even more monsterous year, more than tripling in size growing by 279% and coming within a hair from the top. Past master, Nokia which was bigger than its two nearest rivals put together just a year ago, had a horrid year, declining by 23% for the full year and tumbling from the top to third place and losing more than half of its market share within one 12 month period - this is a world record fall for a market leader in any industry ever, in a period of only one year. RIM was also often called for a lousy year, but at least they managed to grow a bit, with 9% growth for the year and falling in rankings from 2nd to 4th. HTC, ZTE, SonyEricsson - since rebranded to only Sony - and Huawei had strong growth years. Motorola had a bad year and was bought by Google. Sharp and Fujitsu fell out of the top 10 chart replaced by ZTE and Huawei.
2011 FULL YEAR OPERATING SYSTEM MARKET SHARES
Rank . . OS . . . . . . . . 2011 units . market share . 2010 units . market share
1 (2) . . Android . . . . 208 M . . . . 43% . . . . . . . . . 54 M . . . . 18%
2 (4) . . iOS . . . . . . . . . . 93 M . . . . 19% . . . . . . . . . 48 M . . . . 16%
3 (1) . . Symbian . . . . . . 81 M . . . . 17% . . . . . . . . 116 M . . . . 39%
4 (3) . . Blackberry . . . . . 52 M . . . . 11% . . . . . . . . 48 M . . . . 16%
5 (7) . . bada * . . . . . . . . . 9 M . . . . . 2% . . . . . . . . . . 3 M * . . . 1% *
6 (8) . . Windows Phone * . 5 M . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . . 2 M * . . . . 1% *
7 (5) . . Windows Mobile . . 4 M . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . 11 M . . . . . 4%
Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 M . . . . 6%
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 486 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298 M
Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
* - the two operating systems, bada by Samsung and Windows Phone by Microsoft were launched at the end of 2010, so the full year-to-year comparison is not valid. See analysis below by each brand of smartphone OS
In the operating system wars, Symbian and Android essentially swapped places, Symbian fell from 39% to 17% while Android went from 18% to 43%. In the second battle, Apple's iPhone iOS pulled strongly ahead from its near rival Blackberry OS and iOS even passed Symbian in the process. Among the backmarkers, Microsoft's new Windows Phone finally passed its older and incompatible sibling, Windows Mobile but still lingers in the 1% range. Samsung's bada has pulled well away now being almost twice the size of Microsoft's best. Among the others we find past major platforms that died like Palm Web/OS, Maemo and LiMo, as well as the orphaned new Nokia and Intel OS MeeGo among many others.
Please remember, I am only counting smartphones. So for example iOS has a larger number of new sales (and installed base) due to iPads and iPod Touch devices. Same true for many of the platforms, Android is increasingly also on tablets etc. The data in this blog is always only about smartphones, not all possible digital devices that might use that platform.
2011 SMARTPHONE OS INSTALLED BASE
Rank . . OS . . . . . . . . . 2011 base . market share . 2010 base . market share
1 (1) . . Symbian . . . . . 314 M . . . . 35% . . . . . . . . 346 M . . . . . 49%
2 (4) . . Android . . . . . 247 M . . . . 27% . . . . . . . . . 61 M . . . . . . 9%
3 (3) . . iOS . . . . . . . . . 149 M . . . . 16% . . . . . . . . . 77 M . . . . . 11%
4 (2) . . Blackberry . . . . 106 M . . . . 12% . . . . . . . . 95 M . . . . . 14%
5 (5) . . Windows Mobile . 20 M . . . . . 2% . . . . . . . . . 48 M . . . . . . 7%
6 (7) . . bada . . . . . . . . . 13 M . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . . 3 M . . . . . . 0%
7 (8) . . Windows Phone . . 7 M . . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . . 2 M . . . . . . 0%
Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 M
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . 910 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 700 M
Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
Symbian still rules the world in the installed base of smartphones, benefitted also by the strong second-hand appeal of Nokia smartphones in Africa and less affluent parts of Asia and Latin America. Android's strong growth will move it past Symbian shortly in the installed base. Apple and RIM fight for the title of third and fourth biggest OS by installed base. And two years from launch, Windows Phone is nowhere near the reach of its older incompatible cousin, Windows Mobile and continues to be overshadowed by Samsung's bada.
