Originally Posted by lav1daloca
Ok guys let's take a chill pill and take a look.. and i'm not defending Nokia but let numbers talk..
Apple remained flat in market share at 17% and flat in sales (apple is flat at 17% for 3 quarters straight)
RIM increased market share to 21% and grew sales
NOKIA increased market share to 41% and grew sales (Nokia sold more smartphones than RIM, Apple and HTC combined)
So who won? what's more important long term? I don't know but I know one thing which is a no brainer, Apple will not grow out of that 17-18% with only one phone and at that price. Nokia may not be there yet software wise but they're catching up so if I were Apple I'd be scared right now and schedule my engineers into double shifts to bring out a couple more phones, one with a sliding qwerty keyboard and a mini version, that could easily double their sales in no time.
I crunched the numbers. When talking iPhone, one must look at the whole year not just one quarter, since iPhones are released once a year. (Numbers below are from Nokia estimates of global smartphone market, and Nokia, RIM, Apple filings.)
From Apr 08 - Mar 09: 165M converged devices (aka smartphones; Nokia's term) sold, Nokia sold 59.6M or 36.1%, Apple sold 15.8M or 9.6%, RIM sold 26M or 15.8%. (Note RIM numbers are for Mar 08 - Feb 09).
From Apr 09 - Mar 10: 193M converged devices sold, Nokia sold 75.6M or 39.2%, Apple sold 30.1M or 15.6%, and RIM sold 36.7M or 19%.
Apple increased its market share from 9.6% to 15.6%, RIM from 15.8% to 19%, and Nokia from 36.1% to 39.2%.
But note: To get that growth, iPhone Average Selling Price (ASP) dropped from $640 (at end of Mar09) to $622 (at end of Mar10) or 2.8%. Nokia's smartphone ASP dropped from 190 to 155 euro or a whopping 18.4%. RIM BB ASP dropped from $369 (end of Feb09) to $310 (end of Feb10) or a whopping 16%.
So for last year, Apple grew 6% market share "with only one phone at that price" while its strongest competitors each grew 3% share while introducing many more models AND taking a big cut in price. But you're saying that it's a "no brainer" that Apple can't do it again. So looking forward, what happens if you're right and Apple tries the exact same thing and can't do it?
First, I don't think they need to lower prices because Apple just got rolling in Greater China (at full price), S. Korea, Japan, Vietnam. Far from saturating even the rich people there. It's been a hit in Singapore and Thailand (per Admob data where it's got higher numbers than US.) Same goes for US, UK, Australia, France, etc.
What about places like India - no contracts, not as many rich people? Apple mgmt says studying what to do. Apple averages 55-60% margins on $600-800 iPhones (Nokia devices average 32%). Compare that Apple is selling a 16GB iPad 3G for $630 at maybe 30% margin and that's with the added cost of a $95 screen, 2x battery, and aluminum frame. So it's clear that Apple could go much lower on price for iPhone if it wanted to, especially in countries where subsidies and contracts aren't popular, such as India. And it could do it today (or June), before Symbian^3/MeeGo/Win Phone 7/BB 6 even arrive.
In countries with carrier subsidy like US, Apple has already dared any smartphone vendor to price over $199 (with contract and no rebate). Palm boasted it would, yet used a clumsy rebate and it is where it is. EXCEPT for iPhone, US consumers have been conditioned to wait for buy one, get one free on all smartphones. (That "wait-for-a-deal" mentality is what led to the downfall of GM and Chrysler.) Yet even $50-off refurbished iPhones are sold quickly. AT&T/Verizon data shows iPhone is still kicking butt despite BOGO. Can you imagine the gnashing of teeth if Apple decides to lower the price so that the new "iPhone HD" would be $149 with contract, and the older iPhone 3GS at free? And then do the same at Verizon? Would it then be time to call on the fat lady to sing?