At least one tech consulting group is disappointed in the way the U.S. mobile market is looking as of the second quarter of 2013.
Chetan Sharma and his global technology and strategy consulting group went so far as to speculate, Is the smartphone growth over?"
Before we get to the dramatics, let's take a look at some of the key numbers:
- Smartphones are now past the 60 percent penetration mark in the United States, continuing to "sell at a brisk pace."
- Smartphones accounted for nearly 87 percent of mobile devices sold during the quarter.
- Approximately 240 million consumers account for 335 million mobile subscriptions. Still out of that pool of 240 million, roughly 145 milion of them own smartphones.
- The U.S. mobile market added a "paltry" 139,000 new connections during the quarter -- down 95 percent from Q2 2012.
On the mobile provider front, analysts framed T-Mobile as the darling of the quarter being that it both led the industry last quarter for new subscribers and posted one of its best growth rates in 12 quarters.
As for the nation's top two, AT&T sold more iPhones, but Verizon sold more smartphones.
So what gives? Perhaps the problem can be found more at the OEM and operating system maker levels rather than with the service providers.
Looking back at the stagnancy seen during the quarter, Sharma reiterated in the report published on Tuesday that "it is no longer good enough to have a great product, an OEM needs to perform well across multiple variables."
We all know the Android ecosystem as a whole is performing better consistently quarter to quarter, dominating the market share -- at least from an operating system standpoint.
It used to be Apple that was the OEM performing well across both the OS and manufacturer charts.
But without a new iPhone or iPad in sight (regardless of unconfirmed rumors), it could be argued that Sharma's assessment applies directly to the Cupertino company.
He also noted:
The global market is even more fertile. The emerging markets are quite price sensitive and the low-cost Android devices are rushing to fill the void. If Apple cares about market share, it will have to figure out a strategy to address the void in its portfolio.