back to article Apple iPhone storms world smartphone biz

Apple squeezed itself into third place in the list of world smartphone makers during Q4 2007, pushing ahead of Motorola and Palm and all the Windows Mobile device suppliers. The iPhone itself may divide opinion but there's no questioning its success. According to market watcher Canalys, Apple shipped 2,320,840 iPhones in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is the iPhone being classed as a 'smartphone'?

    Can someone explain this to me?

  2. Nick Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    What about exported iPhones?

    Yes, it's nice and all to ship that many in the US market, but what about the proportion of which that has been moved overseas - I suspect the US market figures would be lower when considering the number of handsets exported.

  3. Chad H.


    that has got to be the most successful flop I've ever seen.

  4. Andy Worth

    Nokia's dominance....

    ....has relied on them continually releasing improving models, and a large number of options. I'd be interested to see how the next couple of quarters fare for the IPhone, as I don't see it being able to continue the same volume of sales as the initial "rush" of people trying to get hold of one.

    I don't like Nokia phones by the way, it's just my opinion.

  5. Julian Cox

    Define Smartphone!

    Just what defines a smartphone? Here's a few criteria that may apply

    - full PDA functionality inc. synchronisation with standard servers

    - running an 'open' platform with third party applications possible and available

    - touch-screen and/or full keypad (e.g. QWERTY) interface

    ...or just any device that does a bit more than a cheap phone and possibly allows email access?

    Nokia (and I'm not doubting the quality of their products) may stretch the definitions with some models; and as we know Apple falls foul of the open platform at present...

  6. perpetualmotionuk
    Thumb Down

    Since when did an iPod+phone combo = smartphone?!?!

    Nothing smart about an iPhone.

  7. Richard Speight
    Paris Hilton

    Why is the iPhone being classed as a smartphone?

    Probably the same reason every single Nokia Series 60 device is classed as a 'smartphone', as well.

    PH because her Sidekick -- while definitely not a smartphone -- is still smarter then she is.

  8. Johnny Mosrite


    Unlike a uniprocessor feature phone where the baseband CPU does everything, a smartphone has a separate applications processor, which is tasked with running a high-level OS and applications. So, architecturally, the iPhone a smartphone.

  9. Tom
    Paris Hilton

    Surely, the 'I'

    Is for Idiot.

    Paris, because she probably owns one and know's how to use all the functions.

  10. Neil Hoskins

    It's still not a smartphone

    Stupid figures. If the iPhone is included then all the other mid-range feature phones with cameras and music players should be too.

  11. Andy

    "Smartphone" is a silly term anyway

    ... and I'll bet it was coined as a marketing speak nothing-word, and had a definition retrofitted. It feels like that kind of word. The iPhone is clearly in the same class as the Nokia N Series et al.

    I do rather suspect that the next version of the iPhone will be more successful worldwide, and not so much because of any new features it offers. Apple need to establish themselves in the public consciousness as a phone maker, particularly here in Britain where we're so suspicious of new things.

  12. stizzleswick


    So wait about a month... the SDK is out there. And if I remember correctly, SAP already wrote an app for the Jesus Phone but were reined in by Apple at the time.

    Not a fanboi, btw; I don't have an iPhone and not going to get one.

  13. Norbury

    re: smartphone definition

    I agree there's no proper definition of smartphone, it's not really worth getting hung up on though. The iPhone clearly isn't a basic phone, so maybe that's why it's included?

  14. Jonathon Green
    Paris Hilton


    "The iPhone is clearly in the same class as the Nokia N Series et al."

    You reckon? Exactly how large is the iPhone's catalog of 3rd party native applications then?

    [Paris, because she thinks being a smart phone qualifies the iPhone as a smartphone]



  15. Stu Wilson
    Jobs Halo

    1 amongst many

    I would be interested in how the different handsets breakdown, I mean if Nokia have 18 handsets classed as smartphones (I have no idea how many they have, just supposition) and Apple have had 2 (iPhone 4GB and 8GB), how successful does that make it in terms of the leading single handset sold. food for thought.

    On another note, I bought an iPhone on the day of release and it is by far the best phone I have owned in the last 9 years, and the best Smartphone is have used in the last 3

    If you want to know the reasons I feel that it has been a success, in no particular order:

    * Ease of use - I gave it to my SO and she managed to make a call on it in under a minute without ever seeing a manual, consider i had to teach her to use her SonyEriccsson800 phone and she still can't work out to use anything but the most basic functions on it, she can use the iPhone just fine. some people might just say this is dumbing the iPhone down, but crazily it's just so easy to use.

    * Looks - it's an object of desire, technology as art. considering the bricks the Nokia put out as Smartphones (N Series im looking at you), the iPhone is so far ahead in design terms it's unreal.

