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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer smartphone sales give the European mobile market a welcome boost

The mobile phone market in Western Europe grew just 1.5% year-on-year to 43.3 million units in the second quarter of 2010, with smartphone growth offsetting a fall in the sale of traditional handsets. International Data Corporation's Mobile Phone Tracker says smartphone shipments were up 60% on Q2 2009 to 14.6 million units, while traditional phone sales fell 14% to 28.7 million units. That means 34% of all devices shipped were smartphones, up from 28% in the previous quarter.

According to IDC, Android shipments increased 450% year-on-year and its market share jumped from 4% to 15% in the last 12 months, becoming the fourth most-popular operating system among new smartphones. IDC believes Android will become the second most-popular smartphone OS in Western Europe by as early as the first quarter of 2011.

There's a similarly positive note from comScore, which has been looking at total subscribers in five European countries rather than shipments to all of Western Europe (and over a slightly different time period, too). It says the European smartphone market has grown 41% in the past year to 60.8 million subscribers. Smartphone usage is dominated by the Symbian platform, which appears on 54.4% of smartphones in Western Europe.

comScore calculates that Android's total market share in the five countries it surveyed (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) has risen from 0.5% in July 2009 to 6.1% in 2010, while Apple's share has risen from 10.2% to 19.2%.

IDC market share graph

comScore market share graph

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Opinion Articles

Mobile phones cause brain tumours?

Mark Bridge writes:

Mobile phones fry your brain. That’s been a warning from some people pretty much since the first cellphones appeared. And although the mobile phone industry has changed and the technology has advanced, the warnings haven’t gone away.

Ten years ago, the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones was set up to look at concerns about the possible health effects from the use of mobile phones, base stations and transmitters.

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Enthusiasm is my enemy!

Mark Bridge writes:

Enthusiasm is one of the great intangible powers of the world. It’s attractive, it’s compelling and sometimes it’s dangerous. And – yes, I’m going to try to keep this relevant – it sells mobile phones.

I was reminded of this the other day when I read a Sunday Times article about Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Author: The Fonecast
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A Blyk day

Mark Bridge writes:

Marketing, not unlike football, is a funny old game. I don’t claim to be an expert in either… but every so often something happens that starts sowing the seeds of doubt in my mind. And no, I’m not thinking about Liverpool's penalty claims in Sunday’s game at Tottenham. I’m thinking about Blyk.

Here at The Fonecast, we like Blyk. They shook up the industry and worried some of the big names when they arrived with their youth-focussed virtual mobile network two years ago. We interviewed their MD Shaun Gregory in May last year. And now they’re quitting the MVNO game in favour of arranging advertising deals for networks.

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SpinVox visit offers a few clues about the technology

Mark Bridge writes:

So, dear reader, let’s start at the beginning. Once upon a time, a mere five years ago, there was SpinVox. A company created with help from entrepreneur Christina Domecq – whose surname offers a clue to her family’s background – and Daniel Doulton, the man behind the Psion series 5. (Sherry and portable computers; two of my favourite products. But I digress).

The company’s promise was simple: to turn voicemail messages into SMS text messages.

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That just about covers it

Mark Bridge writes:

In my last article I looked forward to a world of cyborgs… but feared that decent battery life could stifle my dreams. And this week I’m on a similar theme, despairing that the UK’s mobile coverage problems probably won’t be solved before the Silver Jubilee of Vodafone and Cellnet’s networks.

To illustrate my worries, let me tell you a story.

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

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We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

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