iPhone

Smartphone marketshare showdown in 2008: iPhone vs. Windows Mobile vs. BlackBerry


The smartphone market is shaping up like a three-horse race in 2008. BlackBerry remains the leader, Windows Mobile continues to make slow and steady progress, and Apple has come out of nowhere with the hottest and most widely hyped product of the year to become a legitimate contender with the iPhone.

A study by the IT analyst firm Canalys revealed that the iPhone surpassed Windows Mobile in market share in Q3 (see graph below).

That's a meteoric entrance to the market since iPhone launched on June 30. The Canalys data also came on the heals of a Web marketshare report from Net Applications that showed the iPhone has the highest Web browser marketshare of any smartphone platform.

Many bloggers -- especially the Apple devotees -- have used this information to call out Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who earlier this year said, "There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

While Ballmer was clearly wrong about the iPhone's impact on the overall smartphone market, it's unclear whether the iPhone is making significant inroads into the corporate world. If the iPhone is going to continue its momentum and fully compete with Windows Mobile and BlackBerry in 2008, it's going to need to add push e-mail and 3G connectivity.

The emergence of the iPhone has also further marginalized two smartphone platforms: Palm OS and Symbian. As a result, both platforms could be facing a make-it-or-break-it year in 2008.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

20 comments
GSG
GSG

We've installed an app that runs on Smart phones that our doctors use. It's neat in that they can check lab values, reports, vitals, etc..., and even track their charges for each patient. The problem? It won't run on an iPhone because Apple has not yet allowed developers to create apps for the iPhone. We've got docs wanting iphones, but we have to tell them they can't use this app. I know of at least 5 that bought a different smart phone just because of this. If Apple doesn't take these customers with lots of disposable income into account, they are going to lose a valuable slice of the market. edited for clarification

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Personally I think the Smartphone concept is grossly overrated. I buy a cell phone to be a... Cell Phone, not a web browser; not a text messager; not a camera or video recorder. All of these make an already dangerous device (just look at the number of drivers who are causing wrecks by yapping on their cells or getting hit by trains and cars because they're not paying attention to their surroundings) even more distracting and dangerous. I don't need it and I don't want it. Until systems can be automated to get the user out of hazard while he/she is using the device, I think they should be made to automatically disconnect after 2 minutes of web/text/chat.

jjleggieri
jjleggieri

I concur, the iPhone is just not there yet. I will probably purchase a windows 6 phone when my contract expires later this month. Has anyone used or evaluated the Tilt Phone from At&T?

benardquek
benardquek

To be fair, the worldwide numbers for iPhone is really nothing compared to numbers from Windows and Symbian systems. As a whole, the iPhone remains one of the phenomenas that is very US centric. In that sense, it is in no way reflective of the world wide shipments and is not expected to do so in decades to come. Now take for a moment to consider three key smartphone technologies to come out of the US, Blackberry, Palm and the Windows. Worldwide, Blackberry has very poor marketshare, while Palm smartphones are on a slide. Windows Mobile is holding steady. Internationally speaking, American based cellular technologies have never been able to make much of an impact and the same applies to Smarpthone OS. Thus you can rule out iPhone 1.0 of having any future impact in the world. Pundits would like to see where iPhone 2.0 is going when the unit is launched in Japan. Maybe then the iphone would be taken as a serious contender in the Smartphone world.

mhbowman
mhbowman

1. They hadn't limited themselves to one phone company. 2. You could use a mini SD card for unlimited storage space. 3. You could record video. 4. You could send MMS messages. 5. You could replace the battery yourself instead of having to mail it back to Apple. 6. You could record voice. 7. You could voice dial. 8. You could instant message. 9. You could cut and past text. No doubt it's a slick device but I'll bet a lot of people were shocked to find they'd paid over $300 for a device with so many limitations.

