Rising smartphone tide does not lift leaking ships

“I’ve often said that the smartphone rising tide has lifted many boats. If you were selling smartphones during the last three years, your business was growing, no matter what phones you made,” Horace Dediu writes for asymco.

“In fact, measuring success and failure was a matter of deciding what growth rate was ‘not good enough,'” Dediu writes. “Growing at 30% was nearly enough to shame some vendors into re-evaluating their strategies. But that sort of tidal growth can’t last. At some point ships with holes begin to sink no matter what the tide brings. When we look at the data from the last quarter, we should be asking again whether some ships have developed some leaks… There is an unsettling drop in Nokia and Motorola and a weakening in Samsung and HTC.”

Dediu writes, “The challenge is in eliminating seasonal effects. Q1 is usually a sequential drop for many markets. There is an unsettling drop in Nokia and Motorola and a weakening in Samsung and HTC… Apple and RIM seem largely unaffected by seasonality but Apple is growing twice as fast.”

Read more in the full article — which, of course, contains some excellent graphs — here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. Hey MDN. Your iOS app says it is being “retooled” and will be back “soon”.

    That was on Feb 12th, 3 months a go!

    I’m tired of using Safari to view your articles.

    What’s the truth about “be back soon”?

      1. join the crowd.
        the iPhone’s Safari version of the MDN site sucks…
        iPad’s is fine. load mdn, scroll to bottom, turn mobile site off.. THEN you can log in… scroll to bottom again, turn mobile back on… post for a few days till the cookie is gone and you have to repeat the whole process again…. or just post outside your account. MDN mobile, who created it? MS…. or Google…. (with all the google code in the MDN site…hmmm.)

        PLEASE update the app…..

      2. MDN Why does the HTC DROID pinch to ZOOM ( any size ) on your site and the iPhone4 gives you 2 tiny Font sizes ( if you scroll to the bottom ) ? Do you like HTC better than APPLE or do you support the DROID more than iPhone ?

  2. Android market share keeps rising. Yet, all the major Android phone makers are reporting slower sales. The numbers don’t add up. Can anyone figure out the answer to this conundrum?

    1. Google report Android ‘activations’, phone companies report units shipped. Google acknowledges their figure does not represent sales of phones, but doesn’t say exactly what it does represent. Neither Google nor the phone companies are famous for rigorous honesty. (See Samsung and the Galaxy sales lie). What the actual numbers are, we don’t know. But it suits a lot of people to say Android is ‘winning’. These are usually the same people who compare Android activations with recorded sales of iPhones. Statistically meaningless pap peddled by innumerate hit-whores.

      1. Yes. That’s true. But it still doesn’t explain the huge discrepancy. Late last year, an IDC report showed the same large gains in Android marketshare. Yet, the combined sales of the top Android phone makers were less than half of the total. Then, Gartner issued their report which showed most Android phones were from “white box” makers. I think this phenomena is continuing and should be very troubling to Google. Here’s a link to this via Appleinsider article: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/11/11/gartner_mobile_figures_supporting_android_differ_from_idc_by_77_million.html

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