Posted on 4-Aug-2004 23:16.
Filed under: News
Research firm Canalys says that smart phones lead by volume, but wireless handhelds market is growing fastest. The top five mobile device vendors in Q2 2004 were Nokia, palmOne, HP, RIM and Sony Ericsson.
Nokia dominated the overall mobile device market in Q2 2004, with 33% share by units shipped. It remains the only vendor with a wide range of smart phones. Indeed, Canalys estimates that Nokia was responsible for over 80% of all Symbian-based devices shipped in the quarter and the majority of all smart phones shipped in each of the EMEA, APAC and Latin America regions. Only in North America, where palmOne’s Treo 600 is the leading smart phone, was Nokia pushed into second place.
“Compared to last quarter, Nokia has closed the gap on palmOne in North America,” observed Canalys senior analyst and director Chris Jones, “PalmOne still has supply issues with the Treo 600. If it can solve these then its numbers will improve, but it also needs a broader selection of devices to appeal to a wider range of customers. It has the advantage of a large, loyal handheld user base, and many will be looking to upgrade to a device that integrates voice and other wide-area wireless functionality, but it needs to offer those users a choice of designs and features. The European-based smart phone vendors have found it difficult to make headway in the North American market so far, but palmOne cannot afford to underestimate the momentum of Symbian.”
Smart phones represented just under 15% of palmOne’s device shipments in Q2 2004. It remains the clear leader worldwide in the data-centric (handheld and wireless handheld) segment, despite having lost this position in EMEA to HP, and is the number two vendor (18% share) overall. Its global market share in the data-centric segment fell seven points in Q2 2004 compared to the same quarter one year ago, despite a slight increase in the number of devices shipped.
Unlike palmOne and Nokia, HP has no voice-centric devices, but managed to hold onto third place in the overall market (9% share) thanks partly to continued strong performance in EMEA, which represented almost half of its iPAQ shipments in Q2 2004. Wireless handheld vendor RIM (8% share) was narrowly behind HP and enjoyed the highest growth (333%) of any of the leading vendors. Growth was strong in North America and EMEA, but its presence in Latin America and APAC remains small. Sony Ericsson, with its P800/P900 series smart phones, was fifth overall (4% share), but shipments fell by around 3% compared to the year-ago quarter. In voice-centric devices, despite being second, it remains some way behind Nokia.
“Looking at the market by device category reveals some interesting trends,” added analyst Rachel Lashford, “The fastest growing category was wireless handhelds, up 194% on Q2 2003. This was largely due to the performance of RIM, but operator-branded Windows Mobile devices, particularly in EMEA, also contributed. North America was the only region where shipments of wireless handhelds exceeded those of smart phones. Shipments of handhelds without integral wide-area wireless capability rose by 10% globally, but the growth came from outside North America (which fell 5%), with EMEA up 31%, Latin America up 66% and APAC up 8%. Worldwide the smart phone segment grew 112%, with all regions posting strong year-on-year figures.”
Global shipments of the four categories of device were as follows: smart phones was the largest segment with 2.9 million units, followed by handhelds at 2.4 million, wireless handhelds at 600,000 and feature phones (a soon-to-disappear category, squeezed between high-end mobile phones and smart phones) around 30,000.
Looking at the market by operating system, Microsoft led narrowly from PalmSource in the data-centric segment. Symbian dominated the market for voice-centric devices, but PalmSource was ahead of Microsoft in this segment for the first time in over a year. Combining shipments of all mobile devices, Symbian was ahead with 41% share, with less than half a percentage point separating Microsoft and PalmSource in second and third respectively.