mhbowman
mhbowman

Like you said vitals, lab results etc. not to mention portable versions of Office and Exchange running on Windows Mobile 5. While it can be a valuable tool I think for most its more of the "WOW" factor than actual usability, or even just to see if it can be done. We had one doctor that had installed software from orb.com on his PDA. He had a TV tuner card on his home PC that was connected to his satellite. As long as he had wireless access he could watch any station he was subscribed to.

banunna
banunna

Now that we've heard from the hippies... Smart phones are meant to create a device capable of keeping individuals connected and productive. Once upon a time the inventory of a person's pocket/briefcase was up to the debate of what to leave behind and what was essential. That decision (for most) has become infinitely easier with the introduction of the smart phone. No longer are pockets laden with cell phones, pagers, media players and a laptop slung over a shoulder. It's become streamlined with a smart phone in the pocket and a decision whether or not a notebook is necessary for the day. It's nice to have that choice, and say "I won't need my notebook today." If you have never found yourself burdened this way (both literally and figuratively). Than you're among the very few who don't understand the need this consumer product has filled.

jjleggieri
jjleggieri

I agree, I do not like the all the chit chat while driving. It is dangerous. I would like to see all of the states enact laws at least to force users to use a hands free.

armstrongb
armstrongb

Having owned a Blackberry for over 2 years has been an eye opener. It was terrible for web browsing and mobile email is not necessary for my work or pleasure. As a cell phone, it worked well but now it sits at home most days turned off. I look forward to getting a cell phone soon. Not a camera phone, not a mp3 phone, just a phone that works reliably and does not cost $400. No "smart" phones for me, thank you. Having had my car totaled while stopped at a red light by a 16 year old who was driving while texting makes me appreciate the auto-disconnect suggestion but I am not sure it would have made much difference in my situation. And then there are the poor souls roaming airports who literally fell over me while checking their email on their phones. Why do people try to multi-task when it is so obvious that they can't? LOL

chris
chris

I have the Tilt and it is a great phone for personal and business use. The only bad areas are battery life and data speed. The battery life is low if you use Exchange and/or WiFi connectivity a lot - which most business people will. But at least you can carry a spare battery. The other downer is the AT&T data service speed. Although 3G is much faster than Edge, I often can't get a 3G connection only Edge.

smilawhile
smilawhile

So many limitations ? Every other cell phone on the planet has vastly more limitations than this one phone. Actual internet dwarfs any of these basic tasks by opening new doors that no other phone can compete with. Besides, the new version will address most of these things. The ones that matter anyway.

tom.more
tom.more

You could set up a business account with AT&T for the iPhone.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I think they need more. Like... no operation of the unit is moving or GPS determines they are on an active road/railway. They're too dangerous!

kendall.davis
kendall.davis

10.) You could actually use it on a provider that didn't use EDGE "technology" for "broad band." A lot of the best feature are useless unless you're near a WiFi network. 11.) You could actually use it on a provider that didn't use EDGE "technology" for "broad band." A lot of the best feature are useless unless you're near a WiFi network.

nappy_d
nappy_d

don't forget they left out Bluetooth which is a must have for those that are frequently on the road.

McKendrick
McKendrick

In our recent experience, AT&T will not allow you to activate an iPhone on a corporate account. We actually had to open a new personal account with them in order to try an iPhone out. I imagine that's got to change soon if it hasn't already.

chunk c
chunk c

I agree with you, all the people out there talking and texting on their phones while driving ticks me off. What's so important that they need to put other lives in danger. Remember the times before cell phones were so popular, my how did we manage to survive???

jjleggieri
jjleggieri

Chris thanks for sharing your experience.

Tiranogh
Tiranogh

The iphone has bluetooth. It always has. Not to put too fine a point on some the faults of the iphone, but not many people (professional or otherwise) get additional batteries for their phone. One battery is all most people have. And most people never change their battery until they get a new phone.

tom.more
tom.more

Here here. AT&T flat out denied our request to set up a corportate account.

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