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Converged devices: Apple fifth in Europe

Despite the limited geographical spread of its iPhones, Apple is already the third largest manufacturer in the field of converging devices. To record the record Canalys, a company specialized in market research with specific reference to cellular telephony and pocket devices.

The reference period, the last quarter of 20007, marked 2.32 million iPhones sold for Apple, a number that guarantees Apple 6.5% of the market. In front of Apple there are only Nokia (52.9%) and Rim (11.4%); both competitors are spread over a much higher number of markets.

The data, compared to the American market, are also more sensational. In the US, Apple gained 28%, behind only Rim (41%); the main competitor Palm which at 9%. Windows Mobile, as an operating system, not far away (21%) but to reach the goal Microsoft must add a significant number of different hardware manufacturers.

In Europe, Apple ranks fifth, behind Nokia, Rim, HTC and Motorola, but ahead of leading players such as Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Palm itself. We would like to remind you that in Europe there are still very important markets in the Apple market such as the Italian and Nordic countries as well as the Spanish one.

'If we consider that the iPhone launch that took place mid-year – says Pete Cunningham, senior analyst at Canalys – with a limited number of operators and countries and essentially only one product, it must be said that Apple has clearly demonstrated that it can do the difference by sending a strong and clear signal to the sector's protagonists'. In any case, Apple cannot sleep on his laurels according to the analyst by facing various challenges, the first of which in the chosen strategy: 'Apple – adds Cunningham – has exclusive partnerships forged quickly; this could be a limit. Next to this there is competition. Apple's innovation in the mobile market interface has set in motion strong activity among competitors. We saw this phenomenon begin in 2007 but we will see this trend even more clearly during 2008 with several other smartphone manufacturers who will try to equalize what Apple is doing and to overcome it. '

A third problem, in addition to alliances and competition, caused by the fact that Apple currently has only one product in the field of convergent cellular telephony: 'Our experiences show that a manufacturer with only one product, no matter how good it is, before or then he ends up suffering. A vast and constantly renewed portfolio of products necessary to maintain growth in a dynamic markets. This race is a marathon but during which a sprint must be done with each lap. What Apple now needs to demonstrate is that it can maintain a sustainable business in the converged device sector by expanding product coverage and offerings "