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Palm Gains Slightly in US Smartphone Market Share

New numbers from IDC on the first quarter sales of smartphones shows Palm took 13.4% of US sales, up from 7.9% in the previous quarter. However, Palm is down substantially when compared with the same period last year when Palm had 23% percent share of US smartphone market.

Strong Centro sales are credited with boosting Palm's numbers this quarter. However, IDC analyst Ramon Llamas attributes Palm's yearly declines to strong sales of the iPhone and RIM's expanding reach into the "prosumer" segment. There is more on the report at CNNMoney.

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Not 'slightly'

bulls96 @ 5/31/2008 1:58:12 AM # Q
I really wouldn't call going up from 7.9 to 13.4% as slightly... one can argue they actually almost "doubled" their marketshare.

So i think its more positive than the title of this article suggests.

RE: Not 'slightly'
SeldomVisitor @ 5/31/2008 8:47:53 AM # Q
The book "How to Lie with Statistics" is a must-read for anyone who pays any attention to statistics of any type.

------

Though what Palm has done, whatever it is, is a Good Thing for Palm, in fact what COULD have happened is:

(1) Palm sold Centros at or below cost, selling a gajillion of them and making little profit - or even LOSING money. This particular example is not that far-fetched.

(2) Centros sold instead of, say, RAZRs. But because they're Centros they count as smartphones. This particular example is not that far-fetched.

(3) IDC reclassified someone else's phones from smart to "feature", helping Palm's "share" increase.

(4) IDC doesn't do a very good at either classification nor statistics gathering so their "circle of error" is greater than the change in Palm's "share"...

Etc etc etc.

And, of course, the same exact comments apply to any of the other phone makers.

Read the book - it's small and dated but remains very very good.

RE: Not 'slightly'
GF_PalmInfo @ 5/31/2008 10:23:05 AM # Q
"(1) Palm sold Centros at or below cost, selling a gajillion of them and making little profit - or even LOSING money. This particular example is not that far-fetched."

- Are you working for Palm? How do you know they sell Centro under cost.

"(2) Centros sold instead of, say, RAZRs. But because they're Centros they count as smartphones. This particular example is not that far-fetched."

- If Centro is not a smartphone, then all Palm OS Treo should not be counted either.

"(3) IDC reclassified someone else's phones from smart to "feature", helping Palm's "share" increase."

- Wow... Even IDC did not disclose the figure, you already knew it.

"(4) IDC doesn't do a very good at either classification nor statistics gathering so their "circle of error" is greater than the change in Palm's "share"..."

- IDC is suck. OIC, the intention of this statistics is to make Palm look good. I don't understand why still so many people read their statistics. I believe most of the people in IT industry are dumb.... Oh no... not as smart as you...

Thank you for teaching us so many things.... You must be the smartest guy in this world.

"it's small and dated but remains very very good."

- Are you talking about the Palm OS? Yes. I agree... LMAO...

RE: Not 'slightly'
Rastick @ 5/31/2008 11:48:17 AM # Q
Palm had 13.4% market share against iPhone's 19.2% in Q1, all because of the success of the Centro, which went on sale in Q4 of last year.

So how come the whiners on this Forum can't be happy with Palm's success?

The financial impact of Centro will show up in Palm's financial reports which should be out in a month or so.

The real loser here is Microsoft, since sales of Windows Mobile devices have cratered.

RE: Not 'slightly'
nastebu @ 5/31/2008 4:53:52 PM # Q
SV's point was that increased sales of a phone with lower profit margins is a mixed bag. Given the price the Centro is going for, it's not hard to imagine that it's being sold as a loss leader.

This hesitation is even more on point when you add the other statistic the article mentions-market share is down from 23% this quarter last year. Long term decline is not good. A greater number of your sales coming from lower margin phones is not good.

But no doubt, the Centro is a success, and Palm would be much worse off without it.

RE: Not 'slightly'
Ryan @ 5/31/2008 6:15:47 PM # Q
well about the wording, sure its up for interpretation. I chose slightly as it is a good gain, however it's pretty weak when you consider what Palm had in the year before and in years prior.
RE: Not 'slightly'
TooMuch @ 5/31/2008 9:25:07 PM # Q
SV, according to the connotation of your post, you seem to be making a case for having written the "book." Is that your point?

