RIM vs WM – a tale of twists and turns, ups and downs

Needham and Co analysts has recently published numbers showing the movement of the smartphone market over the years. While the headline news was the iPhone grabbing 16.6% of worldwide market share, second only to Nokia, and hitting 30% of US smartphone marketshare, at mspoweruser.com we like to look behind the headlines a bit. The graph did reveal figures we don’t usually have a comprehensive view over; the trends and numbers over many years.

Looking at the two long-time protagonists RIM and Windows Mobile, its clear they have had their ups and downs over the years and have changed places many times. Also while RIM seemed to have had a bit of a surge early this year, they seem also to have been affected much more by either the iPhone or the economic downturn than Windows Mobile.

The reason is likely apparent from this graph, which shows US marketshare. RIM is particularly strong in the US, and was therefore much more affected by the iPhone or the economy, while WM has been flagging in US for some time ( while growing strongly overseas) that they were much less affected by the same issues.

The second graph will also likely explain why Windows Mobile OEM’s do not expend much resources on US – it is a niche market almost, with the majority of the market already decided in the direction of the iPhone and RIM.

In summary then, while US residents may get the impression that the RIM vs WM battle has been all but decided, the rest of the world may perceive things very differently.

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