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Comments on: World Smart Mobile Device Market Grows 55%

Canalys has just released their Q2 2006 worldwide smart mobile device research report on the smartphone and handheld device shipments. The latest research from Canalys highlights the continuing shift from handhelds to converged devices. Overall year-on-year market growth of all smart mobile devices was largely unchanged from the previous two quarters at 55%, but converged device shipments (smart phones and wireless handhelds) rose 73%, while handhelds continued to slide, down 33% compared to the same period one year ago.
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Surur's elsewhere post

SeldomVisitor @ 7/26/2006 6:09:04 PM # Q
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Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/26/2006 6:22:16 PM # Q
Sorry, but these stats aren't wouth the (toilet) paper they're printed on. The nebulous definition of "smartphone" renders these stats meaningless: most of these so-called "smartphones" are actually being used EXACTLY the same way as the average free featurephone given away by the carriers.

A much more meaningful stat is the rather trivial increase in Treo sales reported. The plateauing of sales for the best example of a TRUE smartphone on the market over the past 3 years suggests there is limited interest from the public for an all-out smartphone. As I've stated elsewhere, featurephones are already doing most of the things smartphones can do. Smartphones are irrelevant and their price is impossible to justify for most users.

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here...

TVoR

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
hkklife @ 7/26/2006 10:28:22 PM # Q
I'd LOVE to see a breakdown of the # of smartphones on any given that are currently being used with a data plan.

I think Verizon mandates all "smartphone" devices maintain a voice & a data plan but I don't think the GSM carriers or Sprint adhere to this rule.

Voice is right...I'd bet a good number of Treos et al out there are being used as a neutered PDA that happens to have a voice phone grafted on to the same device.

SO...are customers even looking for a converged wireless data/voice device (with the subsequent high monthly charges) OR merely the functionality of a T|E2 + a barely passable cell phone in a single unit?

I'd wager that the older the Treo/smartphone (especially lacking EVDO/UMTS), the less likely it is to carry a data plan...

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
radleyp @ 7/27/2006 1:57:46 PM # Q
VoR, where do you get your information? Everyone I know who has a smartphone (me, my wife, my brother, three of my partners, our computer service technicians, even the girl next to me on the bus yesterday) uses it as a combination pda/phone (calls, calendar/todo list, email, web browsing). This is not convenient with any phone I know (yes, you can handle email on many phones with a dataplan, but typing on them is impossible). Now, granted, this evidence is anecdotal and not usable as a basis for wide-ranging conclusions, but is your evidence different? What I see from my narrow vantage point are two kinds of users: those who want just a phone, and those who want a phone with pda capabilities. Those who want just a phone buy just a phone. Why spend all that extra money for features you won't use? Most people don't, I think. Philippe Radley

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/27/2006 11:19:42 PM # Q
VoR, where do you get your information?

From over a decade of observation of the PDA and cellphone businesses. Remove non-smartphone "smartphones" from the ledger and you'll be shocked at how unimpressive smartphone sales figures REALLY are.


Everyone I know who has a smartphone (me, my wife, my brother, three of my partners, our computer service technicians, even the girl next to me on the bus yesterday) uses it as a combination pda/phone (calls, calendar/todo list, email, web browsing).

Unfortunately, your sample size is not representative. Devices with screen sizes as small as the typical smartphone are useful primarily for data DISPLAY (not data entry). This data can be synced from desktops/laptops or pushed wirelessly to a featurephone just as easily as it can be to a smartphone. The main selling point of smartphones is their library of user-installable applications. Unfortunately, most people never install/use (m)any third party apps; new featurephones will be arriving loaded with fairly complete suites of apps, negating this advantage; most third party apps are crap.

This is not convenient with any phone I know (yes, you can handle email on many phones with a dataplan, but typing on them is impossible).

You obviously haven't seen people using SMS. People adapt to whatever data entry method is available fairly quickly.

Now, granted, this evidence is anecdotal and not usable as a basis for wide-ranging conclusions, but is your evidence different?

Yes. When you do an honest analysis of how people REALLY use their smartphones, you quickly see that for MOST smartphone users a well-designed featurephone would work just as well.

What I see from my narrow vantage point are two kinds of users: those who want just a phone, and those who want a phone with pda capabilities. Those who want just a phone buy just a phone.

I see 3 basic classes of cellphone buyers:

1) Fashionistas - buy the lastest/smallest/flashiest for image reasons. Most people buying Motorola RAZRs fit this profile. Treos briefly were also a fashion statement, but their bulkiness and geeky design limited the Treo's potential for broader appeal.

2) Practical consumers - those looking for either "free" basic phones or solid phone-centric devices. This comprises the bulk of the market.

3) Data-centric consumers - use cellphone primarily as a PDA/data device; phone functionality is less important. A VERY small segment and currently being cannibalized by slick featurephones.

