Canalys figures in, iPhone a clear winner in North America

Last month's Net Applications iPhone browser market share numbers were no fluke. A second study, commissioned to Canalys by Symbian, shows that iPhone sales are second only to Blackberry in North America. That means that iPhone has passed Windows Mobile, Palm and Linux in sales in North America. Furthermore, Apple's device isn't even available yet in Canada or Mexico - and in the US, it is only sold through AT&T, whose coverage doesn't include much of Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska.

RoughlyDrafted has taken the numbers and run all kinds of analysis on them. A few trends come out of this study:

  • Palm is dead everywhere but in the North America, where it is falling sharply.
  • Symbian is huge everywhere besides North America, but obviously has the most to lose with the iPhone being released around the world next year. Don't expect Symbian to post these numbers on their website as they have in the past.
  • Microsoft's mobile strategy is failing miserably. They don't crack 10% anywhere but in North America where they are behind RIM and iPhone and dropping.
  • Blackberry, while strong in North America, has a much smaller global market share.
  • Linux is big in China and Japan but insignificant elsewhere.
  • The iPhone has grabbed 27% of the North American smartphone market. This is obviously on the sharp upturn.
  • Apple is poised to be the number one US Smartphone vendor next year if trends keep up.

Roughly Drafted also comes out strongly against Benjamin Gray's recent Analysis of the iPhone market published by Forrester.

Further Embarrassment for Microsoft, Forrester Research.
The most recent market share numbers are particularly embarrassing for Microsoft, especially after CEO Steve Ballmer announced in January that Apple wouldn’t capture more than two to three percent of the market and described his own Windows Mobile platform as having or soon acquiring 60 to 80% of the smartphone market.

It should also be an embarrassment for Benjamin Gray of Forrester Research, who just released another report insisting that IT departments shun the iPhone and limit their support to platforms that are dead, dying, or obscure in North America, such as the Palm OS, Linux, and Symbian.

Gray even listed “Windows CE and Windows Mobile” as two reasons why “IT organizations have been stretched to support whatever platforms their employees have brought into the company.” Surely he should know they’re the same thing if he’s writing reports on the subject.

Grey also repeated old myths about remote administration features that Microsoft just released in Windows Mobile 6, and suggested that the iPhone being tied to AT&T would force businesses to “pay for expensive roaming fees rather than switch the phone temporarily to a foreign provider,” as if that would help in a country with incompatible phone networks and subsidized phone contracts that tie phones to providers anyway.

Mr. Gray isn't the only business iPhone critic. Gartner's Ken Dulaney has also strongly discouraged IT shops from considering the iPhone. And don't forget Steve Ballmer's thoughts on the device - which seem (more) comical at this point. As RoughlyDrafted points out, Dan Frommer and Scott Moritz offer more on why the iPhone won't be a huge hit.

The reality is that the iPhone is shaking up the smartphone industry. While most of that is focused on the consumer market, there is no doubt the enterprise market is also going to be hit with iPhones. Instead of heeding the words of avoidance, it might be time to start planning on what to do about this device. As for the IT research groups and naysayers, there is plenty of pie to distribute into everyone's face.


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