Who Is Really Winning the Smartphone Race?

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Apple fanboys vs HTC fandroids. Crackberry junkies vs Nokia cheerleaders. All of them have their arguments and neverending doses of absurdly blind faith in a corporation. But who is really winning this race? Who is really the dominant smartphone manufacturer?

It's hard to tell

See, when you take into consideration more than one factor, you get a different picture of how things are. Here you can see that Samsung is gaining market share faster than all its competitors, but their profit share growth is going down. Then you can see that Apple is gaining market share at a good rate, but their profit share growth dwarfs everyone else. The iPhone is one popular smartphone, with a hefty profit.

Asymco, who produced these graphics, argues that you can pair manufacturers according to their current growth vectors (in the chart above, you can see those pairs by color). According to them, Apple is destroying Nokia, while RIM is crunching Sony Ericsson, and Samsung is doing the same with Motorola. HTC and LG are doing something down there too, but both are doing it slowly, so let's ignore them for a while.


The fight for true domination

When you look at their 2007 vs 2010 comparison, things get even better:


Why better? Because despite its star status, Apple is still not the dominant player. Nobody is. Unlike with computers—where Microsoft still dominates—there is still no emperor in the smartphone empire. Apple is in a great position to claim that crown, but the game is still open.

One last thought: Looking at Nokia, I can't help to think that the CEO and his execs were complete imbeciles. If they had snatched Palm before Hewlett Packard—and scrap their stupid, outdated, horrible Symbian—they could have probably retained the dominant position they lost so quickly. Which is too bad, because they always made good hardware. [Asymco]