Why spend all that extra money for features you won't use? Most people don't, I think. Philippe Radley

Actually, features are quickly becoming commoditized (camera, MP3 player, video camera, email, TV, etc) by economies of scale. You actually won't be paying much to get a TON of features. Look at the lineup of models to be released in 2006 - 07 by Nokia and Sony Ericsson and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I've been about as hardcore a PDA/smartphone user as you can get, pushing the envelope to use the devices as a desktop/laptop replacement, so you don't have to try and convince me as to the potential of these devices. The problem is that most consumers will NOT be willing to get creative in order to get the maximum out of their smartphones. Smartphones simply do not work effectively enough to rationalize the MULTIPLE compromises they demand from users.


TVoR

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
scstraus2 @ 7/28/2006 8:11:16 AM # Q
What TvOR meant to say is that his evidence is just as antedoctal as yours. And I agree he's wrong. Using internet and email on a feature phone is nearly impossible. I do agree, however, that there's a good percentage of people who don't know how to use their smartphones either, but I think it's universal that they get more PDA use (like taking notes, etc.) from them than the featurephone users do.

In our office the success rate seems to be dependant on if there's a technical guy around that can make it work for you. In our office that happens to be a WM guy and Palm guy, so all those devices work with internet and email, but not much happens for the Symbian guys largely because the needed software doesn't exist to get to our email system on Symbian. A similar problem to why most people don't use featurephones for these purpose.

Yet more andedoctal evidence.

Somebody needs to buy TVoR a vowel
cervezas @ 7/28/2006 11:57:55 AM # Q
I doubt TVoR has ever spent any time trying to use the Internet on a feature phone like a Motorola RAZR or he'd realize that anyone who needs Internet access--or even a decent phonebook--has to have a "smartphone."

Interestingly, at this stage of the game it's no state of emergency that most people who buy smartphones don't download third party applications or use the built-in applications very much. Most people who buy Porsches never drive them any faster than they would a Toyota Camry. Like the Porsche owner, though, smartphone users get a better experience doing the things they *do* want to do. Even if it's just having a usable phonebook application or a superior messaging experience. Meanwhile, the operating system required to provide that high quality (but minimal scope) mobile experience is also what is needed for the relatively small group of power users to do real mobile computing. In a sense, power users are subsidized by the many users who just want a better experience using the limited features they care about. This state of affairs will never allow smartphones to become mainstream, but it's enough for them to be a moderately profitable niche, just like the one that Porsche perennially occupies in its market.

For real mobile computing to become mainstream there's a lot of old baggage that mobile software platforms need to throw off: assumptions that are carried over from the PC that make these geek-only devices. One example is the woefully uninspired usage of touchscreens on Palm OS and WM that reduce the stylus to a dumbed down mouse (http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=98). Another is the failure to deal with the issue of software discovery in an integrated manner. Relying on users to go out and set up accounts on PalmGear or Handango is ridiculous: the iPod would never have taken off with this attitude and even iTunes is a weak and uncompelling discovery tool compared to what smartphones need and current technology makes possible.

In their defense, I suspect that the real reason that smartphones can't get out of their power-user/geek rut isn't a lack of creativity among hardware or platform vendors. It's the infuriatingly conservative network control freaks who call all the shots about what a smartphone must deliver. Until that excessive control by today's wireless operators can be broken or seriously weakened by competing channels, smartphone innovation will continue to be mainly refinements of existing capabilities and these devices will fail to penetrate much into the mainstream.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/28/2006 12:01:54 PM # Q
What TvOR meant to say is that his evidence is just as antedoctal as yours. And I agree he's wrong.

You're TOO funny.

Using internet and email on a feature phone is nearly impossible.

That's a ridiculous statement. It's all a matter of software - a properly-designed featurephone can do internet + email as well as or even better than a buggy, crash-happy Treo.

I do agree, however, that there's a good percentage of people who don't know how to use their smartphones either, but I think it's universal that they get more PDA use (like taking notes, etc.) from them than the featurephone users do.

From what I've seen, the MAJORITY of Treo owners are using their devices as little more than glorified address books that happen to also do email and basic PIM functions. None of those features requires a real smartphone OS (PalmOS or Windows Mobile). Palm is in for a very rude awakening over the next 6 months as featurephones start to flex their muscles. You can stick your head in the sand and disagree with me as much as you want, but in the end you'll see how wrong you were. Feel free to come back here and apologize to me at the end of the year...

TVoR


Somebody needs to buy Beersy a ticket to Cluesville
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/28/2006 2:36:04 PM # Q
I doubt TVoR has ever spent any time trying to use the Internet on a feature phone like a Motorola RAZR or he'd realize that anyone who needs Internet access--or even a decent phonebook--has to have a "smartphone."

