Apple edges Motorola with 3% global cell phone market share

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple moved ahead of rival Motorola in unit sales in the first quarter of 2010, with the iPhone taking a 3 percent share of the total cell phone market.



Apple's 8.75 million iPhones shipped in the first three months of 2010 managed to edge Motorola, which sold 8.5 million handsets during the same period, according to new data from iSuppli. Apple during the quarter was the No. 6 overall cell phone maker in the world, while Motorola came in at 8. iSuppli called Apple's growth in the global market a "changing of the guard" in the cell phone industry.



Apple was propelled by 130.7 percent year-over-year growth, up significantly from the 3.79 million iPhones sold in the first quarter of 2009. The Cupertino, Calif., company still remains behind Research in Motion, which has 3.6 percent of the market with 10.47 million BlackBerrys sold in the first quarter of 2010.



The numbers serve to illustrate what a small portion smartphones are of the overall cell phone market. The top global brand during the quarter was Nokia, which sold a total of 107.8 million cell phones and smartphones during the quarter. Competitors Apple and RIM, however, do not sell traditional cell phones.



"Smart phones represent the hottest segment of the cell phone market, with unit shipment growth of 35.5 percent expected in 2010, compared to 11.3 percent for the overall mobile handset business,? noted Tina Teng, senior analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli. "Because of this, companies that are exclusively focused on this area, like RIM and Apple, have managed to move up to near the top-tier of the global cell phone business. This shows that the smart phone is reshaping the competitive landscape of the wireless business."







The latest numbers also demonstrate how far Motorola has fallen: In the first quarter of 2007, the company was the second-largest cell phone shipper in the world, behind only Nokia. Recently, Motorola has shifted its focus to higher margin smartphones, like the Droid.



"While Motorola?s ranking and share declined in the first quarter, the company did manage to make significant improvement in profit during the period, with its margin rising by 19 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2009," Teng said. "This shows that Motorola is on the right track in its product mix, focusing on more profitable devices like Droid."



The report noted that the smartphone market is expected to continue to grow, which could result in both RIM and Apple ousting some of the biggest players in the global cell phone market. Within their sights is No. 4 Sony Ericsson, which has 3.6 percent of the market, but fell 27.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter.



"It will be interesting to see how much more market share RIM and Apple can gain in 2010," Teng said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    macarenamacarena Posts: 348member
    Apple should find itself in 4th place this year. They would have beaten RIM already, except for the 2-for-1 promo by Verizon - but it is just a question of time before Apple go ahead of RIM and Sony-Ericcson.



    Amazing, when you consider that Apple did not sell a single phone just 3 years back!
  • Reply 2 of 88
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    I find it interesting to read how large the gray market is. If the chart is correct, it's right about 15% ish of the total market. Seems like a fairly high % but I'll be the first to admit I don't follow that market all that closely.
  • Reply 3 of 88
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,021member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macarena View Post


    Apple should find itself in 4th place this year. They would have beaten RIM already, except for the 2-for-1 promo by Verizon - but it is just a question of time before Apple go ahead of RIM and Sony-Ericcson.



    Amazing, when you consider that Apple did not sell a single phone just 3 years back!



    It really is amazing...and consider what a game changer it was 3 years ago! I was an early adopter and was very happy with just Apple's take on email, contact management and visual voice mail. Especially, contact management.



    For my Real Estate Business that was worth the price of admission, right there.



    I skipped the 3g version but have had the 3Gs for over a year now and love it...will be getting the 4G and an iPad!



    Best!



    Ps. I think RIM is still coming from a 'Pager' foundation...albeit more sophisticated. But not anywhere near as sophisticated as Apple!
  • Reply 4 of 88
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macarena View Post


    Amazing, when you consider that Apple did not sell a single phone just 3 years back!



    Even more amazing considering that Apple only sells one model of smartphone at a time and zero dumbphones (a.k.a. "feature phones").
  • Reply 5 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    @ Neil Hughes,



    Is there enough data from these companies to determine the average price and profit per unit. I'm curious to see how these companies are doing financially. For instance, the Droid could have made Motorola more profitable now than it was 3 years ago selling mostly dumb phones.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    I think RIM is still coming from a 'Pager' foundation...albeit more sophisticated. But not anywhere near as sophisticated as Apple!



    They have great management but it looks like their growth made be plateauing. Either way, Apple does look ready over take them in unit sales.
  • Reply 6 of 88
    gfeiergfeier Posts: 127member
    Just to be picky, the Nokia number in the paragraph 4 should be 107,800,000.
  • Reply 7 of 88
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Apple-centric sites should not focus too much about quarter to quarter numbers because they will comeback to bite Apple in the end.



