So don't we just love numbers? We are starting to see into what the full-year 2013 final smartphone market shares will look like. In the OS wars, there is no race anymore, Android won.. But for the handset brands, there were real races. We do know now that of the Top 10, there are 3 definite known 'final' rankings, and three races for the other seven slots. This is what it looks like:
THE THREE KNOWN POSITIONS
We know who won 2013. That be Sammy the Samster Samsung. We know who came in second, that is the smartphone of the i-variety, by a fruit-maker company called Apple. And one other ranking is known. Sony will finish 7th. But there is an honest real race for the Bronze medal. Third place is not a race between two or even three brands, no. Third place is contested by four, count them four, Asian brands. Huawei, Lenovo, LG and ZTE are in a tight race for that coveted third-largest smartphone maker in the world, title. So yes, it will be an Asian, but will it be Chinese or South Korean.
As to the loser brackets.. There is a race between the oldest and youngest of this group. Nokia the inventor of the smartphone has tumbled. It was tied for 4th last year, led this industry from its inception and well into 2011. Nokia is now fighting for 8th ranking. It cannot finish out of the Top 10, in fact Nokia cannot finish lower than 9th. But yes. Who are they facing? The young whippersnapper start-up smartphone maker from China, so unknown, most of us even now have a hard time remembering exactly who is Coolpad, ie Yulong, ie China Wireless (not to be confused with China Mobile). But that is the race of 8th ranking.
And then there is the fight for who falls out of the Top 10. The fight of the 3-letter rivals. The former smarpthone giants. High Tech Computer of Taiwan, we know them better as simply HTC, and RIM, or the company until recently known as Research In Motion from Canada, who have changed their company name to be the same as their smartphone brand - Blackberry. One of these two will be kicked out of the Top 10 this year, and its really close. BTW just three years ago, at this very quarter, these two brands were ranked 3rd and 4th biggest smartphone makers in the world (and both reporting healthy profits and strong growth at the time). Yes. In 2012 Blackberry/RIM was still ranked 5th biggest and HTC seventh-biggest smartphone maker. One of them will stay in the top ten ranked 10th biggest, the other falls out this year for the first time.
Thats the brands. On the operating systems, Android won. iOS came second. Windows Phone is far far down in third in low single digits, and Blackberry OS is fourth. The other OS brands combined do not amount to 1% of all smartphones sold in 2013.
A few other notes. Now during Q4 Samsung will set a phenomenal record. This is the first quarter ever that any brand sells 1 million smartphones on average, every day of the Quarter. Yes, Samsung will easily clear 92 million smartphones sold this quarter. My preliminary projection has them at 99 million but they may well pass 100 million sold just this quarter, if they have a bit of luck in the Christmas season.
Apple? They will have indeed seen 'peak iPhone' in smartphone market share. Last year Apple's iPhone had a thin sliver under 20% market share. It has grown every year up to that time. This year, 2013, sees the first year ever, that Apple's iPhone smartphone market share falls. I project it to end in the 16% to 17% range. This still assumes a phenomenal growth Christmas iPhone quarter selling about 65 million or so iPhones. Of course Apple will report obscene profits and outrageous revenues, but some analysts will strike notes of caution, when they observe that the iPhone market share has turned into decline. Quite possibly terminal decline (I don't mean terminal as end to Apple, obviously, I mean terminal in that the gradual market share decline won't be reversed for several years.. that is an honest fear, and Apple's best bet to combat that, is to now lower the prices of its discount models, the C-series...)
Only one European smartphone maker remains in 2012. That won't be in 2013 when Nokia's handset business will belong to Microsoft. Only one US based smartphone maker of Top 10 size remains today (Apple) where just three years ago there were also Motorola and Palm. Three years ago there were no Chinese smartphone brands in the Top 10. Today there are four and one might be ranked as high as 3rd largest. Talk about taking a giant leap forward.
The year is well on track to break 1 Billion new smartphones sold this year. That is a huge number (for contrast about 350 million PCs will be sold). Over 780 million of those will have been Android-powered. Note, that is new sales of just smartphones this year. When we add tablets, Android will pass 1 Billion new sales this year and Android will become bigger by total users, than all forms of Windows based devices, desktop PCs and servers, laptops notebooks and netbooks, tablets, and smartphones - combined. Yes, already at the end of 2013, Android has become the world's largest computing platform and 'ecosystem' if you will. Congrats to the folks at Google..
Thats the kind of numbers and stories and rankings we will be looking at around early February and late January of 2014, in less than 3 months from now.. The year smartphones sold more than dumbphones. The year Android overtook Windows. And the quarter when Samsung started shipping a million new smartphones every single day, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays included... Quite an exciting time.
Stay tuned, I'll be bringing the updates as we get more data...