That was the full year. But the smartphone bloodbath was indeed quite tumultuous in year 2011 and the Q4 numbers will be much more indicative of where the race stands today, than the full-year picture which is obviously somewhat lagging. So lets do Q4 results
SMARTPHONE Q4 SALES BY BRAND
Rank . Brand . . . . Q4 units . Market Share . Q3 units . . . . Market Share
1 (2) . Apple . . . . 37.0M . . . 23.9% . . . . . . . 17.1 M . . . . 14.4%
2 (1) . Samsung . 35.4 M . . . 22.8% . . . . . . . 25.1 M . . . . 21.2%
3 (3) . Nokia . . . . 19.6 M . . . 12.6% . . . . . . . 16.8 M . . . . 14.2%
4 (5) . RIM . . . . . 14.1 M . . . . 9.1% . . . . . . . 10.6 M . . . . 8.9%
5 (4) . HTC . . . . . 9.5 M . . . . 6.1% . . . . . . . 13.2 M . . . . 11.1%
6 (6) . Sony . . . . . 9.0 M . . . 5.8% . . . . . . . . 7.6 M . . . . 6.4%
7 (8) . . Huawei . . . . 7.5 M . . . 4.8% . . . . . . . 5.4 M . . . . 4.6%
8 (7) . LG . . . . . . . 7.3 M . . . . 4.5% . . . . . . . 6.2 M . . . . 5.2%
9 (9) . Motorola . . . 5.3 M . . . . 3.4% . . . . . . . 4.8 M . . . . 4.1%
10 (10) ZTE . . . . . . 3.8 M . . . . 2.5% . . . . . . . 3.0 M . . . . 2.5%
Other . . . . . . . . . . . 6.9 M . . . . 4.5%
TOTAL . . . . . . . ..155.1 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118.5 M
Source: TomiAhonen Consulting 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
The fight was tight between Samsung and Apple as we expected. As Samsung didn't release official numbers, I used the average as reported by the Big 4. But none of the four had Sammy ahead of the iPhone so we can safely trust that this ranking order is correct. Yet it was close. Nokia continued its slide after the Elop Effect. RIM and HTC reversed positions with Blackberry having a resurgence. Sony (ex SonyEricsson) is making a strong showing of fighting into the Top 5. And in the bottom half of the Top 10, Motorola continues its slide and Huawei is growing strongly. LG and ZTE are keeping pace with the industry.
Q4 OPERATING SYSTEM MARKET SHARES
Rank . . OS . . . . . . . . Q4 units . market share . . Q3 units . market share
1 (1) . . Android . . . . . 76 M . . . . 49% . . . . . . . . . 56 M . . . . 48%
2 (3) . . iOS . . . . . . . . 37 M . . . . 24% . . . . . . . . . 17 M . . . . 15%
3 (2) . . Symbian . . . . . 18 M . . . . 11% . . . . . . . . . 18 M . . . . 15%
4 (4) . . Blackberry . . . 14 M . . . . . 9% . . . . . . . . . 11 M . . . . . 9%
5 (5) . . bada . . . . . . . . 4 M . . . . . 2% . . . . . . . . . . 3 M . . . . . 2%
6 (6) . . Windows Phone 2 M . . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . . 1 M . . . . . 1%
7 (-) . . MeeGo . . . . . . . 2 M . . . . . 1% . . . . . . . . . (launched Q4 of 2011)
8 (7) . . Windows Mobile 1 M . . . . . 0% . . . . . . . . . . 1 M . . . . . 1%
Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 M . . . . 1%
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 M
Source: TomiAhonen Consulting 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
Android continues to dominate, and nears the half-level of all smartphones sold. Apple's iOS took a solid second place and Symbian continues to crash. Blackberry held steady. In the small ranks we have bada the strongest outside the top 4. Windows Phone saw the first 600,000 phones sold by Nokia under its Lumia series in Q4 which turned the long decline of Windows Phone into a modest growth. Still, the brand new MeeGo from Nokia, even with its very limited launch availability almost tied all Windows Phone sales by all brands. I have Windows Phone at 1.8 million units and MeeGo at 1.75 million. Thus within Nokia, MeeGo and the N9 outsold all Microsoft Windows Phone based Lumia phones by.. 3 to 1. And Windows Mobile is doing its slow death. Again even the combined sales of both Microsoft platforms, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone did not match Samsung's bada sales.
ANDROID, WINDOWS PHONE MANUFACTURER SHARES
I have also been providing the market shares for the various operating systems that had more than one manufacturer, where it was 'relevant'. Recently the only OS worth monitoring was the Google Android OS family with Symbian shrinking to being mostly only Nokia and Windows Mobile shrinking overall to oblivion, but now that Nokia has launched its Lumia series, I will also give my measure of Windows Phone OS family market shares for Q4.