Beersy, the Motorola UI is probably the worst in the cellphone industry. Good choice. Maybe you should try one of the newer Sony Ericsson or Nokia phones instead.

Interestingly, at this stage of the game it's no state of emergency that most people who buy smartphones don't download third party applications or use the built-in applications very much. Most people who buy Porsches never drive them any faster than they would a Toyota Camry.

Hmmmm... then why bother buying a "smartphone if you're not using its features. Wouldn't a well-designed featurephone make more sense?

Like the Porsche owner, though, smartphone users get a better experience doing the things they *do* want to do.

Hmmmm... so if I live in the city and need a grocery getter I should buy a $90,000 Porsche instead of a $14,000 Honda because the Porsche can POTENTIALLY go from 0 to 60 five seconds faster than the Honda. Yeah. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.


Even if it's just having a usable phonebook application or a superior messaging experience.

Bull. Do you REALLY believe that featurephones can't/don't have good phonbook applications? Or messaging experiences? Wow. You're reaching here Beersy. Is that the sound of ice cracking under your feet. Be careful, Bubba. Wouldn't want to see you go under.

Meanwhile, the operating system required to provide that high quality (but minimal scope) mobile experience is also what is needed for the relatively small group of power users to do real mobile computing. In a sense, power users are subsidized by the many users who just want a better experience using the limited features they care about. This state of affairs will never allow smartphones to become mainstream, but it's enough for them to be a moderately profitable niche, just like the one that Porsche perennially occupies in its market.

But why "subsidize" a complex OS if most people don't need (or even want) it? Porsche survives primarily because its vehicles are status symbols. Should Palm base its future on a similar niche. Palm needed to get PalmOS into the Honda/Toyota/Chevy/Ford/Chrysler region of the market. It failed to do so. When the luxury end of the market that Palm currently serves disappears, what will Palm do? I believe the T-rex knows the answer to that question.

For real mobile computing to become mainstream there's a lot of old baggage that mobile software platforms need to throw off: assumptions that are carried over from the PC that make these geek-only devices. One example is the woefully uninspired usage of touchscreens on Palm OS and WM that reduce the stylus to a dumbed down mouse.

Ummmm... Beersy have you never used a Treo 600/650/700p? The D-pad and the one-handed navigation permitted by Handspring's brilliant OS hacks is fantastic. W T F are you talking about?

Another is the failure to deal with the issue of software discovery in an integrated manner. Relying on users to go out and set up accounts on PalmGear or Handango is ridiculous: the iPod would never have taken off with this attitude and even iTunes is a weak and uncompelling discovery tool compared to what smartphones need and current technology makes possible.

As I posted here and on Michael Mace's blog sit, Palm needs to include an easily-browsable software library (with demo versions of 1000 or so top PalmOS apps) on EVERY device they sell. A 256 MB NAND flash chip or a "free" SD card could accomplish this easily.

In their defense, I suspect that the real reason that smartphones can't get out of their power-user/geek rut isn't a lack of creativity among hardware or platform vendors. It's the infuriatingly conservative network control freaks who call all the shots about what a smartphone must deliver. Until that excessive control by today's wireless operators can be broken or seriously weakened by competing channels, smartphone innovation will continue to be mainly refinements of existing capabilities and these devices will fail to penetrate much into the mainstream.

The real reason is that the MARKET does not need or want smartphones. No one is buying PalmOS apps. Featurephones now come with all the messaging, photo, and TV applications the carriers need to try to encourage customers to use their data services. Face it: smartphones don't do much that featurephones can't do. Furthermore smartphones are expensive to subsidize and expensive to support. Smartphones simply don't make much sense for either carriers or average users. IIf you want to blame someone, blame the smartphone OS and hardware makers wo failed to come up with a "killer" feature that would make smartphones catch on with the public the way MP3 players and cameraphones have.

Next time think before you post, Beersy.



TVoR


Wow. That's really stupid.
cervezas @ 7/28/2006 5:26:15 PM # Q
It must be hard to be you, Missy. Guess you must awfully confused when you look at all the Treos and E61s and 9000 series Communicators and even Moto Qs that people buy despite the fact that (by your own admission) they don't plan to use the applications and they find them no more usable for other things than a phone they could get for free from their wireless operator.

Now, take a deep breath and unwind your pretty panties. Don't you think there might be a reason why Nokia and Sony Ericsson are starting to move in on Palm's territory? I mean aside from your delusion that every smartphone buyer is an idiot?

I wouldn't expect you to have the imagination to see where this market could really go, and you obviously don't read anyway, so I'll leave it at that.

You should close your tags once in a while, BTW. :-p

(There I go, feeding the troll. Sorry folks, I just can't help myself sometimes.)

