In a recent study, it was found that the iPhone 4S accounted for nearly 1/4th of all smartphones sold in the UK so far during the holiday season. The iPhone has stayed in the top position over all throughout, forcing other smartphone vendors to fight it out for the rest of the UK market.
These statistics were found from the study that was conducted by GFK research firms and was reported initially by the Financial Times on Monday. According to study, the iPhone 4S’ market dominance continued up to the end of the study period on 9th of December.
The first week of December was especially good for the iPhone as its five versions, including the two and a half years old iPhone 3GS, absolutely dominated the market while accounting for about 37% of all smartphone sales. It topped the ranks of the top 15 smartphones sold during that time.
The smartphone market in the UK has grown phenomenally in recent times. It grew to double its size between the time of February 2010 to August 2011. To highlight this fact, British government authorized telecommunications regulatory authority Ofcom released statistics that show 47% percent of the entire mobile market now being occupied by smartphones. That means almost one in every two cell-phone owner owns a smartphone.
With the market growing this rapidly, the benefits were felt by other smartphone makers as well. Samsung’s Glaxy S II proved to be quite the popular model and occupied the number two position in the top 10. Research In Motion’s three versions of the Blackberry Curve also found themselves in the top 10 at various positions during the study period. It seems that whatever trouble Blackberry has been facing in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and African regions — it has not affected their sales in the UK all that much.
However, fortune has not smiled on all smartphone makers. Nokia was very conspicuously absent from the fray. Despite spending a reported 20 million Pound on advertising, they are yet to see any significant Christmas sales. Nokia’s sales have yet to pick up after their momentous decision to switch to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Towards the end of the year they released the first two Windows Phone devices — the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710. The two phones received good reviews and have been appreciated for their design and software.
Despite all of this, Nokia has not been able to make a dent in the market. Windows Phone 7 series over all has not in fact been performing all that well. The market continues to ride on the iOS and Android models with RIM getting away simply because of their prowess in the enterprise sector and their omnipresent BBM service.
In its defense, Nokia has said that it does not have an established user base like the iPhone and Android models. Hence it would have to persevere through slow sales for now.
Apple’s runaway success confirms another report published earlier that claims the iPhone has taken the top spot away from Android for the first time since late 2010. It said that the Apple phone device holds 43% market share as of November 2011.
Intel’s Developer Forum is now being held in Beijing and the company is seizing this opportunity to show off its latest attempt at entering the mobile and netbook computing industry in a bigger way — MeeGo. MeeGo is the result of a cross-pollination between Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo 5. If you don’t remember this from this years MWC — both companies abandoned their respective nascent mobile OS projects in favor of this joint venture that they call MeeGo.
MeeGo works on a cross platform QT framework that is commonly used for app development in Linux environments. Intel showed of it’s own iteration of MeeGo and it looked like the UI has remained much the same as it was on Moblin. So this makes us wonder if Nokia will also make their version have the same UI as Maemo and only share the framework that ties the two as one. But in that case, the apps that they share in common might look a bit out of place on one or both.
Intel displayed multiple deployments of the MeeGo 1.0 – TV, netbook, mobile phone and kiosk. The demoes reportedly displayed the ability to sync up with each other and pull media files and play them back from the point where they were left off on the other device.
Embedded above is the video of MeeGo running on a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom netbook. The UI uses tabs to separate major zones like real time social networking updates, applications, contacts, etc. The switching looks fast enough for a 1.6 GHz netbook but it remains to be seen how well it performs on less powerful devices under real life conditions.
MeeGo will be tied to both Nokia’s Ovi Store and Intel’s AppUp store based on what kind of a device it is running on. Consumers can get their hands on MeeGo phones later this year with the latest N900 and LG GW990 running on it.
Nokia’s debut into the netbook segment and into the computing segment in general, is the Booklet 3G. The Booklet 3G is a 10” netbook that became the very first netbook to contain inbuilt aGPS, a 3G modem, accelerometer and various other features that are usually found only in smartphones. It was launched alongside the October 22nd launch of Windows 7, which runs on the device. Nokia collaborated with Intel in order to make this the Booklet.
It is currently available in the US either through a contract with AT&T or through Best Buy at a retail price. Best Buy has the exclusive retails rights to the device and hence all Booklet 3G models that are unlocked and sold without a carrier contract are to be found only at the online store and the physical stores owned by the retail chain. The retail price of the Booklet 3G in the US is $599.99.
That may be considered steep by some people but the advanced features of the device are the main reason why the cost is so much higher than the usual netbooks.
In the meantime, rumors are already circulating about an update to the Booklet 3G that is coming in the year 2010. Details are not clear but it seems like the company that makes the Booklet 3G is working overtime in order to satisfy the demands of the device. Since most of the advanced shipments are already on their way and the device is not in that great a demand, this flurry activity is regarded as abnormal. Hence, it is being speculated that Nokia us is making a second Booklet. Logically, that would make sense because the Booklet will soon be overtaken by other newer products and if Nokia has to continue in the market, they have to update the line.
Nokia unveiled its Booklet 3G netbook last month in the midst of a lot of anticipation. The device essentially is a netbook with some extra features that Nokia hopes will set it apart in the over-crowded netbook market.
The Booklet 3G has an inbuilt 3G modem that would allow the user to skip using third party devices in order to connect to a 3G network on the go. This is of course meant for high-speed data connections and voice calls won’t be possible. Hot swapping of SIM cards is allowed, which means that the operating SIM card can be swapped mid connection, resulting in no technical problems.
The device also has on board GPS with A-GPS for navigation. With its small form factor (10 inches), Nokia hopes to carve out a niche in the portable navigation market as well.
Despite the extra features, the device itself is still an Atom based portable computing device that suffers from the same limitations as the other Atom-based netbooks in the market. In addition to that, the price of the netbook is prohibitive at best at nearly $1000 for this small device.
The device is slowly being tried out by various independent testers and reviewers at the moment. It is obvious that the market is waiting for their collective opinion before making a purchase decision. Early adopters’ opinions will be waited upon more than usual this time as the market is trying to determine the real world viability of the product.
The Booklet 3G does have some unique advantages though and it is being aimed at those people who want to carry only one device while they are traveling. Convergent devices do have their appeal but whether the Booklet 3G can compete with the likes of the iPhone 3GS, remains to be seen.