ANDROID FAMILY MARKET SHARES Q4
Samsung . . . 41%
Sony . . . . . .12%
HTC . . . . . . 11%
Huawei . . . . 10%
LG . . . . . . . 9%
Motorola . . . . 7%
Others . . . . . 9%
TOTAL . . . . 76.0 Million
Source: TomiAhonen Consulting 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
WINDOWS PHONE FAMILY MARKET SHARES Q4
HTC . . . . . 39%
Nokia . . . . 33%
Samsung . 17%
Others . . . 11%
Total . . . . 1.8 Million
Source: TomiAhonen Consulting 2012
This data may be freely used and repeated
These are approximate market shares, to fit the overall numbers as best as possible. I do not find any particularly 'glaring' problem with any of those numbers for this past quarter (sometimes some number does not seem to be right, these are reasonable).
GRADING FULL YEAR 2011 PERFORMANCE
So, we come to the end of 2011, in the Bloodbath it was Year 2, Electric Boogaloo. We expected carnage and intrigue but the year got even more of a roller-coaster ride when Nokia suddenly committed market share suicide with the Elop Effect (combining the Ratner Effect with the Osborne Effect). As I predicted when giving a preliminary analysis of what it would cause - Nokia's market share crashed - my first prediction on February 15, when I said Nokia would end in Q4 having 12% market share haha.
The Nokia give-away was a once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity for the swift to capitalize, and move quickly, to steal market share. The fastest to take advantage were Samsung, Apple, ZTE and Huawei. Surprisingly the usually nimble HTC didn't manage to capitalize and RIM utterly failed in its chances, unfortunately putting all its attention to the tablet PC they launched which failed miserably in the market as well. But lets look at each brand now, and a quick analysis of how well they fared in the Electric Boogaloo. As usual, I will grade each contestant by the order of their finish starting from the biggest.
APPLE - 93M, 19% - Grew unit sales strongly and grew profits strongly - Grade A
Apple had a monster year. Yes, its iPhone 4S was delayed by more than a quarter, but even then the 4 sold well and once the 4S came along, Apple had a phenomenal Christmas. More than half of Apple's income now comes from the iPhone and Apple generates easily most of the profits of the handset industry. Even while making only smartphones, Apple has crashed into the Top 3 biggest handset makers, ahead of LG and behind only Nokia and Samsung, all three of which of course make most of their phones as 'dumbphones'. What an achievement!
For Q4 Apple is doing even better, selling 24% of all smartphones sold on the planet, so Apple's trajectory is even stronger than its annual performance. And while Samsung was briefly the biggest smartphone manufacturer in Q3, Apple took back that title in Q4 - giving us a different leader in the smartphone race every Quarter of the year. Congratulations Apple, perfect year, I give you an A.
SAMSUNG - 91M, 19% - Grew sales explosively and made huge profits - Grade A+
Samsung did the nearly impossible - it had an even better year than Apple in smartphones. Before you say 'but but' - remember, Apple only doubled its sales in smartphones, Samsung more than tripled its smartphone sales - all while also being very profitable. Samsung was briefly the biggest smartphone manufacturer in Q3, partly because the iPhone 4S was delayed, and now gave the lead back to Apple. But Sammy is growing far faster than Apple and is destined to run away with the smartphone crown for the full year 2012. The race will be close still in Q1 but from Q2 Samsung should be clear of Apple...
