The state of the Smartphone 2012

“Smartphone shipments exceed PC sales in 2011” was one of the headlines last week. Duh. Nothing new there – the numbers weren’t even close (approx. 480 to 350million units). However – 2011 was the first year where we saw this happening and it shows that the primary computing device going forward will be in your hand and not on your desk.

Looking at the numbers iOS came in with 23% compared to 52% for Android and still 12% Symbian.

In addition Tablets are now 15% of the PC market but I still don’t think of a tablet as a PC – no matter how many Apps claim to be primarily for content creation the main creation of content happens on the PC / MAC and not on tablets. 60% of that market is owned by the iPad with Android devices making gains thanks to low cost variants like the Kindle Fire and the Nook.

Most interestingly Apple’s iPhone market share is less than 10% (of the entire mobile phone market) but it is taking 75% of all Mobile profit.

What will happen in 2012? Well, Smartphones are still the fastest growing computing device and we will see plenty of competition.

If the iPhone 4s was an indication of what to expect from future iPhone updates the next one (finally the iPhone 5?) will probably again be more evolutionary than revolutionary. But who cares? It is still one of the best phones out there – and the iOS App market still dominates everyone else in Quality and Quantity.

Comparable in hardware and OS quality is finally the combination of Nokia and Windows Phone. Windows Phone in itself is a superb mobile OS and thanks to excellent hardware from Nokia (check out the Nokia Lumia 800 review and the latest mobile phone reviews here) they now have a real chance of beating iOS and Android with a highly competitive offering of their own.

And then there is Android – one man’s fragmentation is another man’s choice. Android might hold the number one spot in market share, but for what combination of OS, hardware and provider / hardware manufacturer customization exactly? This reminds me so much of the late Windows Mobile years – fragmented versions, customized on each hardware and provider – just a terrible user experience. You guessed it – I don’t like Android.

Oh, and not to forget RIM – they will adopt Windows Phone by the end of the year.