RE: Not 'slightly'
Rastick @ 6/3/2008 1:24:36 AM # Q
Smart phone sales have doubled while Palm's market share went down from 23% to 13.4% on a year to year comparison.
This means a 17% increase in volume for Palm, not a decline!
Reply to this comment

Extrapolating the numbers

Surur @ 5/31/2008 11:50:54 AM # Q
Palm said they shipped 826,000 in Q1 2008. If 80% of their sales are in USA (as is conservatively estimated) they sold 660,800 in USA, the market is 4,931,343 big, and

Apple iPhone sold 9468,17
RIM sold 2,194,447
Samsung sold 424,095
Moto sold 128,214

If Palm sold 90% in USA (because the Centro is mainly sold in the USA, and is the bulk of their sales) Palm sold 743,400 in USA, the market is 5,547,761 big and:

Apple iPhone sold 1,065,170
RIM sold 2,468,754
Samsung sold 477,107
Moto sold 144,242

There are about 700,000 smartphones unaccounted for, which are likely WM carrier based smartphones like the Sprint Touch, AT&T Tilt etc, although its not impossible that IDC has classified some of these as "connected PDA's" as they are wont to do

Surur

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
Surur @ 5/31/2008 12:05:26 PM # Q
BTW, if you accept the premise that the remainder are WM smartphones, it means WM at about 1.2 million outsold the iPhone at about 1 million in Q1 2008, despite the iPhone sales in USA being supported by a rampant smuggling industry. This was before the iPhone shortages BTW.

Surur

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
PacManFoo @ 5/31/2008 8:57:38 PM # Q
Or you can say that although the iPhone is only on one carrier it nearly equaled sales of WM Smartphones.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100
RE: Extrapolating the numbers
TooMuch @ 5/31/2008 9:28:22 PM # Q
Or you could guess at some other number. :)

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
Surur @ 5/31/2008 10:28:29 PM # Q
Or you can say that although the iPhone is only on one carrier it nearly equalled sales of WM Smartphones.

Seeing how readily people jump carriers for the iPhone, I dont know how valid ab obstruction that is.

Also, seeing how many of those phones end up overseas in any case, I think only about half of those sales are actually to AT&T customers.

To underline this statement, AT&T has recently let is slip that they only have 2.5 million iPhone users, nearly a year after the phone launched, and Apple has sold around 6 million iPhones. It seems the majority of that 1 million iPhones sold by Apple in USA in Q1 2008 have flown the coop for overseas.
http://www.ipodobserver.com/story/35983

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!!
www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
PenguinPowered @ 6/2/2008 12:27:06 AM # Q
There are about 700,000 smartphones unaccounted for, which are likely WM carrier based smartphones like the Sprint Touch, AT&T Tilt etc, although its not impossible that IDC has classified some of these as "connected PDA's" as they are wont to do

A chunk of that number will be Danger Hiptop, sold as Sidekicks by T-mobile.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
AdamaDBrown @ 6/3/2008 4:31:36 PM # Q
The Sidekick is not considered a smartphone. It has no OS.

RE: Extrapolating the numbers
PenguinPowered @ 6/4/2008 1:41:57 AM # Q
The Sidekick has an OS.

I know. I'm one of its developers.

May You Live in Interesting Times

Reply to this comment

Centro on VZW

palmit @ 6/1/2008 12:43:08 AM # Q
I'm wondering how much higher those numbers might be if VZW carried the Centro! The 2nd largest US wireless carrier and they still dont offer it.

RE: Centro on VZW
SeldomVisitor @ 6/1/2008 6:12:55 AM # Q
Tomorrow is a new quarter...watch for those Verizon announcements!

[because then the vCentro can be accounted for in a quarter that has no other products to account in it?...]


RE: Centro on VZW
palmit @ 6/1/2008 11:58:37 PM # Q
Isn't the 800w coming in July? Thats the same quarter!

Reply to this comment

it's too late for nova and too late for palm

Gekko @ 6/1/2008 2:21:28 AM # Q

at this point, i don't think it will make a difference.

"Death can come swiftly to a market leader. By the time you have lost the positive-feedback cycle it's often too late to change what you've been doing, and all of the elements of a negative spiral come into play." - Bill Gates, "The Road Ahead", Chapter 3

"In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone." - Bill Gates


RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
SeldomVisitor @ 6/1/2008 6:10:55 AM # Q
Various not-very-solid clues - like bizarre months-long stock price behavior, LACK of Insider sales, an interesting non"Chinese Wall" upgrade by a key "analyst" direct from Sell to Buy, etc etc etc, suggest Palm continues to try to sell itself.