    * Web - MobileSafari is the shiznitz - browsing on the iPhone is magnitudes faster and simpler than any any smartphone I have used in the last 3 years. Actually being able to see the whole of a webpage, zoom in and scroll around without having to wait 10 seconds for the browser to redraw makes the experience a breeze. I'm not alone in this since o2 released figures last year showing that the iPhone data usage is massively greater than any other smartphone segemnt within their subscribers. The web tracking comapnies have also pointed towards this also.

    * Syncing - Finally a phone that syncs with a Mac, seemlessly. having tried and failed to use SonyEriccson's abortion of a Wintel suite, and Palms clutter of programs, having one single program handling all syncing between music/contacts/calendar/music/photo's just means more time spent doing what I want to do, not wrestiling with churned out by monkey, buggy, crappy s/w is a breath of fresh air

    No list of loves would be replete without a list of gripes, and considering the gripes I have against the last 3 smartphones I owned, this list is tiny in comparison.

    * Bluetooth - signal strength is poor, but then it has been on most of the phones I have used in the past. No ability to browse file system using bluetooth, or syncing over bluetooth.

    * Voice Dialling - no ability to VoiceDial when hands free, this is a big killer in UK where its an offence to use a mobile phone whilst driving. handsfree voice dialling is required.

    * Missing Apps - Tasks/ToDo and Chat - It looks like support for Tasks list is on its way, and I expect chat to appear on the iPhone soon after the release of the SDK (IM+)

    Considering those three things are the only things I feel Apple got wrong with the iPhone, as opposed to what they got right (just about everything) I'm a very happy bunny,

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Oh FFS

    The first person I meet in the flesh who refers to an iphone as a 'jesus phone' will recieve a very swift and severe kick to the bollox.

    I am that sick of hearing about this overrated over priced fanboy accessory that I might just punch the next person I see carrying one.

  17. Jon Winter
    Jobs Halo

    I heart my iPhone

    I have an iPhone and my other half, sneering at the 'poor specs' got an N95 at the same time. My iPhone is faster, easier to use, more functional and my partner - who is now on N95 number 3 as they keep breaking - is jealous as hell, and stuck on a long contract. One nil me.

  18. Neil Hoskins

    Definitions and Stuff

    Broadly speaking, the Americans define a smartphone as anything with a keyboard while the rest of the world see it as something that can run programmes in something other than Java.

    Even using the rest-of-the-world definition, we'll probably still be having these arguments after the SDK comes out, because the SDK is unlikely to give the programmer access to low-level functionality until they figure out how they're going to handle security. So it will still be equivalent to a rest-of-the-world feature phone that can run Java games.

    In other words, still not a smartphone.

  19. Das

    @Julian Cox

    Since when did the definition of smartphone EVER have to include "running an 'open' platform"?

    ......or was the word 'open' in parenthesis because Nokia don't fall into this category either.

    Lets quote wiki.. "A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone, often with PC-like functionality. There is no industry standard definition of a smartphone. For some, a smartphone is a phone that runs complete operating system software providing a standardized interface and platform for application developers. For others, a smartphone is simply a phone with advanced features."

    Yep, iPhone fits the first two, and the third (nothing there about it being open)........ aaannd the fourth.

    I'm sick of fannys like this constantly knocking the iPhone. Get a life and get some sex with a real woman. You won't be so bothered about the iPhone once you've been laid.

  20. Andy

    @ Jonathon Green:

    Pretty huge. There will even be official ones, soon. ;)

    You obviously missed the point of my comment, though. The device has so much more in common with other "smartphones", particularly in the philosophy behind it and the way it works, than it does with other "dumb" phones; you have to be a moron, a pedant, or just flamebaiting to try to claim it's not a smartphone.

    Jon Winter: Ouch. I think Nokia's build quality has been steadily dropping over the last ten years. Every phone I've had from them has broken more quickly than the last. To the point, in fact, that my N80 had 5 repairs in under a year, including a complete rear-section replacement (which was misaligned inside so none of the buttons worked); finally it was replaced, with a factory-fresh model sporting an incorrectly connected screen which cuts out if you touch the wrong place or hold it at the wrong angle. I haven't even bothered to ask for another repair.

  21. Clive Galway

    Proof that Europeans are smarter than Americans

    "Apple performed less well in Europe, notching up fifth place behind Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola."

    Now if HTC would just release video drivers for the Tytn II, I could become a card carrying HTC fanboi.

    Flame icon to signify the inflammatory nature of this post.

  22. Ryan Stewart


    an an American I can say you are correct on average. Average to average Europeans are more intellegent. Not that both dont cover the whole spectrum (some of you people are still wearing mullets, WTF?).