    Unlike the iPod, which does not depend on another party, the sales of iPhone has gatekeepers -- the telephone companies all over the world.



    In the US, for example, only AT&T customers can use iPhones right now. There are many more American consumers, companies, organizations, institutions, etc. that use other phone companies. Many of these phone companies sell RIMM, Adnoid, and all sorts of smartphones and no iPhone.



    Do you really they will all switch to AT&T to have iPhone? Nope. So they will buy what they can get through those carriers. Apart from "customers who hate anything Apple, thus buy any other product", these customers get used to a brand, other than the iPhone.



    Do not expect Present Obama, a diehard Blackberry user, to switch to the iPhone anytime soon. Not because he is another Apple hater (he uses iPods and give them away as gifts) but he got used to his Blackberry and would not part with it anytime soon. In fact, he liked it so much, he is the only President so far to get an exemption from the secret service to retain his Blackberry.



    Btand loyalty is a known phenomena, like those who buy Coke over Pepsi, use Colgate, Tide, etc. People get use to things -- partly a power of years of use and further reinforced by advertisement. The things you use become part of you, your personality.



    When it comes to cellphones, as noted above, the phone companies further restrict the universe and the choices one can make and get used to.



    Thus, unless Apple will find a way to sell to all carriers in the US, it will be eclipsed eventually by the likes of Android phones, and may not be able to overtake RIM phones.



    The same situation worldwide may happen, especially in countries. where there are incompatible telecommunication technologies.



    Going back to "brand loyalty", it is difficult to dislodge Nokia worldwide, even if its numbers is slipping. My sister in Britain has been using Nokia for years before the iPhone, and her provider keeps on giving her free "advanced" cell phone every couple of years, so she keeps on giving her "old" phone to our relatives when she visits our country. If I have to guess, many customers are like her -- they become brand loyal, simply because of familiarity.



    CGC
  • Reply 8 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


    Apple-centric sites should not focus too much about quarter to quarter numbers because they will comeback to bite Apple in the end.



    How will showing YoY quarterly comparisons "bite Apple in the end"? These are facts, nothing more. They won't sway anyone to do anything, except perhaps add to their stock investment choice. For 3 years now we've seen quarterly stats and for 3 years now the iPhone has been growing. Where has this bitten Apple in the ass?



    Quote:

    Do you really [think] they will all switch to AT&T to have iPhone? Nope.

    [...]

    Btand loyalty is a known phenomena...



    First you say that people won't switch to a carrier to get the phone they want, then you say that brand loyalty is a known phenomena. DOES NOT COMPUTE It's been well documented that AT&T is gaining more customers and having less turnover since getting the iPhone.
  • Reply 9 of 88
    theshepherdtheshepherd Posts: 164member
    First you say that people won't switch to a carrier to get the phone they want, then you say that brand loyalty is a known phenomena. DOES NOT COMPUTE It's been well documented that AT&T is gaining more customers and having less turnover since getting the iPhone.[/QUOTE]



    The last Strand report on cell phone market share showed that AT&T gained no market share from offering the iPhone. It might have prevented them from losing customers because of their service but not gaining customers.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 987member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macarena View Post


    Apple should find itself in 4th place this year. They would have beaten RIM already, except for the 2-for-1 promo by Verizon - but it is just a question of time before Apple go ahead of RIM and Sony-Ericcson.



    Amazing, when you consider that Apple did not sell a single phone just 3 years back!



    It never was about market share
  • Reply 11 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post


    The last Strand report on cell phone market share showed that AT&T gained no market share from offering the iPhone. It might have prevented them from losing customers because of their service but not gaining customers.



    So you are saying that AT&T has not increased their subscriber count because of the iPhone. I don't think that is just improbable, but impossible. I and many people I know certainly jumped to AT&T specifically for the iPhone. Do you have that report?
  • Reply 12 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So you are saying that AT&T has not increased their subscriber count because of the iPhone. I don't think that is just improbable, but impossible. I and many people I know certainly jumped to AT&T specifically for the iPhone. Do you have that report?



    I do but it's copyrighted with a warning not to redistribute it. It was free so you can get a copy by registering with www.strandconsult.dk/
  • Reply 13 of 88
    bjojadebjojade Posts: 91member
    There is brand loyalty for your type of phone as well as the carrier that you are on. Sometimes though, you have to choose. If I am a blackberry user, I could go to any carrier and get a blackberry. If I was an iPhone user, I can ONLY chose AT&T. I know many people that have stronger loyalty to the device than the carrier, so they switched to AT&T to get the iPhone.



