Windows Mobile does better than iPhone in 4th quarter 2008

Windows Mobile does better than iPhone in 4th quarter 2008

Summary: Back in December we saw Gartner's 3rd quarter 2008 report on the world smartphone market with Nokia showing its first decline in sales. Today, Gartner released the 4th quarter 2008 data and Nokia continues to show a decline in market share. Compared to the same quarter in 2007 Nokia is down from 50.9% to 40.8%. Apple went from 5.2% in 2007 to 10.7% in 2008 while RIM also saw an increase from 10.9% to 19.5%. HTC also saw a minor increase from 3.7% to 4.3%.

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Back in December we saw Gartner's 3rd quarter 2008 report on the world smartphone market with Nokia showing its first decline in sales. Today, Gartner released the 4th quarter 2008 data and Nokia continues to show a decline in market share. Compared to the same quarter in 2007 Nokia is down from 50.9% to 40.8%. Apple went from 5.2% in 2007 to 10.7% in 2008 while RIM also saw an increase from 10.9% to 19.5%. HTC also saw a minor increase from 3.7% to 4.3%.

Even with the current economic situation, it was interesting to see there was an overall growth of 3.7 percent in this quarter compared to the same quarter in 2007. Nokia announced the flagship N97 in this quarter, but the device isn't scheduled for release until sometime in the middle of 2009 so there may be people waiting for the device before making any Nokia smartphone purchases.

Samsung had a strong showing and the availability of their touch screen devices (like the OMNIA variants) did quite well. HTC had a strong quarter too, but as noted on the Gartner charts the devices that are branded by operators appear under the Others category (as I believed and stated in the past) so HTC has an even larger marketshare that is unfortunately not depicted in the charts. I would like to see future data that shows all device from HTC since the Others category is huge and not helpful in showing what is going on.

In the 3rd quarter data Mac OS X was above Windows Mobile (12.9% to 11.1%), but we see this flip flop in the 4th quarter with Windows Mobile at 12.4% and Mac OS X at 10.7%. Linux and RIM went up while Symbian and Palm went down. Palm OS is actually shown as only 0.9% of the worldwide marketshare.

Thanks to jkOnTheRun for the heads-up on the report.

Topics: CXO, Apple, Wi-Fi, Software, Smartphones, Operating Systems, Nokia, Mobility, Mobile OS, IT Priorities, iPhone, HTC, Hardware, Windows

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32 comments
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  • 4,1 million iphones?

    how come apple reported 4,36 million iphones for the 4th quarter? when
    gartner's apple numbers are incorrect how correct are these other
    numbers?
    bannedfromzdnetagain
    • When Is a Sale Not a Sale?

      Gartner's numbers represent sales to END USERS. Apple's sales do not. That is why the numbers don't agree.
      NameRedacted
  • Other important data points

    My data comes directly from Gartner's release:
    http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=910112

    [i]In the fourth quarter of 2008, Microsoft's share of the global smartphone market improved sequentially, with unit sales up 16 per cent over 3Q08.[/i]

    So WM sales [b]increased[/b] 16% between 3Q08 and 4Q08. How did Apple do in the same time frame?

    [i]Apple?s initial sell-through dropped significantly as sales fell during the fourth quarter.[/i]

    Uh oh. How much did they fall? In the jkOnTheRun post, they say that while WM sales increased 700,000, OS X sales fell 700,000. OUCH! And WM is the one that is going to die any day soon? Any math majors want to figure out what day WM will die at 16% quarter over quarter growth? :)

    Another interesting tidbit from Gartner:
    [i]Apple built an inventory of about two million iPhone units in the third quarter of 2008[/i]

    So that record breaking quarter wasn't so record breaking when you realize that 2,000,000 iPhone sales never happened.

    Year over year, there is no doubt that Apple is doing well but this was mostly due to a huge 50% price drop. Apple can't keep doing that. And how about Windows Mobile which is about to die any day now? Hmm, sales [b]grew[/b] nearly 8% and market share [b]increased[/b] 0.5%. So WM is [b]still[/b] growing [b]faster than the market[/b].

    In the end, is the iPhone a financial success for Apple? Of course it is. While it isn't the least bit innovative, Apple has convinced enough of its faithful that this is the phone to buy. However, the point of my post is not to say that iPhone isn't doing well but to provide [b]cold hard facts[/b] to prove that the rumors of WM's death have been greatly exaggerated. Microsoft has some work to do but people who say that WM is dying are [b]factually incorrect[/b].

    Oops, forgot one more point:
    [i]HTC had a very strong quarter with record sales of its HTC-branded devices and operator-branded devices.[/i]

    [b]Record sales[/b]. Yup, HTC is doing fantastically well too. :)
    NonZealot
    • Let's face it, NZ---

      An awful lot of "the faithful" weren't "the faithful" until AFTER they
      bought the iPhone!
      Userama
      • Apple used its iPod monopoly to push into a new market

        The iPhone's biggest selling feature was that it was an iPod. 99.9% of people who bought an iPhone already owned an iPod. Apple successfully used their iPod monopoly to push into a new market. That is the only reason the iPhone sells because it certainly isn't based on the quality or the feature set.
        NonZealot
  • Oh boy Matthew...