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/28/2006 5:58:31 PM # Q
For real mobile computing to become mainstream there's a lot of old baggage that mobile software platforms need to throw off: assumptions that are carried over from the PC that make these geek-only devices. One example is the woefully uninspired usage of touchscreens on Palm OS and WM that reduce the stylus to a dumbed down mouse.

Ummmm... Beersy have you never used a Treo 600/650/700p? The D-pad and the one-handed navigation permitted by Handspring's brilliant OS hacks is fantastic. W T F are you talking about?

Another is the failure to deal with the issue of software discovery in an integrated manner. Relying on users to go out and set up accounts on PalmGear or Handango is ridiculous: the iPod would never have taken off with this attitude and even iTunes is a weak and uncompelling discovery tool compared to what smartphones need and current technology makes possible.

As I posted here and on Michael Mace's blog site, Palm needs to include an easily-browsable software library (with demo versions of 1000 or so top PalmOS apps) on EVERY device they sell. A 256 MB NAND flash chip or a "free" SD card could accomplish this easily.

In their defense, I suspect that the real reason that smartphones can't get out of their power-user/geek rut isn't a lack of creativity among hardware or platform vendors. It's the infuriatingly conservative network control freaks who call all the shots about what a smartphone must deliver. Until that excessive control by today's wireless operators can be broken or seriously weakened by competing channels, smartphone innovation will continue to be mainly refinements of existing capabilities and these devices will fail to penetrate much into the mainstream.

The real reason is that the MARKET does not need or want smartphones. No one is buying PalmOS apps. Featurephones now come with all the messaging, photo, and TV applications the carriers need to try to encourage customers to use their data services. Face it: smartphones don't do much that featurephones can't do. Furthermore smartphones are expensive to subsidize and expensive to support. Smartphones simply don't make much sense for either carriers or average users. IIf you want to blame someone, blame the smartphone OS and hardware makers wo failed to come up with a "killer" feature that would make smartphones catch on with the public the way MP3 players and cameraphones have.

Next time think before you post, Beersy.

TVoR

RE: Lies, damned lies and statistics about smartphone sales...
radleyp @ 7/31/2006 3:07:02 PM # Q
TVoR, I don't think we disagree much except for the notion you have that messaging and email is as easy to do on a feature phone as it is on a smartphone. That is not my experience. I have used both (I even used a Nokia6820 which had a nice-sized fold-out keyboard) and I found typing on a keypad smartphone to be a pain. Or course, you can learn to SMS with it, but inputting memos and contacts is laborious and takes much longer. That a lot of people do it does not mean that it makes such a phone the equivalent of a smartphone. I now use a MotorolaQ (with Goodlink installed) and it's a far better emailer than either my Nokia or my later Motorola 66-something. And web browsing on those phones was awful.

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Moto's Linux smartphones doing well

cervezas @ 7/26/2006 7:29:36 PM # Q
They sold a million of their Linux-powered ROKR E2 and Ming phones. Just a whisker behind all the Treos combined.

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2325312567.html

I gotta kick out of this quote: "Interestingly, of the top five mobile device vendors, all but RIM either offer Linux-based devices today, or are in the process of executing Linux strategies."

Even LinuxDevices.com can't hold back from spilling the beans about Palm's not-so-secret Linux plans. :-o


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Moto's Linux smartphones doing well
twrock @ 7/27/2006 1:09:36 PM # Q
And it seems that for all the other things PalmSource did wrong, they hit the jackpot with their CMS acqusition. It would be fun to know what the perceived value of PS without CMS would have been.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.
RE: Moto's Linux featurephones are crap
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/28/2006 2:12:47 PM # Q
It would be fun to know what the perceived value of PS without CMS would have been.





$1.99?

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More competition for Palm

Foo Fighter @ 7/31/2006 1:48:10 PM # Q
Oh goody, yet another device to challenge Palm's rapidly oudated Treo...

http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=75584#75584

Nokia E61, Motorola Q, Samsung i320, now this ugly HTC thingamabob (hey, at least it's thin). What does Palm have in its stable? A fat expensive under-featured brick. The next three quarters are going to be brutal on Palm unless they start innovating in the smartphone space.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: More competition for Palm
Surur @ 7/31/2006 2:40:56 PM # Q
...And it has WIFI. I guess that means its doomed to fail, according to P.F.Arts.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: More competition for Palm
Foo Fighter @ 7/31/2006 3:36:57 PM # Q
>> "according to P.F.Arts."

Did you read his bizarre response to commenters on 1src? He accused me of libel and slandering Palm after I noted Palm's decision to withhold WiFi had more to do with carrier demands rather than battery life.

You'd think I had called Ed Colligan a child molester.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: More competition for Palm
Surur @ 7/31/2006 3:46:38 PM # Q
I think we found the real Doctor O.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
http;//www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

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