    Apple is popular with two very large demographics in this country. Students and waiters. To a student or a waiter the iphone is a full-function smartphone because they dont connect to anything but gmail via POP.

    The iphone isnt a smartphone but I guess I am only saying that because I dont get laid, my girlfriend is laid-up with the flu. Im also not a waiter and am out of college.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I love standards, there are so many to choose from...

    Companies (in general) pick whichever definition of 'smartphone' gets the result they want for the marketing graph they're showing.

    In particular, all of the analysts choose their own definitions so you can only make valid comparisons between their own numbers. Not that this stops people from trying... At least canalys have been using the same definition for a while now.

    If anyone gives you a report about 'smartphones' without defining what they understand by the term, it's useless for anything but willy waving.

  24. Jared Earle


    It's running UNIX. It's a Smartphone. Get over it.

  25. JohnA
    Thumb Down


    That's funny.. All the fanbois would have a fit if you compared the iPhone to a smartphone before and just after it was released.

    I bet they would still do the same if they came in 4th or lower in the stakes..

  26. RK

    let's create all sorts of arguments

    that obfuscate the real picture here: in 4 months Apple has jumped ahead of ALL BUT TWO phone manufacturers in sales (including ALL Windows Mobile devices). those companies have both been doing ONE thing (primarily) for MANY YEARS...making phones.

    apple haters can whine all they want about how "it's not a smartphone" or "it's just eye candy that isn't a REAL phone" or the other excuses they use to downplay the true success that Apple represents time and time again: they make technology elegant, simple to use, and fun, and in doing so inspire the kind of loyalty that is envied by pretty much every other company. if Microsoft was doing these same things with the same tech, people would fall all over themselves to sing their praises and gush like schoolgirls

    as for this persistent stereotype of "arrogant, smug" Mac users...i know many Mac users (most of whom have used Windows enough to make fair comparisons between the two operating systems) and NOT ONE of them fits this description. most of them are not techies and they look at their computers as tools to accomplish tasks, and they don't think they should have to understand the technical side just to be able to get things done with their computers (or keep them free of malware). in this respect Apple's products like the Mac OS are simple to learn and use. these people aren't any less worthy than someone who has the technical understanding; the majority of geeks don't have a clue how their car works but they aren't calling each other names because of this ignorance.

    i would recommend the Apple-bashers find people with iPhones and ask them how they like them, how easy it is to learn to use it and if they utilize most of the features available, and base their opinions on the iPhone on that evidence instead of simply spewing out vitriol about Apple based on existing prejudice, or coming up with false arguments like "it's not a SMARTphone" (like that means anything to anyone but marketers). i don't expect you to suddenly love Apple or buy their stuff or anything else, obviously, but i think you'll find that a vast majority of Mac and iPhone users LOVE them and wouldn't go back for anything.

    wait...that would require an objectivity that tech geeks seem to be nearly completely lacking (to engage in a bit of stereotyping of my own).

    for the record, i'm a Windows Server admin who uses Windows (XP) on both machines at home, and who also has two Macs and has used and administered both OS's for years. i don't own an iPhone and likely won't for the foreseeable future, mostly because i don't need a phone that does more than make calls.

  27. James Looker
    Jobs Halo

    Ha Ha

    I see the Windows CE (Mobile) fan boys are nearly choking on their poor devices seeing that the iPhone outsold every Windows Mobile Smartphone sale combined.

    iPhone runs OS X - the worlds most advanced OS - if the iPhone is not a Smartphone I don't know what is.

    The SDK will see iPhone apps blow Series 60 rubbish out of the water as it will be running on a proper OS.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    'iPhone runs OS X - the worlds most advanced OS'

    Yet another muppet who has fallen for the hype. Even to the point of repeating the marketing word for word. Apple have NO basis for claiming to have 'the worlds most advanced OS'

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @ James Looker

    "the worlds most advanced OS"

    FFS I hate that phrase. When I hear that phrase I wonder why there is no native support for me to RDP into my Mac from my Windows or Linux box. This is a little issue, but just one of the many interoperability issues I have with this OS.

    I'm not trying to start a OS vs. OS war, but to call it "the worlds most advanced OS'" is a bit overkill.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ LMAO

    The reason that Apple would claim that OS X is the worlds' most advanced OS is simply because it is. It f**king works, full stop!

    I see the non Apple crowd have arrived again and dragged the thread down to thier level,may I just remind you all that the thread is about iphone the US...... not how crap, Bill's babies can make Apple seem.

  31. KenBW2

    I was one the market

    for one of these. I saved my money and got me something 10 times "smarter". I'm typing this on my brand new EeePC...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Awrite, the iPhone mighty...

