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A Look Back: Top Smartphones 2009 - 2011
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Old 01/06/2012, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Click to enlarge (Gartner)

A number of trends emerge as we look back at the top webOS, iOS, Windows, Symbian, Android, and BlackBerry Smartphones from 2009 to 2011.

2009
In 2009, webOS was on a roll with the Pre and Pixi.. The average screen size of the top phones was about 3.5" with the exception of BlackBerry and Palm. BlackBerry peaked in 2009 and has declined every quarter since. The top 2009 smartphones were:

3.7" Motorola Droid - Android
3.7" Samsung Omnia II - Windows
3.6" HTC Touch Pro 2-Windows
3.5" iPhone 3GS-iOS
3.5" Nokia N97-Symbian

3.5" Nokia N900 - Symbian
3.2" MyTouch 3G - Android
3.2" HTC Hero - Android
3.1" Palm Pre - webOS
2.6" Palm Pixi - webOS
2.44" BlackBerry Bold 9700
2.44" BlackBerry Curve

2010
2010 saw webOS continue to roll with the Pre Plus, Pre 2, and Pixi Plus. Manufacturers raced to offer models in different sizes and form factors. Top smartphone displays now averaged nearly 3.7" as technology advanced.

4.3" HTC EVO 4G - Android
4.3" Droid X - Android
4.0" Samsung Galaxy S - Android
4.0" Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 - Android
4.0" Google Nexus S - Android
4.0" Samsung S - Android
3.7" HTC Desire Z - Android
3.7" HTC Droid Incredible - Android
3.7" Google Nexus One - Android
3.5" iPhone 4 - iOS
3.5" Nokia N8 - Symbian
3.2" LG Optimus One - Android
3.2" BlackBerry Torch 9800
3.1" Palm Pre Plus - webOS
3.1" Palm Pre 2 - webOS
2.6" Pixi Plus

2011
In 2011, as costs dropped, the average flagship smartphone display size increased to 4.3" for Android. iPhone and BlackBerry clung to the low ground. Android took 52.5% of the world-wide market by 3Q2011 in part due to the larger displays.

5.3" Galaxy Note - Android
4.7" HTC Titan - Windows
4.65" Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Android
4.5" Epic 4G Touch
4.5" T-Mobile Galaxy S II - Android
4.5" Samsung Skyrocket - Android
4.5" LG Nitro - Android
4.5" LG Optimus LTE - Android
4.5" HTC Sensation XL - Android
4.5" HTC Vivid - Android
4.5" Samsung Infuse - Android
4.3" HTC EVO 3D - Android
4.3" HTC Inspire - Android
4.3" HTC Sensation - Android
4.3" HTC Rezound - Android
4.3" HTC Thunderbolt - Android
4.3" HTC HD7 - Windows
4.3" LG Thrill - Android
4.3" Motorola Atrix 2 -Android
4.3" Motorola Droid Bionic - Android
4.3" Motorola Droid RAZR - Android
4.3" Motorola Droid X2 - Android
4.3" Motorola Photon - Android
4.3" Samsung Droid Charge - Android
4.3" Samsung Focus S - Windows
4.3" Samsung AT&T Galaxy S II - Android
4.3" Samsung Galaxy S II - Android
4.3" Sony Xperia Arc HD - Android
4.0" Motorola Droid Incredible 2 - Android
4.0" T-Mobile GX2 - Android
3.7" Nokia Lumina
3.7" BlackBerry Torch 9810/50/60
3.58" Pre 3 - webOS
3.5" Apple iPhone 4S - iOS
2.44" Blackberry Curve 9350/60/70/80

Summary
The market in 2009 was moving rapidly away from small displays (with the exception of Apple). The larger displays also meant that touchscreen keyboards have rapidly replaced physical keyboards. At the same time the overall size of phones (volume in your pocket) is actually holding steady or even decreasing. The 3.1" Palm Pre was 6.2 in³. The 4.65" Galaxy Nexus is 4.98 in³ and weighs exactly the same as the Pre (Phone Arena comparison).

The Road Ahead
As displays move closer to being "edge-to-edge", bezels shrink and larger displays fit into the same size case. In 2012, we can expect to see 5" displays in today's 4.5" case sizes. SAMOLED displays do not need a backlight saving a layer of thickness. If the trends hold, the average 2012 flagship display sizes will climb over 4.5" while overall case size and weight will hold about the same.

Sources
2009: cNet Top Phones of 2009, another, another
2010: zdnet, source, techtree, another, another, phonearena, wirefly
2011: cNet, cNet, business insider, pcworld, gizmo, phonedog, zdnet
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Old 01/09/2012, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So it looks like the trend from these numbers is for Android to become the "Windows" option, used by most people, and disliked for the same reasons as desktop Windows (everybody uses it, there are technically better options, the support is crap, the primary target for malware, etc). iOS will stay as the "Mac" option, with the same polarised arguments as now. It just remains to decide who will make up the "Linux" options, that lots of people talk about, but no-one uses. RIM? Frankly, I can't see them surviving without major changes. WP7?? Now wouldn't that be ironic?
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Last edited by tirk; 01/09/2012 at 09:05 AM. Reason: 0/10 for spelling!
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Old 01/09/2012, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So it looks like the trend from these numbers is for Android to become the "Windows" option, used by most people, and disliked for the same reasons as desktop Windows (everybody uses it, there are technically better options, the support is crap, the primary target for malware, etc). iOS will stay as the "Mac" option, with the same polarised arguments as now. It just remains to decide who will make up the "Linux" options, that lots of people talk about, but no-one uses. RIM? Frankly, I can't see them surviving without major changes. WP7?? Now wouldn't that be ironic?
That is exactly what I think we will see. It is already happening.

Windows got put onto everything and took over 80% of the market. The Mac was huge at first but ended up under 10%. The other OS's take the other 10%.

For phones, Android is already over 50% and I think will hit 60%+. Apple will keep 15% for some time but will end up as the Cooper Mini of phones. Apple will remain a cute phone for people with small hands unless Apple can figure out that not everyone has elfish hands like Steve Jobs.

Windows will keep pounding away but will never make it back to 10%. RIM has been losing 1% marketshare a quarter. Once it get's low enough someone will buy it for the patents. RIM was $23B, then $17B, then $12B, and now $8B. The buyout offer has to be at least 50% more than the traded value so I think that happens as BlackBerry falls to $5B.

I think the big trend to watch is Android going onto tablets, then laptops, and then desktops. With Android, you can buy the app once and use it on multiple devices you register to yourself.
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Old 01/10/2012, 02:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
I think the big trend to watch is Android going onto tablets, then laptops, and then desktops.
I was with you up to here, but I suspect that consumer goods, especially TVs and the like, will be more significant than laptops. The iTV (or whatever Apple call it) could be a masterstroke, either because of it's iPod/iPhone game changing nature, or because it distracts Google and the rest at a critical time (or both). OTOH, if Apple put significant resources behing iTV and it fails, it could just signal the end of Apple as a "cool" brand.

It's also about time someone from outside the existing players came in and shook everything up. The Kindle Fire isn't it, but Amazon still have the potential.
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Old 01/10/2012, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was with you up to here, but I suspect that consumer goods, especially TVs and the like, will be more significant than laptops. The iTV (or whatever Apple call it) could be a masterstroke, either because of it's iPod/iPhone game changing nature, or because it distracts Google and the rest at a critical time (or both). OTOH, if Apple put significant resources behing iTV and it fails, it could just signal the end of Apple as a "cool" brand.

It's also about time someone from outside the existing players came in and shook everything up. The Kindle Fire isn't it, but Amazon still have the potential.
You are right about TV being the next big thing for Android. There are a number of Android TV announcements at CES this week. All the flagship TV's are already getting WiFi, YouTube, Amazon, NetFlix, etc. built in. Even low-end Blu-ray players have all that as well.

So the $1 WiFi chip and CPU's are already there. They have to have an OS anyway, so why not use the free one, Android. The Bluetooth chip for the keyboard or mouse is a $1 too.
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Old 01/10/2012, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Milo, I don't think you're too far off with the PC hardware either. Given how Motorola does webtops for their phones, and Google waiting on the green light to purchase them, I could easily picture them folding Chrome OS into Android, and really pushing the docks with a stock API to create a unified experience, OS-wide. Heck, Asus is doing that stuff as well.
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Old 01/10/2012, 02:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Milo, I don't think you're too far off with the PC hardware either...
2012 is going to be a big year for everyone.

Google already has Gmail on your PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, etc. When you update your calendar on your tablet, PC, or phone, it gets updated everywhere else as well. The Android photo you take can be automatically uploaded to Picasa and seen on all your devices or instantly shared with family.

NFC will finally start hitting big this year. Imagine docking your phone at your office and it going automatically into Work mode bringing up your calendar, etc.

Imagine the power of VLingo controlling your TV. You could say,
"What college football games are on this weekend?"
"When do the Blackhawks play next?"..."Record it"
"Find James Bond movies."

Vlingo was the predicesor to Siri, all made by Nuance (along with Dragon). There are already remote control TV/DVR apps for Androids. Watch as they connect that to speech recognition.

The big thing about iTV (Apple TV) won't be the remote. It will be that it will not need a remote.
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Old 01/10/2012, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It just remains to decide who will make up the "Linux" options, that lots of people talk about, but no-one uses. RIM? Frankly, I can't see them surviving without major changes. WP7?? Now wouldn't that be ironic?
You do realize that Android is based on Linux too, right?
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Old 01/10/2012, 05:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You do realize that Android is based on Linux too, right?
But it is not the right kind of Linux! The Kernel! It's not really open source! It's not...right!

Or at least expect something like that. The average user does not care what the OS is based on or even what OS it is.

They just want it to do everything they want.

This week Garmin announced new 5" GPS that for $300 plus a monthly subscription could show the weather and traffic.

Or you could just get a phone and the turn-by-turn navigation and weather are all built in. How does Garmin survive?

Your phone might be your:
• Internet Browser
• GPS Navigation
• Game center
Kindle / NOOK eReader
• Social media device: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
• Weather Radar
• HD Movie player
• HD Camcorder
• Video chat/conferencing device
• Camera
• Photo Gallery
• Watch
• iPod
Barcode Scanner (to make them match internet prices)
Shazam to find out what song is playing
→ MP3 Downloader to strip an MP3 audio out of the YouTube video
• Bible
• Flashlight
HDR Camera Automatically combines 3 shots at different exposures for amazing color & contrast.
• Amazon, eBay
• Alarm Clock, Calendar, Texting, Calculator, Email , Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

..and sometimes someone over 50 needs to contact you. So it might be a phone too.
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Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/12/2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 01/10/2012, 11:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
But it is not the right kind of Linux! The Kernel! It's not really open source! It's not...right!

Or at least expect something like that. The average user does not care what the OS is based on or even what OS it is.

They just want it to do everything they want.

This week Garmin announced new 5" GPS that for $300 plus a monthly subscription could show the weather and traffic.

Or you could just get a phone and the turn-by-turn navigation and weather are all built in. How does Garmin survive?

Your phone might be your:
• Kindle / NOOK (a zillion free titles)
• HD Movie player
• iPod
• Barcode Scanner (to make them match internet prices)
• Shazam to find out what song that is
→ MP3 Downloader to strip the audio out of the YouTube to have the MP3
• Bible
• Flashlight
• GPS Navigation
• HDR Camera Combines 3 automatic shots at different exposures for amazing color & contrast.
• Games
• Amazon, eBay
• Alarm Clock, Calendar, Messaging, Calculator, Email , Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,

..and sometimes someone over 50 needs to contact you. So might be a phone too.
This last part explains my dad, thanks!
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Old 01/12/2012, 07:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You do realize that Android is based on Linux too, right?
It was an analogy to the desktop OS marketplace, not a comment on the technical ancestry of the various smartphone OSs.

(Hmm... I installed my first UNIX system in the mid 1980's IIRC!)
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