    On the other hand, I am more loyal to my carrier, as AT&T coverage here sucks, so I'm stuck with an Android based phone. Although, every day, I question whether spotty coverage with a great phone would be better than great coverage with a spotty phone.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,518member
    As the 'smarter' phones gain share Apple are well positioned. These figures still show how many dumb phones are out there but this will change over time I suspect.
  • Reply 15 of 88
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    It would make sense for Apple to consider at least TMobile if it's about gsm vs cdma.



    If Apple offered the iphone on different carriers, it would be EASY money.
  • Reply 16 of 88
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    It would make sense for Apple to consider at least TMobile if it's about gsm vs cdma.



    If Apple offered the iphone on different carriers, it would be EASY money.



    We don't know that.



    AT&T is undoubtedly giving Apple a very sweet deal in order to get exclusivity. I have no idea what it is, but let's say it amounts to $100 extra per phone.



    If Apple were to add T-mobile (or Verizon, for that matter), they would lose that extra subsidy. If AT&T sold 10 million phones, that's $1 billion in extra revenue which would be lost. Adding a new carrier would have to be enough to make up that difference.



    No one outside of Apple and AT&T know the actual numbers, but the point is that it's not free money - something would have to be given up and it's up to Apple to decide if the gains are worth the cost.
  • Reply 17 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    We don't know that.



    AT&T is undoubtedly giving Apple a very sweet deal in order to get exclusivity. I have no idea what it is, but let's say it amounts to $100 extra per phone.



    If Apple were to add T-mobile (or Verizon, for that matter), they would lose that extra subsidy. If AT&T sold 10 million phones, that's $1 billion in extra revenue which would be lost. Adding a new carrier would have to be enough to make up that difference.



    No one outside of Apple and AT&T know the actual numbers, but the point is that it's not free money - something would have to be given up and it's up to Apple to decide if the gains are worth the cost.



    You're correct in that these exclusivity deals are common so it's logical to assume they find it to be more profitable, but I think his point is also valid regarding as the cost of adding the 1700MHz radio to the iPhone is negligible compared to the cost of creating a CDMA-based iPhone.
  • Reply 18 of 88
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    @ Neil Hughes,



    Is there enough data from these companies to determine the average price and profit per unit. I'm curious to see how these companies are doing financially. For instance, the Droid could Motorola more profitable now than it was 3 years ago selling mostly dumb phones.



    As an investor I would be interested in these figures too.



    I suspect that Apple has the highest profit per unit, and highest profit within the smartphone category.







    What also surprises me is how little the the completion understands what Apple does:



    1) identify a market potential

    2) determine why that potential isn't being realized (what others are doing wrong)

    3) determine what is needed to do it right

    4) determine how to do it at a reasonable (high) profit

    5) just do it!





    One can only imagine what Apple would provide if they decided to get into:



    -- the cable network market

    -- the TV market

    -- the automobile market





    To see examples of what I am talking about, just look at:



    -- the I/O connections on the back of an iMac (a powerful computer) vs an HDTV, VCR, DVR, Cable Box (a dedicated appliance)

    -- the remote control (or remote control app) for the above

    -- the setup procedure for the above

    -- the manual for the above





    It's the User Experience, Stupids!



    .
  • Reply 19 of 88
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post


    There is brand loyalty for your type of phone as well as the carrier that you are on. Sometimes though, you have to choose. If I am a blackberry user, I could go to any carrier and get a blackberry. If I was an iPhone user, I can ONLY chose AT&T. I know many people that have stronger loyalty to the device than the carrier, so they switched to AT&T to get the iPhone.



    On the other hand, I am more loyal to my carrier, as AT&T coverage here sucks, so I'm stuck with an Android based phone. Although, every day, I question whether spotty coverage with a great phone would be better than great coverage with a spotty phone.



    Which one can be corrected over time?
  • Reply 20 of 88
    t0mat0t0mat0 Posts: 58member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The numbers serve to illustrate what a small portion smartphones are of the overall cell phone market. The top global brand during the quarter was Nokia, which sold a total of 107.8 million cell phones and smartphones during the quarter. Competitors Apple and RIM, however, do not sell traditional cell phones.



    Isn't that the Nokia mentality fallacy?



    Small by unit number shipped doesn't equal small in profit per handset -

    It would be really interesting to see those figures giving ranking by profit made rather than handset number sold.
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