Android and iOS today account for the two biggest mobile platforms on the planet. However, things have not always been like this. If we were to go back in time to the year 2006, you wouldn’t find an iPhone or a Samsung running Android. Back then Nokia, Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Mobile were the kings.
While Nokia held the overall mobile phone market with beauties like the Series60 powered N95 and other N-series devices leading the high end smartphone pack and oldies like the 1110 cannibalizing sales in the expansive feature phones market, Blackberry PDAs held sway over any businessman worth their salt. While the Palms were popular among the geeks and were every bit desirable, they just weren’t there and it is not surprising how quickly they fell in the pecking order after the iPhone heralded a new age.
If you are to look at Gartner’s charts in the year 2006 you’ll have Blackberry, Palm and HP leading as Windows, RIM (whatever was there before smartphones became Blackberry’s mainstay) and Nokia’s Symbian battled it out in the platforms arena. Fast-forward to last quarter’s Gartner numbers and you’d be shocked at how the mighty have fallen. Apple, Google and Samsung now feature predominantly as do newcomers like China’s Xiaomi.
Blackberry and Microsoft still exist but under very different circumstances. The former’s share of the smartphone market has plummeted to single digits while the latter had to acquire a fallen giant, Nokia, in order to boost its mobile credentials and as far as immediate results go, still has a mountain to climb if it is ever to be successful in mobile. While Nokia had 49.4% share of all smartphone sales worldwide in the year the iPhone was announced, 2007, it’s nowhere to be seen today. How the mighty have fallen!
How did that happen? Where did the rain start beating them? Most of these companies at one point or the other made decisions that have come back to haunt them a few years later.
Here are the 5 key defining moments in the mobile world that have helped shape things as they stand now… Click “NEXT” to see them