Samsung's Q4 was also strong growing well faster than the industry and holding 23% market share. Samsung sells most of its smartphones on the Android platform, but also sells on bada and Windows Phone (and is developing Tizen with Intel for the future). The Galaxy series is synonymous with industry tech leadership currently. I grade Samsung an A+
NOKIA - 77M sales, 16% market share - lost sales massively and generated huge losses - Grade F-
Nokia's Annus Horribilis was a self-induced wound. Not a wound. A self-induced serial crippling. Yes, a year of torture by the CEO. A year of water-boarding in fact. A year ago Nokia grew by 48% and made a proft. This year as the industry grew 62% Nokia sales crashed 23% and produced massive losses. Nokia's market share in 2010 was 34%. By Q4 it was just above 12%. Nokia had scared away 65% of its customer base in just one year! We witnessed the establishment of a world record in market share destruction - not only in telecoms but in all industries. Stephen Elop will go into the Business Hall of Shame as the all-time costliest CEO. The biggest loss ever, for a current market leader. Nokia was twice as big as Apple exactly one year ago. Today (based on Q4 sales) Apple is almost exactly twice as big as Nokia in smartphones. That is a total comprehensive collapse. Nokia was doing just fine through the middle of February of last year - had an excellent early year in China sales for example, as we saw from its Q1 results - but then from February 9, Nokia's CEO had his brain-freeze and insanity took over. I have chronicled enough of the carnage on this blog, suffice it to say that his Elop Effect and the year of lunacy caused total damages so severe, Nokia destroyed a Blackberry-sized slice of Nokia's business, and yes, the CEO's moronic actions caused 3.9 Billion dollars of damage to Nokia last year. So yes, for those who remember, Siemens died fast in dumbphones, as did Motorola. Palm died fast in smartphones, as did Windows Mobile. Those market share disasters were child's play compared to what Nokia did last year. That was epic. The biggest damage to any global leader ever. EVER. Any industry. ANY INDUSTRY. Not like New Coke, not like the BP oil spill, not like British Airways Terminal 5 fiasco, etc etc etc. The biggest damage to any company in any one year, EVER.
But yes, what of that wonderful promised 'third ecosystem' fantasy by delusion-boy Elop? There were some who thought Microsoft plus Nokia would be a sure winner. There were others who felt that partnership was a case of two turkeys who will not make an eagle. It was sheer speculation until we got to see the Lumia launch. The Nokia CEO had total control of the most important new phone series launch in Nokia's history. Elop could control every aspect of it, from the design of the phones, to where they would be marketed and offered to what carriers/networks, to the pricing, to the promotion. Total control of the launch of what Nokia branded the Lumia smartphones that run on Windows Phone. The previous comparison point was the launch of Nokia's previous new operating system based smartphones, the S^3 platform of Symbian with the flagship smartphone N8, one year ago for Q4. Those sold 4 million units. Just counting for the growth in the industry of 62% Nokia should have easily sold 6.4 million Lumia smartphones under any reasonably bright CEO, without the extra effort of the most important launch ever. And Nokia threw the biggest marketing push for this smartphone series, ever. And on top of that, Microsoft came in and threw hundreds of millions of dollars more in marketing support - including giving away free Xbox 360 videogaming consoles to buyers of the Lumia800 for example in the UK. How many sales did Nokia do of all Lumia phones in Q4? More than 6.4 million? No. Not even close. 600,000 is what Nokia managed. Literally they managed only one tenth the level they did a year ago (when adjusted for industry growth in the past year). That is utterly horrid performance and the signs were all there. The Lumia is not succeeding, and will not succeed. Anyone who hopes or thinks or expects that Lumia and Microsoft can rescue Nokia, has now facts - it will not. The Lumia launch is a total dud. And major analyst houses like Morgan Stanley see Nokia struggling far more this year, that market share of 12% will end at 8% according to Morgan Stanley's projection by the end of this year.
There is a ray of hope, it is called the N9 and MeeGo (And the N950 and other MeeGo devices either designed or otherwise MeeGo compatible like the N900). MeeGo outsold Lumia by 3 to 1 (more about MeeGo below). But Nokia's psycopathic CEO refuses to let the highly desirable N9 to be sold in Nokia's major markets - to the degree in Germany the biggest newsmagazine, Der Stern actually recommended to its readers to drive to Austria or Switzerland to go buy the N9 rather than Lumia smartphones. And bizarrely he refuses to sell the sister device, the N950 anywhere! Highly desirable 'hit' phones are very rare in this industry and Nokia dearly could use one right now. Only a fool as CEO refuses to sell a hot product globally. Only a fool. As long as Elop is in charge, Nokia is continuing its death-dance and has to sell its best assets just to survive. For the company that set the world record for market share destruction in a year, and going from big profits to huge losses, Nokia deserves the worst grade ever given. Unfortunately I can only fail Nokia and give it an F-
RIM - 53M units, 11% market share - grew modestly and remained modestly profitable - Grade C+
Blackberry maker RIM had a bad year. The Blackberry had grown market share every year up to 2009. Then their sales stalled, and Android (not the iPhone) started to eat into Blackberry's share. This year they were uniquely poised to steal most of Nokia's collapsing sales of its E-Series QWERTY based business-oriented smartphones. RIM should have had an easy time taking at least 6 million Nokia customers without batting an eyelash. And in a year of 62% growth, if RIM otherwise held steady for the year, they should have been in the scale of 84 million units of Blackberry sales. Yet they didn't. RIM launched its doomed tablet PC - which took the focus away from the management. RIM's strong profits vanished and in its panic, the co-CEO's fired tons of valuable sales and marketing (and design) staff which were needed right then to capture the slice of the Nokia customer give-away. And then the OS was delayed and Blackberry's troubles just compounded. No wonder the co-CEO's were both replaced by the end of the year.