So maybe the success or failure of Nova is ... you know ... moot.

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
Gekko @ 6/1/2008 7:54:02 AM # Q

iphone, blackberry, and WM all have the momentum. it would take a truly revolutionary product from palm to make a difference - and even then it would be tough.

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
GF_PalmInfo @ 6/1/2008 12:41:37 PM # Q
Palm is not making WM device????

Nevermind....Same comments about Apple few years ago...

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
nastebu @ 6/1/2008 3:05:39 PM # Q
It was true about Apple in the late 90s. Since then Apple has done a truly amazing job of product design and re-branding. If Palm can pull that off their success will be deeply deserved. So all Palm has to do is release a series of innovative products that people want to buy.

And if I jumped out of my chair and started flapping my arms, maybe I could fly!

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
mikecane @ 6/1/2008 9:06:14 PM # Q
Colligan is no Steve Jobs.

And Gekko, you've forgotten Android. It already beats WinMob and PalmOS. (I'd mention ACCESS too ... but does *anyone* mention them?)

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
Gekko @ 6/1/2008 9:37:20 PM # Q
RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
nastebu @ 6/1/2008 10:20:34 PM # Q
That android demo is really exciting.

I'm stuck on the Palm/Apple comparison. As I know the story, it wasn't only that Steve Jobs came back-he came back with the Be operating system that became OS X. Apple's attempt to develop a next generation operating system in-house had been a total failure. What does that say for Palm?

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
palmit @ 6/2/2008 12:03:11 AM # Q
You guys sound like a broken record! Palm is dead! It feels like you guys have been saying that for years now. Its getting kind of old.

If it happens or not we all will see.

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
abosco @ 6/2/2008 12:18:31 AM # Q
Uhh, it HAS happened. Don't you realize how irrelevant Palm is anymore?

I saw a Centro commercial the other night. It was a blatant iPhone commercial ripoff, with slight ripoffs of the iPod Nano commercial. Palm literally has NO idea what direction it needs to go in, so they take cues from other successful companies and try to be cool. The worst part? They totally fail. All I heard from the other people in the room was how ugly that phone was.

Palm and Access are totally irrelevant at this point. The iPhone is the most exciting smartphone on the market, while the Blackberry series has one of the widest corporate appeals, Windows Mobile has the boorish nature of Microsoft behind it (so you know they'll just throw it on everything and hope it eventually catches on), Android has open-source backing it, and Symbian is the largest smartphone operating system of all.

Palm had a massive head-start and failed. We will see a major Palm acquisition before 2010.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
palmit @ 6/2/2008 12:24:22 AM # Q
"All I heard from the other people in the room was how ugly that phone was."

About 1 million people didnt thing the Centro was so ugly!


RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
PacManFoo @ 6/2/2008 10:19:31 AM # Q
Even Yugo sold cars in the US, but where are they now. Centro is the Yugo of Smartphones.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100
RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
SeldomVisitor @ 6/2/2008 10:26:42 AM # Q
Great minds think alike:

- http://tinyurl.com/5xaul2

Giggle.

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
abosco @ 6/2/2008 8:26:42 PM # Q
About 1 million people didnt thing the Centro was so ugly!

And 10 million didn't think the iPhone was ugly. And it was 5-6 times more expensive.

That means Apple's iPhone brought in 50-60 times more revenue than Palm's Centro. On their first try.

When you look at the numbers isolated, Palm looks okay. Oh, one million smartphones, cool! But when you look at it comparatively, it is a far cry of even keeping with the pack.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
freakout @ 6/2/2008 11:00:00 PM # Q
All I heard from the other people in the room was how ugly that phone was.

Sigh. Bosco, don't you get tired of pimping the iPhone? Centro isn't even targeted at the same customers, unless you seriously think people looking to spend $400 on a top-tier phone are even going to look twice at the cheap, dinky Centro. You can go comparing Centro and iPhone sales all you like, but it won't make the comparison any more relevant. Plus, iPhone's hype campaign was absolutely unprecedented in the world of phones and if you don't think that has artificially distorted sales you're crazy. You may also want to check your numbers: Apple has not sold ten million iPhones yet. Try half that:

Here's the deal. Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones in 2007. That was far and above the initial target of 1 million devices by the end of the year. Back at Macworld 2007, Jobs said that the iPhone would sell 10 million units during the 2008 calendar year. Keep in mind, this figure doesn't include the 3.7 million phones it sold last year. So far, Apple has sold just 1.7 million iPhones in 2008 (through March). That leaves Apple with 8.3 million to go to reach Jobs' bold prediction. Some think Apple will do it, others don't.

