A Bloodbath for 2010: the Smartphone market preview — Should I Go for RIM or BADA? =)

What will it look like after 2010 is done? I see Nokia in the 35 to 40 percent market share range. RIM will grow to the 22 – 25 percent market share. Apple may hold onto about 15-18 percent share depending on how ‘awesome’ the next June 2010 version of their iPhone is. Samsung is likely to grow at least past the others with Bada to fourth place and will certainly eventually overtake the iPhone, but that I see happening more in an 18 month scale than this year. Still they will be a solid number 4. I’d put them around 10% give or take a few points.

HTC will be the biggest of the smaller players due in large part to Google’s Nexus and its brand. It will help sell any HTCs. I would say HTC grows but to something like 6% or 7%. At worst they hold fifth place at about 5%. Toshiba is going to push abroad, expect them to battle HTC. LG is a dark horse, depending on if they go full steam suddenly into smartphones or are happy to do touch screen feature phones.

The other brands will be in the roughly 1 percent or less range including Motorola. SonyEricsson, Palm, some other Japanese makers, Google’s own brand (double-counted in HTC above), and Dell. Should SonyEricsson do a PSP phone (most likely then as a smarpthone) that would give SE a big boost. And I’m pretty sure we’ll see more PC makers rushing to a smartphone near you, like Lenovo, Acer, HP, Toshiba etc.

It will be a bloodbath in 2010 and we will be keeping score in the media often. The only thing I urge you to keep in mind – the US market is totally not symptomatic of the rest of the world. Only one in 12 phones sold in the world is in America, so don’t think the biggest battlefield will be on those shores. No, the big battles at the high end of the price range will be in Western Europe and the low end of the smartphone battle will be in Asia. Those are the markets where this war will be won or lost. But it will be an interesting year in mobile.

My symbian Nokia E63 has turned 1 year. It may not have the aesthetic but it does the work. It is something I am very comfortable with. And, I’m sure to keep forever.

My iPhone-wannabe, ipod touch, also turned 1 year. It has all that feel-good, beautiful look. Hands-down to its usability design — it really as smooth as Steve Jobs. But the smoothness of its touch technology can still not make up for a tactile ‘keyboard.’

Then, this year, I experienced Nexus. Save for pandora, the rest of the apps I have tried are blahhh. Of course, maybe 2 years from now, some developers can make their apps right. But the best thing about it is its browser. You can play video within the browser. And, it is quite fast. But still, I don’t fancy it much. Unless a mobile maker can make a QWERTY version of it (is there are a QWERTY handset using droid?), that I will be interested. I guess if you have experienced how an ‘iphone’ feels, it’s hard to fall inlove with an android phone.

I fancy getting a RIM because I want to know what’s the story behind it. But the good review of Samsung of the article makes me also think of trying the BADA OS. I always admire Samsung’s design. I feel that google should have go for Samsung for producing the EVO instead of HTC. Samsung has way off better designs, though I never get to use one.


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