In Q4 we see a rebound, strong sales on paper, but actually the growth in Blackberry sales from Q3 is only on par with the strong growth of the overall Christmas period Q4, so RIM actually only kept pace with the industry. However, as the previous two quarters had seen actual sales declines (not just market share declines), the turn-around was welcome and signals a possibly recovering RIM for 2012. Still, for their 2011 performance, I grade Research in Motion with a C+
HTC - 45M sales, 9% market share - grew unit sales strongly and made profits - Grade C
Taiwanese HTC had a good year, inspite of the bad press. Their smartphone sales grew stronger than the industry, by 81% in fact - and HTC did report a profit every quarter. They issued a series of downgrades to their forecasts, which has been more the source of the bad press. But they outgrew the market in one of the most dynamic big industries ever seen, and they grabbed market share in a very topsy-turvy year. HTC sold smartphones on Android and both Windows based platforms.
In Q4 we see HTC stumbling quite badly and falling in market share down to 6%, so the current trend is perilous for HTC, even as it manages profits. So I find it a reasonable and kind of 'average' mid-fielder performance, I grade HTC at a C.
SONY - 27M sales, 6% market share - grew unit sales but was in and out of profits - Grade B-
The long partnership saga of Sony and Ericsson was finally ended in 2011 and Ericsson exited the handset industry (focusing only on the infrastructure side of telecoms hardware). That leaves us a potentially far stronger Sony - consumer electronics powerhouse - and owner of a slew of consumer electronics brands led by PlayStation and a vast catalog of content from movies to music. Sony(Ericsson) grew sales strongly close to 3x in size, and took a lot of market share. The partnership was notoriously poor in profitability and slipped in and out of profits in the year. As Sony(Ericsson) shifted away from Symbian and Windows Mobile to focus on Android, with its Xperia series Sony became highly desirable. The company sells about 80% of all of its handsets now as smartphones and said it will complete the transition to 100% smartphones this year. That would make Sony the first legacy handset maker to achieve that major transformation of its business (and surviving it too, haha, many rivals like Siemens, Motorola and yes, Ericsson, didn't survive that transition).
For Q4 Sony grew a little slower than the industry so its market share gains are stalling, but still for the full year, I grade Sony at a B-
LG - 23 M sales, 5% market share, grew strongly but made losses - B-
LG seems to have had an almost identical performance as Sony. LG more than tripled its sales for the year, but like Sony, LG also was both in and out of profits in its handset unit. LG offers smartphones on Android and a few token Windows Phone units. The last quarter saw worse performance from LG with the company slipping in the standings. But as it did grow strongly and is borderline in profits/losses, I grade LG with a B-
HUAWEI - 20 M Sales, 4% market share, grew explosively and made profits - Grade A
Huawei is better known for its major business of telecoms networking infrastructure (like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent) than its handset unit, where its close sibling Chinese rival ZTE is more reversed, doing more in handsets than infrastructure. But in smartphones, Huawei has leaped ahead of ZTE and had a monster monster year. Huawei mainly offers Android based smartphones and usually at the low end of the price range. For Q4 they again grew faster than the industry. I find no fault in a perfect year for Huawei and grade them with a solid A
MOTOROLA (GOOGLE) - 19 M units, 4% share - grew modestly but continued big losses - D+
Motorola was bought by Google last year or more precisely, Google announced its intention to buy Moto, and they are now in the legal process to complete that deal. I will for now continue to call its Motorola unit as Motorola. So Moto-Moto, what have you done for me lately? Not much. Was yet another under-par year for the former giant known for the Razr. So how did it go in the Electric Boogaloo? Moto grew sales yes, but less than the rate of the industry, so they lost market share. Motorola had abandoned Symbian already a while back and also ended its use of Microsoft based operating systems, concentrating only on Android. They were 'thanked' by Microsoft with a lawsuit on patent infringements.. (Microsoft simply doesn't 'get it' that lawsuits in mobile will only make you more hated and the major players in this industry have very long memories). For Q4 Motorola continued its slide, growing less fast than the industry. So when you bleed market share, and do that unprofitably, that is bad business. I grade Motorola year 2011 at a D+