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/05/analysts_rain_o.html


FWIW, I reckon the Centro is going to wind up being the instrument of Palm's re-birth. The old Palm, Garnet-Palm, is indeed dead, and Centro was its last dying breath: finally sticking Garnet in a low-cost, low-end device targeted at the mass consumer market was what every man and his dog had been telling them to do for years and surprise, surprise: it's a success! They're gonna coast on its fumes along with their WinMob line until Nova comes out, building a whole new generation of Palm fans along the way. Unlike the boringly generic 500v, the Centro is not a cookie-cutter device and has features that are fairly unique for its size and price, so it will engender loyalty based on that alone. It will (and already has) made people think of Palm in a positive light again, a nice change after years of bitching about incremental Treo upgrades and Garnet's antiquity.

Centro has sown the seeds of success: Nova is going to be the scythe that reaps the crop. Hopefully it won't be a blunt instrument.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Crimson Treo 680

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
PacManFoo @ 6/3/2008 8:56:32 AM # Q
Sigh. Bosco, don't you get tired of pimping the iPhone?

Pot meet Kettle. Kettle this is Pot.

FWIW, I reckon the Centro is going to wind up being the instrument of Palm's re-birth.

You base this on a bunch of teenagers buying a cheap phone? I'm sure there is much brand loyalty there!

It will (and already has) made people think of Palm in a positive light again

Link please (As I laugh so hard soda comes out of my nose).

Nova is going to be the scythe that reaps the crop

Or will Nova be Palm's Grim Reaper?

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
Rastick @ 6/3/2008 12:01:04 PM # Q
The recent uptick in Palm's share price means Wall Street suddenly expects their year isn't going to be as grim as they thought it might be. If Palm can get another financial boost from the much discussed upcoming WinMo devices and maybe continue to get sales for the Centro, they can bridge the gap until Nova-based devices start to ship.

Clearly it isn't too late for Palm despite the nay sayers!

The real question is whether Micro$oft are going to be happy to have the fourth most popular smart phone OS after RIM, Unix(Apple), Linux (Android, ALP and Palm's Nova), and Symbian.

I forecast in 2008 and 2009 WinMo will be outsold by *nix, oh and RIM is probably at its zenith now!


RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
hkklife @ 6/3/2008 12:43:50 PM # Q
The # of Centros sold is (mostly) irrelevant for Palm's long-term success.
People (teens, soccer moms etc) bought the Centro because of price. A few long-time POS users DID upgrade to the Centro out of an utter lack of ANY other Palm OS product to upgrade to.

However, the telling statistic will be (assuming there's any real way to gauge this) is if any of the current Centro owners choose to stick with Palm going forward.

Long-time Palm watchers will recall that we have seen variations of thise theme play out probably 2 or 3 (if not more) times over the course of Palm's 12 years in the marketplace. Palm gets a hit, everyone buys it, Palm fails to capitalize on that hit, those customers go elsewhere for an upgrade or simply choose not to upgrade at all.


#1 Everyone who was an early PDA adopter ran out and bought Palm Pilots & Palm III handhelds in '96-'98 because they were new and nifty. Then many of them jumped ship to various brands of PPC when Palm failed to release any compelling new product and/or they were issued a company handheld running PPC. And some users just realized the PDA was more trouble than it was worth for their particular lifestyle.

#2 The Palm V became *THE* executive toy of 1999/2000. But many of those same execs jumped ship to an iPaq when Palm failed to get on board the high resolution/wi-fi bandwagon or one of the early BB models. And of course another chunk just stopped carrying a PDA.

#3 We saw it again in '02-'04, when lots of budget conscious "casual" users bought the original Zire and Tungsten E in droves but only because of price. I'll wager that many of those same users then realized they could make do with the increasingly robust capabilities found in their next dumbphone and for the most part didn't bother to upgrade to the T|E2, Zire 31 or Z22. Or they stopped using a PDA or the basic capabilties of the original device were more than enough for them and there was no compelling reason to seek out an upgrade.