    ...you're going to get a LOT of feedback on this one.

    Any bets the Apple fans say the data is false, and the Windows fans will say this proves that the end is near for the iPhone, and just gloat?


    I sure hope Mike Cox chimes in on this post. What we need from him is his insightful take on the figures...as always, the one with his finger on the pulse of modern technology.

    Are you out there Mike?
    IT_Guy_z
  • Fuzzy Math?

    Interesting that Gartner shows about 4.1 million iPhones SOLD during 2008 Q4 (http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=910112), whereas AT&T shows 1.9 million ACTIVATIONS during the same period (http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=26502).

    Sure are a lot of inactive, or "jail-broken" iPhones lying around.
    Mark-Twain
    • Could be upgrades from iPhone 1.0

      Considering how atrociously bad the iPhone v1.0 was (no 3G in a $600 phone??!!??!!), one would have to imagine that a [b]huge[/b] percentage of iPhone 3G sales were people so disgusted with their original iPhone that they ran out and bought the upgrade (gotta have Apple OMG I LOVE SHINY APPLE LOGOS :) ). Would the upgrade count as an activation?
      NonZealot
      • Oh how funny

        "gotta have Apple OMG I LOVE SHINY APPLE LOGOS"

        I take it that was a direct quote from Mrs Gates.

        You may imagine all sorts of things but if I remember correctly you imagined that no one would buy an iphone in the first place.

        Never mind you can upgrade to a windows mobile 6.5 phone soon although upgrade is perhaps the wrong term.


        martin23
        • You are wrong

          [i]if I remember correctly you imagined that no one would buy an iphone in the first place.[/i]

          Nope, I was on record from day 1 as believing that the iPhone would sell very well. Apple fanatics will buy anything from Apple because, as I quoted above: gotta have Apple OMG I LOVE SHINY APPLE LOGOS

          :)
          NonZealot
          • be quiet.

            You are a vacuous dullard. Sssshh. Go play with the traffic.
            randomnoise
          • Am I the only one...

            ...who sees the irony in someone using the name "randomnoise" calling someone a [i]vacuous dullard[/i]?

            No offense. It just struck me as humorous. :p
            MGP2
    • Worldwide numbers

      These Gartner numbers are for worldwide sales and not just sales here in the US. I imagine there are a lot fewer jailbroken iPhone 3G units now that you can buy them all over the world.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • My bad...

        ...didn't read closely enough. Oops... :D
        Mark-Twain
    • Worldwide Sales, Not Just U.S.

      The Gartner info is for worldwide sales; AT&T is only in the U.S.
      NameRedacted
  • that's irrelevant history

    windoze mobile or iCrap are both lame, proprietary and expensive.
    Whar matters is the Future: Linux will rule the market.
    Linux Geek
    • Does that SPAM come with mustard?

      NT
      MGP2
  • Other more important data points

    My data comes directly from Gartner's release:
    [url]http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=910112[/url]

    In 2008, the Smartphone market grew by 13.9% over 2007. Windows Mobile sales only grew by 12.2%. In other words, WM lost market share in 2008.

    When someone takes a myopic, quarter-to-quarter view to make a point, she misses the broader picture. That is, RIM and Apple have a clear advantage, even though MS had 4 and 7 year headstart on them respectively. Of course, MS may rebound later this year when R6.5 (a.k.a. Happy Hexagons) starts showing up.

    It's ironic that MS also takes a myopic, quarter-to-quarter view in this space. Following Apple again, it's charging 30% of sales to developers that put apps on its new store. If they were really thinking long-term, they would have charged at most 25%. Funny how some people called Apple's 30% an unfair "tax" but now are silent about the same deal from MS!
    rynning
    • MS is forcing developers to use its marketplace?

      [i]Following Apple again, it's charging 30% of sales to developers that put apps on its new store.[/i]

      The [b]big[/b] difference that you neglect to mention is that through the draconian use of DRM, Apple is forcing all app developers to pay it 30% for the "privilege" of writing an app. MS doesn't use DRM to prevent people from releasing WM applications. Let me repeat that: once again, Apple uses DRM to artificially control what people are allowed to do with the devices that they bought while MS doesn't use DRM. Puts Jobs' "anti-DRM" letter into a whole new light! [i]Do as I say, not as I do!![/i] :)
      NonZealot
      • But where?

        First, you didn't address the main point of my post.

        Second, where exactly will these devlopers release their wonderful applications? Handango? PocketGear? These companies will be out-of-business or inconsequential to WM after the WM App Store is built into every copy of WM.

        But you've answered my question about why Microsoft decided to charge 30% instead of 25%. It's because these competitors charge developers 40% of revenue. MS is just aiming to undercut them.

        Another Microsoft theme: abandoning companies that used to partner with them (or at least help them), turning them into competitors, and undercutting them on price.
        rynning