One of my regular commenters points out an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint Could Yet Strike Out With iPhone. “SPQR” interprets it as follows: The article states that Sprint’s cost to run the iPhone is $15.5 billion over four years. Unclear to me what that “cost” means from the article. The iPhone… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Sprint Doubles Down on Dumb
HP replaces the hapless Leo Apotheker in a manner not very well calculated to reassure anyone that HP has a bright future. Granted, Apotheker’s performance – typified by the now-it’s-dead-oh-maybe-not fumbling around the TouchPad – was dismal. But the new CEO’s first move was to reassure everyone that Apotheker’s cunning plan to turn HP into… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: How are the mighty fallen
No grand unifying theme in this installment of our smartphone-wars coverage, but a bunch of short takes.
Running a cellphone network is a brutally capital-intensive business with thin profit margins, and subject to heavy regulation. Any economist will tell you that all three of these factors favor size – capital concentration confers a stronger advantage, thin margins can only yield a decent profit at high volume, and larger organizations can better afford… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Alarums and Mergers
Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple yesterday, handing the reins to designated successor Tim Cook. It could hardly happen at a more difficult juncture – for though Apple’s cash reserves and quarterly profits are eye-popping, the company faces serious challenges in the near future. Its strategic position rests on premises that are now in… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Exit Steve Jobs
The business press is abuzz today with the news that HP is pulling the plug on its WebOS smartphone and tablet lines. This won’t be any huge surprise to people who’ve been following the discussions on Armed & Dangerous; WebOS has looked terminal to us for a long time. Still…WebOS didn’t suck, technically speaking. It… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: WebOS, we hardly knew ye
This morning came the news that Google has agreed to buy Motorola Mobile for $12 billion. I was half-asleep when A&D regular Jay Maynard phoned me with a heads-up, but not surprised for a second; as I told him, I’ve been expecting this for weeks. We’ll see a lot of silly talk about Google getting… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Google Buys Motorola
There’s been a lot of talk in the trade press over the last month by people who believe – or want to believe, or want us to think they believe – that Android’s momentum is slowing, and in particular that the multicarrier release of the Apple iPhone was a game-changer that will eventually pull Apple… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: 48% and rising
If style is truly the contrast of expectation and surprise, it’s been a very stylin’ couple of weeks in the smartphone world while I’ve been on vacation.
I have plotted the May 2011 comScore data. There are two conspicuous things to notice about it. One is that recent rumors of an Android stallout seem utterly bogus, and the other is that Apple appears to be actually gaining some share rather than simply bouncing around 25% in a random way.
I’ve been chronicling RIM’s death spiral, and much more willing than most to call it as a straight-up suicide by bad planning and management, not just a “bad things happen to good companies” episode. Now comes an open letter from inside RIM describing the unforced errors in excruciating detail. In other news, the trade press… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Rumors of demise
Here’s an interesting news story alleging that Nokia has ported Android to the N9. There are pictures at engadget.
It’s been a quiet week in the smartphone wars. The three most interesting developments are (a) stock analysts have begun hanging crepe for RIM’s funeral, (b) HP has priced its WebOS tablet to die, and (c) the iPhone 5 is now not expected in September, being constrained by iOS 5’s ship date.
For months I’ve been predicting that a flood of ultra-cheap SoC-based Androids is coming at us from China, motivated by the prospect of Third World and BRIC sales volume in the billions and beginning in 3Q2011. The iCube announcement was one harbinger; today we have some others. It’s worth another look at what this trend… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: The invasion begins
A few weeks go, I reported a conversation with a Chinese-American investor who confirmed my suspicion that the next game-changer for the smartphone market is going to come out of mainland China. He wouldn’t name the company, but I think they’ve just unstealthed. ICube matches the hints he was dropping exactly.
It’s always a good day when you get to wield the Righteous Cluebat of Reality straight into the teeth of dogmatists and downshouters – and no, I’m not talking about being Andrew Breitbart, though I do like to think I’m at least as capable of upending smug certitudes as he is. Today’s cluebatting concerns two… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: The world turned upside down
The April 2011 figures from comScore are out, and I’ve added them to my time-series plots. There are no surprises here, which is very bad news for anybody not an Android fan.
Market pressure works. In response to an outcry from customers, HTC has just annnounced that it will return to its policy of shipping handsets with unlocked bootloaders. This makes me personally happy because I’ve been a fan of HTC handsets since the G-1; I would have had to stop buying and recommending them if they’d… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: HTC rejoins the good guys
Today, a prediction about the timing of Android victory. But – more importantly – a discussion of the uses and perils of statistical extrapolation.
I’ve put together a tool to visualize the smartphone market-share data comScore makes available in its monthly press releases. Readers can download both the tool and the raw data in order to check my work. And the first new visualization is quite interesting: