How Apple, Google, and Samsung Could Lose the Smartphone Market

Just five years ago, the global epicenters of the mobile phone universe included Finland and Canada, where Nokia and Research In Motion are headquartered.
After the launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007, and after Android phones started getting really good, iOS and Android devices began their sustained assault on market share, and today they dominate totally.

From the perspective of who is making the majority of physical smartphone handsets, the clear leader is South Korea's Samsung, which sells more than one quarter of the world's smartphone handsets, followed by Apple, which sells about 18%. No other company gets anywhere near a two-digit market share globally.

From the perspective of platforms -- who makes the operating systems and controls both the functionality and the app ecosystem that powers the world's smartphones -- it's clear that Google's Android is by far the world's leader, followed distantly by Apple's iOS.

From a business perspective -- who's making money on mobile phones in one way or the other -- the clear winners are Apple, Google (via advertising, mostly) and Samsung.

So today, we can say that the smartphone market is solidly controlled by two companies that are less than nine miles apart from each other in Silicon Valley in the U.S. (Apple and Google), plus Samsung in South Korea.

These three companies in two countries ship the handsets, make the operating systems and collect most of the profits.

But what will the mobile market look like five years from now?

SOURCE: Mike Elgan
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