The smartphone revolution is being undercounted.
Check out the first image below.
It’s not a doodle that I made myself — it comes from Mary Meeker’s latest presentation on the state of the Web.
The yellow line is European smartphone market share. It just crossed over 50% (the red dotted line) last year.
The blue line is North America. It crossed 50% this year.
Both lines are pointed up, up, and away. Look at the last few months. Off the map.
What’s that line on the bottom? It’s under 20%. And it’s tilted *down* not up.
It is the “rest of the world” — and it makes no sense. Nobody is buying smartphones worldwide?
Unless you are undercounting smartphones.
Now take a look at the gorgeous piece of kit in the picture below — a new phone that a bunch of Peek partners are launching. (It’s the FT40 and it’s being sold by Symphony in Bangladesh.)
Huge touch screen, metal body, apps, cool 3D effects in the UI…all very HTC. And super cheap.
Only one thing missing: Android. Not there. It’s “just a featurephone”. Next to it on store shelves in India are worse, cheaper Android phones that *do* get counted in that chart up there.
As a result, folks like Mary Meeker are undercounting smartphones.
There are a lot more smartphones than anyone realises: modern UIs, connected to the Internet, running real-time apps. And they are giving the Androids a run for their money in India, Indonesia, China and beyond.
Go ask a brand what their market share is from all those headline-grabbing “$70 Android phones”. The answer is: zip.
Four billion people with phones but no Internet don’t care about Google, Facebook, Groupon, Yahoo, Amazon…they want to chat with friends, see videos, that kind of thing. They want the Internet stuff but don’t care about the traditional web brands, and these phones do it.
They are also cheaper, more battery efficient, more rapidly iterated by their designers, and more intelligently marketed to local customer tastes.
So start paying attention as the world changes. Yes, smartphones rule the world — but the kingpins won’t be the ones you expect.
P.S. Did you notice that Apple dropped a notch in the worldwide rankings for Q3? And that a Chinese no-name provider took their slot as FOURTH BIGGEST PHONE BRAND in the world? More here.