Tuesday, July 04, 2006

If Only Good Mobile Stats Existed

Very interesting stats on Symbian vs RAZR vs iPod sales, which shows that column inches only buy you so much - solid product sales are not neccessarily proportional.

I do feel that the slant is slightly misleading though:
  • The Symbian figures imply exponential growth because they neglect to state that they are also cumulative (Symbian claim 11.6m devices shipped in 06Q1).

  • For a fair comparison, you'd ignore all Symbian shipments before the start of 2005 and find Symbian had only just outsold RAZRs over the period

    • 45.5m vs what looks like 42-43m from the graph

    • Symbian have ~100 models compared to one RAZR, or maybe four (not sure what is counted in the RAZR figures - V3i? V3m? V3x? - and Symbian may have more handsets, they just note that the 100th model shipped during Q1).

Aside from the slight bias in the reporting, which I feel implicitly exagerates the trends somewhat but doesn't actually completely break the truth, there are a few extra things which would be nice to know:
  • Where do the Symbian sales come from? How many, for example, are locked-down Symbian on DoCoMo's 3G phones that have been heavily pushed this year? Japan is apparently the fastest growing market for Symbian phones, which makes sense given DoCoMo's market dominance there and standardisation on Symbian for FOMA.
  • How will these be canabilised by DoCoMo's flirtation with Linux (which is admittedly hardly new but looks a little more substantial now)?
  • What would happen if Nokia shunted S60 onto Linux, which given the abstraction in the architecture should theoretically be very easy to do given a sufficiently robust fully featured Linux platform? I'm not sure why they'd want to given their de facto control of Symbian, but they are clearly keeping their options open...
All interesting stuff - on the face of it great news for Symbian, but with some storm clouds on the horizon. It'll be very interesting to see how this one turns out...

22 Comments:

Blogger Dean Bubley said...

I half-jokingly asked a Nokia representative about the possibility of "S60-on-Linux" about 2 years ago at 3GSM. He went as white as a sheet & referred me to Nokia's Press/Analyst relations people.....

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Anonymous Rafe said...

The S60 on Linux question does come up from time to time. I would assume its feasible, but I'm not sure there's much point (and I would have thought a bit against it). I think (some) people who talk about this underestimate the complexity of the OS.

I think it got looked at seriosuly a few years ago. At this point though with the investment in Symbian and the pain with the shift to Symbian 9 I can't see it happening any time soon.

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Anonymous Rafe said...

Meant to say - I think Nokia have said they've shipped 50m S60 phones to the end of Q1 2006. I would imagine the remaining 20m odd are split between S80 / UIQ (6m or so?) and MOAP (14m)?

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