#4 Now we are seeing it all over again with people going from dumbphones to Centros. I like the great cheap smartphone craze of 2007/2008 to the great PDA craze of 1998-2001. People are buying the Centro because A. It's cheap and B. It's on a lot of carriers and C. They want to have something like their boss's BB or Blackjack without spending a fortune. The kind of owners that Palm targets with the Centro don't care about what OS it's running or "thousands" of apps. They're (mostly) content to use whatever is in ROM when they take it out of the box or perhaps whatever they can load off of the bundled CD.

I'll again wager that many of those users will tire of paying monthly data + voice fees and/or grow tired of the various compromises entailed by carrying a POS smartphone (poor voice quality, wacky Bluetooth, weak multimedia capabilties, random resets/reboots, lame battery life, no flip etc).

If Palm does not have a solid Centro 2.0 waiting in the wings for release sometime around Q4 '08 or Q1 '09, they stand to lose a huge chunk of current Centro owners. On the other hand, what more can Palm add to the Garnet Centros without inreasing the device's size or pricetag? A 3.5mm headphone jack, a gig or two of onboard storage, and a 2mp camera are about all I can think of. Anything more would require overhauling Garnet and we know that's not gonna happen for a single interim device.

Personally, I think Palm's counting on having a solid lower-end Nova device out by fall '09. When all of the origianl Centro buyers' 2yr contracts expire in 2009, Palm & Sprint will likely make a strong push to nab all of them. Of course, that's assuming Palm & Sprint are both still in business as independent entities by fall 2009...


P.S. Palm's more like the Oldsmobile of the tech sector, if you want to use automotive company comparisons. A formerly great brand/company that is now peddling a handful of "me too" rebadged products (the last Oldsmobile, the Bravada, which was just a rebadged Chevy Trailblazer) after the last big product they bet the farm on (Aurora=Fooleo/Nova) turned out to be a disaster.

Actually, I probably see the greatest historical parallels between Atari and Palm but that's a debate for another time.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
AdamaDBrown @ 6/3/2008 4:41:23 PM # Q
"The real question is whether Micro$oft are going to be happy to have the fourth most popular smart phone OS after RIM, Unix(Apple), Linux (Android, ALP and Palm's Nova), and Symbian."

Actually, Rastick, Windows Mobile outsells RIM and Apple both, and there's not a single serious Linux smartphone on the market.

Kris is right, base sales figures for the Centro don't matter. Nor would they matter much for a Centro successor at the same price point-the important question is whether Palm can upgrade any of those Centro buyers to a higher end device, something that gives them a bit of a profit margin.

Frankly, if I were Palm I'd be avoiding the low-end market. It's an absolute meatgrinder, and the companies that play in it sucessfully are typically the ones like Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia that have other businesses to sustain them. Palm isn't in a position to afford a loss-leader when there's no guarantee that it brings customers to their higher end units.

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
freakout @ 6/3/2008 5:41:08 PM # Q
^^ It's not an ideal position, but at this point it's all they really can run with in the consumer space. The main problem is that Garnet has been obviously not suitable for high-end devices for some time. Pretty much ever since the Treo 700p its shortcomings have been all too obvious. Now in the iPhone era it's almost painful to watch. Until Nova rolls around, aggressively chasing the low end and trying to introduce as many people to the Palm brand as possible is probably the smartest strategy they could employ.

The WinMob consumer market is too crowded already and has too diverse a range of hardware options for Palm to make a big impact there, methinks - witness the relative failure of the Treo 500v vs the Centro, both of which were chasing the same demographic.

It all depends on whether Centro is good enough to inspire loyalty to the whole Palm experience amongst a brand-new fanbase. Personally I think it will be, but time will tell, of course..

RE: it's too late for nova and too late for palm
PacManFoo @ 6/3/2008 6:26:18 PM # Q
So how does Palm develop loyalty when right away they will be asking their new Centro users to try yet another new operating system which most likely will have bugs of it's own when it's first released. Not to mention if they've purchased any software for their Centro it may or may not be usable on the next generation device. Palm really needs to put out some info about Nova and plug some flood gates.

Does mobile device loyalty even exist anymore? It's a crowded market with everyone copying each other instead of innovating. You may not like the iPhone but at least they pushed the envelope and now everyone is playing catch up.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm TX (Number 2)
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22, UX50
Casio-EM500
Apple - MP110, MP2000, MP2100

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