The Smartphone Salad Days Are Over

Horace Dediu notes that Nokia and RIM are on a precipitous decline and that it is now, in short, a two horse race: Apple v. Android. The age of the smartphone – an era where anyone with a keyboard and some apps could make it in the world marketplace – is over.

I’d call this, now, the Age of Fragmentation – new devices are overlapping each other from both sides of the fence as users wait for new iPhones and swear that the next HTC, Samsung, or Motorola Android phone will be better than an undifferentiated predecessor. As a result, sales are fairly solid for each of those manufacturers but not amazing and the manufacturers who aren’t part of the game are losing market share.

We also see from this chart that HTC will soon be the brand to beat these days and that Samsung, though powerful, is already on par with Apple in smartphone sales. Remember that Samsung no longer announces handset sales so this could be the last time we see real data on smartphones with this sort of specificity.

In general, there are two players, and, barring amazing performance by Windows Phone, not much will change in the next year or so.