ZTE - 12M units, 3% market share, grew massively while making a profit - A-
Just like its bigger brother Huawei, ZTE also grew enormously in 2011, more than 3x bigger. They made a profits. They only provide Android handsets. Their only minor blemish was that in Q4 they grew a little less fast than the industry overall while not enough to lose market share. That is why I grade them an A-
FUJITSU - out of Top 10 - F
Fujitsu promised they will re-enter the global market and did launch in some Asian markets. So far their record is poor for 2011 and they fell out of the Top 10. I score them an F
SHARP - out of Top 10 - F
Sharp had already started on their come-back to the world stage, but that had its series of stumbles and bumps (they were the manufacturer of Microsoft's Kin series, a pair of youth phones that established a world record for new launch and market removal of 6 weeks in 2010). As they made some Android based moves to some markets around the world, their sales did not keep them in the Top 10. I grade them an F
OPERATING SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
Now lets do the operating systems. Two died in 2011 (Palm Web/OS by Hewlett Packard and LiMo by the Linux Foundation). Two more had their deaths announced (Symbian and MeeGo). One new OS launched (MeeGo). Two more were announced (Tizen and Meltemi). And Android continued to roll as the huge steamroller of the OS wars while Microsoft Windows Phone - then the 8th ecosystem - convinced Nokia to join in the propaganda to promote the Windows Phone as supposedly the 'Third Ecosystem' haha. What a laugh. But like with the phones, lets do these in size from biggest to smallest.
ANDROID - 208 M units, 43% market share - grew explosively - Grade A
Google's Android is now three years of age and it has taken the world's most competitive global industry ever, and is on the brink of having captured half of it (some analyst houses have jumped the gun and claim Android is already past 50% in smartphones in Q4 but Google's own activation numbers do not support that view). Android grew almost 4-fold in 2011 from 54 million to 208 million units per year. Android features smartphones made by Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Huawei, Motorola (Google) and ZTE out of the Top 10 plus many smarpthones outside the Top 10 like Fujitsu, Sharp, Mi-Fone, etc. In Q4 the sales growth slowed a bit but was still well faster than the industry growth rate. All in all, perfect year for Android. I grade them an A
iOS - 93 M units, 19% share - grew strongly - Grade A-
Apple's iOS grew very strongly in 2011, nearly doubling in size and taking a lot of market share. Not much more to report. Sold only on Apple iPhones in the smartphone races (plus some other Apple products). The Q4 was a stellar quarter but Q3 was under-par due to the late launch of the iPhone 4S. Still a near perfect year for the iOS platform, I grade it an A-
SYMBIAN - 81 M units, 17% market share - collapsed - Grade F
What can I say? Symbian towered over its rivals a year ago Now its a shadow of what it was and while Nokia's delusional CEO Stephen Elop first promised Nokia would produce another 150 million more Symbian smarphones when he said Nokia would transition to Microsoft - and most analysts said that was a ludicrous pipe-dream - today Elop has admitted it was a futile attempt and has reneged on that promise. If I was a Nokia app developer partner, I could not imagine a more disasterous year from Nokia, from abandoning the replacement platform MeeGo and the promised migration path to it via Qt, to badmouthing Symbian and the ecosystem, to unbranding the Ovi store, to shifting Nokia handset production to outsourced Taiwanese Compal, to switching away from Nokia staple components, to abandoning Nokia standard (and industry-leading) features - to now turning back on the solid promise of 150 million more Symbian devices. Yes, only a year ago, in January 2011, Nokia's Ovi had become the world's second biggest app store by downloads - and was rapidly catching up to Apple. Now all that is wasted..
