When the concept ‘mobile phone,’ and the actual device were introduced around 30 years ago, people were amazed by the idea that one could build audio communication with others without the limitations and boundaries of location. (Quote THE STANDARD, an acclaimed English newspaper in Hong Kong.)
Nowadays mobile phones go far beyond; from video conferencing, word processing to online banking, this little device can do it all. It is a market that anyone would want a piece of, and different venders have been very active in providing new platforms, functions and devices to gain advantage in this enormous battleground.
One of the hottest topics in the mobile world lately must be the bang Apple iPhone brought to the market, and it continued to heat up in the past two years. From iPhone 2G to the latest iPhone 3GS, each launch has created huge expectations, and in reality its market is still expanding rapidly. According to the latest data from Gartner, Apple’s share of worldwide smart phone sales grew from 5.3% in the first quarter of 2008 to 10.8% in the first quarter of 2009. Gaining over 10% of the global market within two years is indeed very impressive, but what’s more significant is that in some sense this figure is created by one product only (if we consider all versions of iPhone as one). The 50000+ applications available for download also suggest the new market trend Apple has set.
Another smart phone that the market has showed great interest in is Sprint’s Palm Pre. Even though there are concerns about lacking in applications in the App Catalog, and no access to the webOS SDK(software development kit) by developers, Palm Pre still sold out fast when available in the US recently. Some critics believe the impressive sales of Palm Pre were largely related to current Sprint customers looking for an upgrade, rather than a flow of new Sprint subscribers, but the solid selling number shows its first stage of success, and there are huge noises of interest from countries and markets including Hong Kong, which are yet to have a scheduled launch date.
Another leading smart phone platform, Research In Motion’s Blackberry, also has a fruitful year. In the previous fiscal quarter, RIM’s $3.42 billion revenue increased 53% from $2.24 billion in the same quarter of last year, and shipped approximately 7.8 million devices After promoting ‘consumer models’ Blackberry curve 8900 and Blackberry Storm, RIM turned their focus back to business users, and launched Blackberry Enterprise Server 5.0 recently. BES 5.0 is a push-based server software, focusing on enhancing the connection link between BlackBerry smart phones and enterprise systems, applications, corporate phone environments and wireless networks. It integrates with IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell GroupWise, providing highly secured access to email, organizer data, instant messaging, browser and other enterprise applications.
President Obama’s insistence on keeping his BlackBerry device is a great example (especially for RiM) showing how tightly BlackBerry could merge into one’s life and BES 5.0 plus future launches would definitely stick to this angle.
All these platforms have their own advantages and supporters; along with the Android ‘Google’ phone, Windows mobile 7.0 platform, Nok ia’s partnership with 1nte, the haule of smart phones has probably lust began.