    Here goes the checklist:

    a) Does Email : Check (wait for Lotus to show up soon)

    b) Does Voice Dialing : Check (go update your installer)

    c) Does Documents : Check.

    d) Does Multimedia : CHECK (Definitely Yes)

    e) Does GPS: Almost. uses a One Legged GPS i would say.

    f) Lightweight, Smart to Carry, Crowd Puller: You jealous Mean bastards, Yes.

    g) Third Party Apps : Goody Gumdrops Yes.

    h) Third Party hardware: Semi Supported. Not many of the BT headsets that i tested worked. However, this is where Mr. Steve "Proprietary" Jobs could improve.

    PH angle: Just Because !

  33. Ign R. Amis
    Jobs Halo


    "you have to be a moron, a pedant, or just flamebaiting to try to claim it's not a smartphone."

    Bears repeating. The anti-Apple fanaticism of Reg readers is astounding.

  34. sleepy

    It can't be a smartphone because . . .

    . . my 90 year old granny uses it, and she doesn't know what a smartphone is

    . . a proper smartphone gets used less than one twentieth as much as an iphone

    . . a proper smartphone doesn't sell so well, so iphone must be a music phone

    . . a proper smartphone is less fun

    . . a proper smartphone doesn't make my S60 phone look silly

    face it - it's not the iPhone that is a fashion fad; it's the other smartphones that are obsolete.

  35. Danny Thompson
    Paris Hilton

    This topic brings out so many ACs

    I wonder why these nay-sayers don't have the orbly bits to come out of their closets.

    Simple facts really - the figures say it all, the iPhone outsold WM devices, period. That, for whatever reason, is praiseworthy. If for no other reason than to shake the WM manufacturers out of their complacency.

    Regardless of the nit picking about whether it is a Smartphone or not it is because it fits every definition of one. It exceeds every single Smartphone for built-in memory, and is the fastest of the current breed. So there is a lot going for it, despite all of the girlies whining that it isn't what it clearly is.

    Time to get over it kiddies. The iPhone is here, it is to stay, and it will be a continuing success. People have bought into the iPhone who would not go near a so-called Smartphone. By comparison the almost every other Smartphone has had to be literally given away as part of a contract in the UK and elsewhere. That alone is very significant indicator of the buying public's acceptance of the device.

    Once the SDK is out we can anticipate a bow wave of new apps for the iPhone to equal or exceed that of other Smartphones and PDAs. The device is that much more powerful in every way that it will easily accommodate these. So any arguments against the iPhone in that respect will be completely moot.

    Paris because of all the girlies bitching against the iPhone and its very obvious success. Tough. Get over it.

  36. Stu Wilson
    Thumb Up


    very nicely put, a voice of reason amongst the plethora of pony lovers.

  37. Alan James

    Definition of smartphone?

    A phone which enables people to do smart things, perhaps? And do them more intuitively that with any other device in the class. So:

    1) single-app pretty-much-fully-automated sync, meaning users spend more time acutally using their phone/iPod/browser/email/other stuff than managing it.

    2) fundamental flexibility of design, to enable SDK-developed apps to expand functionality over time, allowing the platform to evolve via software upgrades, rather than require hardware rebuilds.

    3) Safari browsing experience as intuitive as could possibly be designed for a small-screen device, thus enabling easier access to web-sourced information.

    4) In UK, pretty reasonable unlimited data access tariff, empowering users to search, browse and communicate.

    So, yes, pretty smart in my book

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The iPhone: a Smartphone for stupid sheeple

    My D900 does everything the iPhone does, except for the touch screen. So, is that a smart phone too then?

  39. Duane Caton

    @ Paul Warne

    'The reason that Apple would claim that OS X is the worlds' most advanced OS is simply because it is. It f**king works, full stop!'

    Yeah it also switches your firewall off when you upgrade.............

    Full Stop.

  40. Jon Farina

    You're all a bunch of moaning girls!

    This is what you overlord Steve "Monkey boy" Balmer said..

    .... There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

    taken from

    Haha don't you love it.

    Come now lets hear all those M$ fan boys try and scream me down...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Lets put it into some real perspective,news-27412.html

    So falling quite a bit short of the 1% market share that they wanted. Just 4 months left to meet that target - do you really think they will make it? Even the most optimistic fanboy has to conclude that they won't so it isn't the success that Apple predicted now is it?

  42. Jon Farina

    @Anonymous Coward

    True very true. They've not hit their cellphone marketshare.

    However that is not what people are moaning about here. They are all carrying on about smartphones. That is the context my post thould be seen.

    Also, How long has Windows Mobile (in it's many carnations) been about? Apple have still managed to be beat it in 1 and a bit quarters.

    Give me break. If this were any other company, everyone would be shouting from the roof tops at how successful this product launch was!

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