So yes, while the industry grew 62%, Symbian saw sales crash by 31%. The last Symbian partners were solidly committed for big sales of Symbian, in particular in Japan, and very importantly NTT DoCoMo the biggest carrier/operator of Japan, but that all died in February of last year with the dual death-nails of the Elop Effect. By Q4 Symbian's death-spiral is only accelerating - with now the third straight decline of Symbian sales. Not decline of market share, but true decline of sales. This from a platform so strong, it grew 44% just the year before. If you lose actual sales in a year when the industry grows 62% - then you have failed and I grade Symbian an F
BLACKBERRY - 52 M units, 11% market share - anemic growth - C-
Blackberry did grow, but barely for the year. RIM is the only manufacturer making Blackberry compatible smarpthones (but interestingly and perhaps ironically, they are migrating to be compatible with Nokia's Qt developer tools - the ones that Nokia itself is now moving away from as Qt is compatible with Symbian and with MeeGo but not with Windows Phone). For Q4 they had a little bit of a come-back but only still grew at the pace of the industry, not more. Thus for the year I grade the Blackberry OS with a C-
bada - 9 M sales, 2% market share - massive growth - A-
Samsung's bada is the biggest and best-growing of the three new operating systems, and where Microsoft sells the fantasy of Windows Phone being somehow a 'third' ecosystem, in reality bada is very legitimately now the 5th ecosystem. bada only powers Samsung based smartphones and Samsung stepped into the place vacated by Nokia with the MeeGo partnership, to join Intel to develop Tizen as the next open source based smartphone OS to power not just Samsung but many other brand smartphones. Note that the comparison between 2011 and 2010 data is not comparable, because bada launched in the last quarter of 2010, so the right comparison is only Q4 of 2011 to Q4 of 2010 where the growth was 3.5x ie truly massive. bada grew ever consecutive quarter and once again in Q4 it grew faster than the industry. This is excellent for a new OS platform - I grade bada at A-
Windows Phone - 5 M sales, 1% market share - declining sales - grade D+
Note just like bada, Windows Phone data cannot be compared directly between 2011 and 2010, because Windows Phone launched at the end of 2010 so the sales number is not for full year 2010 but only Q4 of 2010. And when we compare Q4 2011 to Q4 2010, Microsoft's brand new Windows Phone OS sales have.. yes.. declined. In Q4 of 2010, Microsoft's Windows Phone shipped 2 million units (most of which were free early trial smarphones) By Q4 of 2011, Windows Phone sold only 1.8 million units which included the launch of Nokia and its Lumia smartphones, which accounted for 600,000 out of the Windows Phone totals or exactly one third. The others came mostly from HTC and Samsung. Note that Windows Phone lost unit sales for three quarters straight, Q1, Q2 and Q3 and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer fired the Windows Phone President (sorry, no he was not fired, he was demoted). Ballmer himself expressed frustration time and again in 2011 how Windows Phone sales were declining and disappointing. In Microsoft's best market, the USA, even in Q4 the older and obsolete (and incompatible) Windows Mobile OS still outsold Windows Phone! And Microsoft started to hide the true division by making a big marketing PR push to call now all Windows Mobile smartphones also Windows Phone (which they obviously are not) and each of the big 4 analyst houses have stopped separating the two OS platforms, calling it simply Microsoft. The performance of Windows Phone is dismal and I grade it at D+
WINDOWS MOBILE - 5M sales, 1% market share - declined sales - C-
Yes, Windows Mobile did decline more than Windows Phone - but Windows Mobile was announced dead more than two years ago, and it simply refuses to die. Like I said, in the USA, Microsoft's best market, it still stubbornly outsells Windows Phone in Q4 of 2011. For the full year, Windows Phone lost almost two thirds of its sales and its market share fell into the toilet from 4% to 1%. But it just refuses to go away, to Microsoft's great dismay. Yes its about to vanish and yes it fell massively, but I salute the attitude of refusing to go quietly, and I give that spunkiness a bit of respect and grade good ole WinMo with C-
MEEGO - 2M sales, 0% market share - new launch OS first quarter - B+
The newest and hottest of the three new operating systems, MeeGo by Nokia and Intel, is also already a dead-man-walking. In a bizarre decision by the delusional Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, he announced in the summer, that even if the sales of the N9 - the first MeeGo handset - were exceptionally good - he would not authorize any more MeeGo devices to be made by Nokia (beyond the N9 and its sister N950 which was already announced). So Nokia took all the trouble to create a fully functional touch-screen optimized smartphone OS, which by all reviews is excellent - and which is open source, Linux based, and compatible with Qt, Nokia's developer tools - and which does not cost one cent to Nokia to use in any handsets - and which works on Nokia's standard components and can be manufactured in Nokia's mostly idling massive factories (so badly idling, Nokia has already been forced to shut down and/or sell 3 of them just because of the collapse of Nokia sales last year). And then Nokia announce it will replace MeeGo with Windows Phone, which is not open source, is not Linux based, is not compatible with Qt, and for which Nokia has to pay a license to Microsoft for every handset ever sold, which does not work with Nokia standard components, and at least the first Lumia phones were made in Taiwanese factories of Compal, not in Nokia's own (idling) factories. And this OS, MeeGo, the CEO says he won't ever use again? What is wrong with him? I can see if the alternate was 'not open' or 'expensive to use ie needs a royalty payment' or 'not compatible with Nokia's tools' but where MeeGo is in every way better than Windows Phone - I didn't even mention how many ways Windows Phone is not compatible with Nokia standard features and functions (but MeeGo of course is)..
