Generator Research predicts iPhone will overtake Nokia in 2012

Generator Research predicts iPhone will overtake Nokia in 2012

Summary: Generator Research, a small firm focused on digital media and the Internet, has released a new report predicting that the Apple iPhone's current growth trajectory will enable it to catch and surpass Nokia for the top spot in the global smartphone market within three years.

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Generator Research, a small firm focused on digital media and the Internet, has released a new report predicting that the Apple iPhone's current growth trajectory will enable it to catch and surpass Nokia for the top spot in the global smartphone market within three years.

The report sees iPhone growth accelerating due to a combination of the rapid multiplication of apps and the price drop of $99 for the lowest-priced iPhone. Meanwhile, Generator Research also predicts that Nokia will stumble and see its market share cut in half from 40% in 2008 to just 20% in 2013.

Chart credit: Electronista

Quick analysis

This report appears to compare Apple and Nokia in a vacuum. It sees only modest growth for other smartphones in the years ahead. That doesn't take into account the momentum that both BlackBerry and Palm also have right now. I think we have to expect that as the smartphone market grows steeply over the next several years, it's going to lift several boats, not just the iPhone.

As the smartphone market grows and consolidates, Nokia is definitely vulnerable, as is Windows Mobile. Google's Android platform is still a wildcard. It has potential, but also has some serious challenges to overcome.

However, this market is still extremely fluid. Nokia has yet to launch its new Symbian OS. Windows Mobile 7.0 comes out in early 2010. And there's still the possibility that Android could find the right hardware partner and turn its fortunes around.

If there's anything that could give the iPhone to leap forward in the global market, it could be partnerships with new mobile carriers. For example, if the iPhone comes to Verizon in the U.S. in late 2010 (as rumored), it could have a very disruptive impact on that market.

Topics: Nokia, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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6 comments
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  • LOL!

    Firstly at the spam above and secondly at this absolutely piss poor piece of research.

    Someone should tell Generator a couple of things, namely:

    1) There actually is a smartphone market outside the US.
    2) Samsung, HTC, LG and others are laughing at you.

    The iPhone will get 10-15% tops.

    Silly article is silly.
    Sleeper Service
    • Two things ...

      1. Generator IS actually looking at the global market. If they were only looking at the U.S. market, Nokia wouldn't even be in the picture.

      2. This refers only to the smartphone market and not the overall mobile market. Thus, LG and Samsung are barely a consideration and HTC is an upstart that's still trying to win marketshare.
      jasonhiner
      • Really?

        LG I'll give you (was thinking of Sharp who sell in Japan) but Samsung has a well developed WinMo line and is now releasing Symbian devices. You may - or may not - have noticed that they had about 4% of the smartphone market at the end of 2008, a figure which will continue to increase. As for HTC being an upstart, in addition to the greater than 4% share their own phones had they also manufacture a considerable proportion of the balance of the 20% or so of smartphones that fall into the 'other' category. Their real share is closer to 8%.

        And then there's RIM who I forgot to mention and who seem mysteriously absent from Generator's predictions. They're the ones increased their sales volume and market share at a considerably greater rate than the iPhone in 2008 in case you didn't notice and who are currently a comfortable second in the market.

        Let's face facts here: Nokia's line at the moment isn't exactly stellar but their smartphones still outsell the iPhone (not to mention anything else except the Japanese manufacturers on their home turf) in every market outside the US where they have no meaningful presence. In fact, the 5800 actually does that by itself.

        The iPhone is a fine device but it's expensive, proprietary and not for everyone. It's good but unless Apple consider multiple variants at various price points and on differing carriers it's going to remain a niche product with a decent but limited wedge of the smartphone market. It should also be noted that the iPhone helped create a smartphone market in the US and that the increase in volume is largely due to this - 50% of iPhone sales are still made in the US.

        So, in summary, the research from Generator - a small company that has probably just damaged its professional reputation beyond repair - is ridiculous, poorly sourced and has numerous flaws with its research methodology.
        Sleeper Service
  • Nokia will be challenged...

    Regardless of whether you believe the iPhone will
    continue it's successful growth or not, Nokia will be in
    trouble. The days of where it was acceptable to have a
    mediocre operating system on your smartphone are gone.
    RIM will continue to have a lock on the corporate
    market. The iPhone has raised the bar for what people
    expect from an iPhone. There will be continued pressure
    from the iPhone imitators like Android and Palm's Web
    OS. However, Windows mobile will be on a slight decline
    and Symbian based phones will fall more sharply.
    techconc
    • I agree...

      ...however I'm sure that's why they're investigating Maemo Linux as well as developing Symbian^2. To suggest Nokia will stand still is insane.
      Sleeper Service
  • RE: Generator Research predicts iPhone will overtake Nokia in 2012

    I don?t understand many of the comments here.. Apple outside the US is nothing. Please, the US is not the center of the world and it is not who tells the trends in the global market. The iPhone is a trend, a US trend only. In Europe, Asia or South America the stores only have 1 or 2 iPhone in stock and lots of Nokia, LG and Samsung?Wonder why? If Nokia is going to be overtaken i?m sure that is going to be by LG or Samsung?.Apple, Rim, Android are not to mass market?
    rausdaki