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Summary:

A few years ago it would’ve been only the insane and the insanely prescient who were predicting that Apple would replace RIM in terms of world mobile phone market share. Now it doesn’t seem that outlandish, but the question of how soon we’ll actually see it […]

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A few years ago it would’ve been only the insane and the insanely prescient who were predicting that Apple would replace RIM in terms of world mobile phone market share. Now it doesn’t seem that outlandish, but the question of how soon we’ll actually see it happen remains up in the air.

According to a new financial analysis company, Trefis (via Forbes), the iPhone will pass BlackBerries in 2011. So as of next year, the iPhone will supposedly overtake RIM’s varied line of smartphones, despite offering far less in terms of consumer choice, and being limited to only one network in major markets like the U.S. So how’s that supposed to happen?

Before we get to how, let’s look at why Trefis thinks this information is important. If you’re looking to buy Apple stock, then it’s very important indeed. Trefis estimates that around 52 percent of Apple’s stock value is dependent upon its mobile phone business, so that as the iPhone’s global market share continues to grow, the stock price will climb accordingly. They have a neat little tool that illustrates this, and you can set your own prediction to see how it affects the model.

It’s neat, but it’s also a gross oversimplification. Even without considering the potentially market-rearranging effect the continuing emergence of Android might have on mobile phones globally, other factors like the iPad will probably have a disproportionately large effect on the stock price of Apple in the coming months. Marketing hype definitely inflates consumer expectation and hopefully appetite, but it also misrepresents how important a product is to a company’s future.

If Apple does overtake RIM, however, it will mark a significant milestone for the iPhone, and one consumers should be wary of more than anything. As a disruptor of the status quo, Apple innovates, and innovates well. Once it reaches the top of the pile and subjugates its competition, that doesn’t necessarily continue to hold true. A victory over RIM in the mobile phone market could lead to a stagnation of iPhone innovation, something the minor updates to the iPhone 3GS were hopefully not a sign of.

The iPhone can overtake the BlackBerry by continuing to expand the markets in which it is available, and by going with multiple carriers in places where it only has presence with one or two so far. It may have seemed unusual to hang on to single-provider models for this long, but now it’s in a much stronger position in terms of negotiating with others. It’s also begun to grow its share in the enterprise, where the BlackBerry has traditionally held sway.

2011 could indeed be the year of the iPhone, but I’m hoping RIM makes a comeback before then to stoke the fires under Apple and stave off any impending complacency that might crop up.

  1. Nah, Apple won’t get complacent until it overtakes Nokia in marketshare and that will take awhile. Then there is always the Sisyphusian task of getting at least 10% marketshare in the worldwide PC shipments.

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    1. No, Apple won’t become complacent until Jobs leaves the building. Currently Apple only competes against itself since there are no true competitors left in the Cell and MP3 markets. Yes, the PC market is unfortunate since Steve was gone when it was mostly being formed. Apple owns the top 10% of the PC market, so Apple is waiting until they make the final kill.

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    2. Just you dream! PC shipment blah, blah, blah… Enjoy your shitty PC box with all those viruses and three different antiviruses plus 2 firewalls installed, while clogging all your system resources. It’s better if it’s just 10% of market share. Why? Because it keeps cheap babies like you, away from beautiful machines like Apple machines are.

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    3. Looking forward to iPhone’s iPodlike share in cell phones.

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  2. If Apple does take the lead, at least half of the reason will be that BlackBerry OS has stood still for years. Push email and a keyboard aren’t selling points anymore.

    There’s probably a ceiling on iPhone growth in the US as long as it’s locked into AT&T. You can get the other fruit phones on any carrier you want, and with my no-contract, non-prepaid T-Mobile plan, I can buy a new smartphone every year and still save money.

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    1. BB OS? You got to be kidding! Shittiest mobile phone OS ever. Can be compared to Windows ME or even 3.11

      OMG.

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  3. [...] | theAppleBlog Tags | apple, blackberry, iphone, rim, ventas Más información en el Apple Online [...]

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  4. [...] theAppleBlog Leer más: Apple, Blackberry, iPhone, móvil, RIM, Telefonía Móvil Enviar a Twitter [...]

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  5. Why the disappointment in Apple iPhone upgrades. Why should Apple be forced to make major hardware upgrades in order to keep up with the pace of Android handsets. Android handsets are being upgraded every couple of months by various smartphone vendors. Why should Apple need to keep up with that pace? None of these Android smartphones have had the success of the iPhone. The iPhone appears to be a very balanced hardware/software/content package that works very well for most users. The speed upgrade of the 3GS seems to be working quite nicely.

    So what is the demand for now? AMOLED display? 5 MP camera? A 1 GHz processor? I’m just curious. Why must a very satisfactory smartphone be caught in a hardware race if it won’t necessarily improve usability to a great degree? The major shortcoming of the iPhone is the battery life and Apple should try to improve upon it to give a solid eight hours between charges. That’s what the iPhone really needs as far as hardware is concerned.

    It doesn’t matter all that much if Apple can’t sell as many iPhones as RIM can sell BlackBerrys. As long as Apple can keep the profit margins high and still gain overall market share, that should be plenty sufficient. A single carrier in the U.S. will make it nearly impossible to compete with RIM in unit sales.

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  6. [...] market.  But given Apple’s surge in this area, it might not seem so crazy according to the Apple Blog, who says that a new financial analysis company, Trefis thinks this will occur at some point next [...]

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  7. [...] Analyst: iPhone to Overtake BlackBerry in 2011 [...]

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  8. [...] market.  But given Apple’s surge in this area, it might not seem so crazy according to the Apple Blog, who says that a new financial analysis company, Trefis thinks this will occur at some point next [...]

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  9. [...] Analyst: iPhone to Overtake BlackBerry in 2011 [...]

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  10. In reply to LOLenjoyer – are you some kind of complete retard, oh yess you must be King retard! Yes Mac’s are amazing machines, but he iPhone is a pile of shit! _ put it this way, does the President use an iPhone. Oh no the most powerful man on the planet uses a BB. You dick.

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    1. ROFL!! Invoking Obama to support the BB is the lamest thing I’ve EVER heard! The man is clueless and will go down as the worst Prez in history, and you care that he uses a BB?!? Looks like you’re the retard! BB sales are propped up by 2 for 1 sales at most carriers and they still have the lead in business use. That won’t last. If the 52% stock value figure is applied to revenue, Apple’s iPhone related revenue is over 8B for the last Q while RIMM’s TOTAL Revenue was less than 4B! The numbers for NET Income are even more lopsided!

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    2. And you are using abreviations like ROFL!! – how old are you? 10 ?

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