[CoMoDev] Re: Mobile device market trends

  • From: "Rick Sands" <Rick@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 10:52:38 -0600

I have a Nokia Communicator 9210 (The Brick) running Symbian.  I started
writing applications for it but quickly gave up as Nokia is (was? This was a
couple years ago) very hostile towards supporting small developers: If your
application didn't go through a Nokia Certification which the developer had
to pay for (per app), your application would display a nasty warning message
to the user about the application being uncertified and running it would be
at their own risk.  Sure, I suppose this keeps better QC, but at the same
time, it stifled grass-roots development.


-----Original Message-----
From: comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of David Beers
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 9:15 AM
To: comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [CoMoDev] Mobile device market trends

This week the rumors that Sony might be backing out of the PDA market were
confirmed as Sony announced that it will not be releasing any new Clie
handhelds to the US market in the fall.
(http://www.brighthand.com/article/sayonara_clie)  Sony has been the second
largest vendor of PDAs running the Palm OS and has made a name for
themselves by pioneering multimedia capabilities, high-resolution screens,
and built-in cameras in slick, well-engineered hardware that was appealing
to the consumer market.  Unfortunately, the consumer market is not where
handheld device growth is happening now, and the features that once made the
Clies unique are now available in most new handheld computers, including
many mobile phones.  Sony says it's reassessing the direction of the
conventional PDA market, which is hardly a surprise since its sales have
dropped 45% from 2003.

On the other hand, there's more news indicating that smart phone sales are
increasing rapidly.  So rapidly, in fact that the overall "mobile device"
market (handhelds, wireless handhelds, feature phones, and smart phones)
grew 41% worldwide over this time last year
(http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6867).  Nokia edged out
palmOne this year for the top market share spot.  Well, "edged" is probably
not the right word.  More like "clobbered".  PalmOne's smart phone sales, as
big as they were, were not enough to offset the reduced sales of it's
standalone PDAs, while Nokia shipments grew by 85% to take a 28% market
share.  PalmOne is still king in the US by a pretty wide margin, thanks in
large part to the Treo 600 smart phone

Where is HP in all this?  They gained 29% on their 2003 shipments, but lost
market share to Nokia and still ship only about 60% as many units as

As developers we're probably interested in the OS market more than the
hardware, so how does that shake out?  I'm still trying to figure this out,
actually.  Palm OS and Windows CE are now in a dead heat in the PDA market
(http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6769), but as near as I can
tell from the Canalys data, Palm OS still has an edge on Windows CE when you
count the smart phones. It's difficult to say by how much, since we don't
have numbers for smart phone vendors like Kyocera and Samsung, nor do we
know how many of those Motorolas run Windows now.  The big question is the
Symbian OS, though.  I don't know what percentage of those Nokias are
running Symbian, but I think it's quite high.  If that's the case, then
Symbian has a huge lead over both Palm and Windows in the handheld OS

Does anyone own a Nokia smart phone that runs Symbian?  I really need to
look into this.


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