… that’s the way investment banking firm Needham is angling it. Along with reporting that the iPhone now controls 16.6 percent of the market for the quarter ending in September, it also said that the iPhone 3G’s success alone is helping to keep the entire smartphone market from collapsing.
Growth was flat from quarter to quarter at 28.6 percent, and Apple’s hit phone helped to keep the industry from going into the crapper much like the rest of tech.
In a way, this contracts some earlier data by iSuppli which suggests that overall the mobile device market shrunk by 1.1 percent in the same said quarter. However, there was no break down on numbers by device type, so there’s no way to really compare and contrast with confidence here.
Either way the biggest loser here is Nokia. Their share has collapsed as the iPhone became a hit. This time a year ago, the company had a commanding 63 percent of the market. Now, that has fallen to just below 44 percent for this past quarter.
Nokia’s strength remains in Europe, Needham notes. Here in the US enterprise clients, who still are a significant chunk of smarphone users, are showing a preference for RIM and Apple’s platforms. Analyst Charlie Wolf chalks this up to the fact that Symbian (Nokia’s OS) is considered “less robust” that either of its two competitors, and Microsoft’s struggles in signing on handset manufacturers.
There’s one caveat to this, and that’s Android. Wolf says he is unsure of the effect of Google’s mobile OS, but if the success of the T-Mobile G1 is any indication, Steve Jobs might want to watch his back.
(Hat tip: Electronista)