We have seen the Canalys numbers of Q3 2008, and while the bad news for Windows Mobile is that it has been pushed to 4th position, the good news is that robust growth continues, despite extensive media coverage if its demise.
However when compared to Q2 2008 numbers (from Gartner, but they are generally in agreement) another interesting picture emerges. While many of the trends remain intact (e.g. Symbian’s loss of market share and flat shipment growth in a booming market) some things on reflection are very different. Between Q2 and Q3 2008 sequentially it appears that RIM is actually growing at a slower pace than the market (8.2% vs 23.7%) and has consequently lost market share (17.4 to 15.2%). On the other hand Windows Mobile actually grew a stunning 40.1% between Q2 and Q3 2008 and increased its marketshare by 1.6% (vs RIM’s 2.2% drop).
Of course some would suggest that RIM’s poor performance was due to issues getting the Blackberry Bold released, and that the Blackberry Storm will fix this. It is however of note that the delayed shipments of Windows Mobile devices which led to missing the much touted 20 million goal received scant sympathy earlier this year, and that RIM’s problems are RIM’s own concern.
Regarding Apple’s numbers, not much can be said except that they launched into a depleted channel (of their own design), hence their low Q2 numbers and high Q3 numbers, and therefore amazing growth, but if certain analysts are correct their Q4 numbers wont be half as rosy.