So, we have an excellent launch Quarter for Nokia's MeeGo - a launch which was totally abandoned by the CEO who spent all the money on the Lumia Windows Phone launch (simultaneously). The N9 was the only handset sold (bizarrely, the N950 also on MeeGo is manufactured yes, but in tiny numbers. Mad!) and the N9 is only sold in obscure or tiny countries. Like New Zealand or Nigeria or Kazakhstan - no offense to my friends in any of those countries haha.. MeeGo did about 1.75 million units of sales - three times as many as the two Lumia smartphones in the same Quarter - and the one handset N9 alone almost matched all Windows Phone smartphones made by HTC, Nokia, Samsung and the other Windows Phone partners in Q4, which were obviously sold in most of the biggest smartphone countries and definitely the most affluent countries. Considering that Nokia gave it no support and deliberately prevented the N9 from being sold in any major countries - I mentioned the German magazine actually telling readers to drive to another country to buy it, that it is so good - I grade 1.75 million sales - and a 1% market share for its launch quarter a good performance at B+
PALM WEB/OS - terminated in 2011 - F
Hewlett-Packard bought Palm when its Web/OS and the latest Palm smartphones were rated second best on many tech sites behind only the iPhone. HP could have 'easily' turned its Palm asset into what the iPhone is to Apple - to deliver half of sales and most of profits - and help push the company to the top of the most profitable companies on the planet - as the Palm purchase was optimally timed if HP - already a maker of smartphones - wanted to capitalize on the massive smartphone industry expansion. It utterly failed, rather than using the existing Palm devices and rebadging them with HP and rapidly flooding the market with a hot smartphone - instead HP decided that a smartphone is a pocket PC and tried to make a business tool out of its Palm unit. That silly adventure ended last year when the Palm Web/OS unit was turned into an open source project. Palm is for all practical purposes dead now. Hence, if you die in the year that the industry grew by 62% - you failed. Miserably. I grade Hewlett-Packard's Palm misadventure as an F
For those interested to quote these numbers - you may fully use any analysis, and any numbers - and the tables - freely. I ask you list as your source if it is a printed document like book, article or white paper or infographic or for example powerpoint slide etc - please list source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2012. If you quote info from here on a website or blog or Facebook, Twitter etc mentions, please include web link to this page. I have also created an easy short permalink on Tinyurl for you to copy-and-paste if you prefer to this page, which is:
Also note, you may freely recreate the above tables into better form, including any diagrams and graphs if you like as long as you mention the source.
IF YOU WANT MORE INFO
I have published the TomiAhonen Phone Book 2010 about the mobile phone handset industry statistics and data up to the end of year 2010. It has 98 tables and charts about the handset industry, including cameraphone resolutions, browsers, bluetooth, 3G, etc and regional data and user data and all sorts of facts. It is only available as an eBook with pages formated for the small screens of smartphones, so you can carry the pdf file with you to have the stats everywhere. The Phone Book costs only 9.99 Euros so it won't damage your budget. See more at this link TomiAhonen Phone Book 2010.
If you like this information about smartphones but are more interested in the overall mobile telecoms industry from data services to subcribers to revenues to advertising to consumers etc, I publish an annual statistical volume, called the TomiAhonen Almanac with 94 tables and charts. It has of course one chapter on handsets and the above data in this blog article is part of that chapter. The current edition is from year 2011 but I am about to release the 2012 edition within literally days from now with all data current to January 2012. So if you buy the 2011 edition today as we are less than one month from the next edition, I will actually deliver to you both, so that 2011 edition immediately, and the new 2012 edition when it is released, for the same low price of 9.99 Euros. Please do not buy the wrong eBook, as they have some overlap! See more including table of contents at TomiAhonen Almanac 2011.
(MORE DATA COMING TO THIS BLOG ARTICLE SHORTLY)