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Nokia and Motorola: Two horse race, soon to be three?

February 2, 2007

N93i takes WiFi-enabled video shooting smartphones to new Nokia heights

Last July I wondered in writing about Q2 2006 NOK and MOT numbers:

Is mobile handset design and marketing now a two horse race?

As reported in this Chicago Tribune story on Q4 2006 results, the answer appears to be a big “Yes”. According to the Strategy Analytics numbers quoted by the Tribune:

  1. Nokia increased Q4 share to 35.2% worldwide, versus 34.1% Q4 2005
  2. Motorola rose to 21.9%, from 18.2% in the final quarter of 2005
  3. Samsung lost share, down to 10.7% from 11.1% in the same quarter last year
  4. Sony Ericsson is up to 8.7% from 6.6% last year
  5. Closing out the top five, LG Electronics sank to 5.7% share from 6.6% in Q4 2005

Although Sony Ericsson increased its share a bit year-over-year, it appears to be more at the expense of Samsung and LG than of Nokia or Motorola. And even with S.E.’s rise, Nokia and Motorola still managed to pull slightly further ahead of the pack.

I wonder how things will stack up at this time next year, after iPhone has had a few months on the market? For Steve to hit his target of 1% share by 2008, Apple wouldn’t need to take very much from the major players.

Getting to the next order of magnitude, however, will be quite a bit more challenging. 10% share would position Apple in the top three mobile makers, assuming they grab share more at the expense of Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and LG than Nokia or Motorola. And as you can see from this quarter’s numbers, 10% iPhone market share won’t be easy to come by. But given the key bit of my quote from mid-2006, that this is a race based upon “design and marketing”, I’d say Apple has a better chance than anyone else at getting there from here. Assuming they listen to feedback and understand the shape of the mobile market, of course.


From → Uncategorized

  1. The “Google Operating System” blog used stats from this post and linked accordingly in its post “LG Phones to Preinstall Google Software“.

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