Smartphones, GPS & Touchscreen Increase in EMEA, Says Canalys

An report from Canalys shows:

  • EMEA smart phone shipments reached 12.6 million in Q2 2008, up 28% on the figure one year ago
  • Growth slowed from Q1 2008, when it was 44%, to the lowest figure seen for 18 months
  • Despite this, it was the second biggest quarter on record for smart phone shipments in the region
  • 38% of these smartphones had built-in GPS, 58% had integrated Wi-Fi
  • Devices with touch screens represented 13% of the smart phone market

Growth slowed in the smartphone market in EMEA in Q2, but total shipments
of 12.6 million still made it the second biggest quarter ever in volume terms.
Canalys estimates that smartphones represented 13% of all mobile phone
shipments. Nokia remained the market leader by some margin, but the other
vendors in the top five posted much higher than average year-on-year growth,
with second-placed RIM closing the market share gap by several points, and HTC,
Motorola and Samsung more than doubling their shipments.

Both HTC and RIM have been making steady
progress toward the one million shipments per quarter mark in EMEA and are now
very close to each other in market share terms, but it is possible that they
will be overtaken by Apple in Q3 following the launch of the iPhone 3G in many
countries in the region.

The smartphone market continues to be boosted by user demand for high-end
features. This is unlikely to be dramatically affected by the economic
situation in the short term, though operators will likely become even more
unwilling to heavily subsidise high-end devices without adequate proof of
return, and contract lengths and the time between upgrades are expected to
increase. Canalys estimates that 58% of the smartphones that shipped in EMEA
in Q2 had integrated Wi-Fi, 13% had stylus or finger-driven touch screens and
38% had integrated GPS.

"Today, many owners are not making full use of their smartphone's
features," said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham. "Concern over usage
costs is still a big barrier, though wider availability of flat rate data plans
will help, and usability still needs to improve for certain applications on
many devices. People are also wary of draining their battery and not being able
to make calls. Battery life isn't helped by having GPS
and Wi-Fi turned on, nor by having a large, bright screen for navigation or web
browsing. But there is clear demand for those features and applications, and
advances in battery technology would enable quite substantial changes in usage
patterns, with all the service revenue benefits that would bring."

Recent consumer research conducted by Canalys in several European countries
reinforces the importance of balancing features against power consumption. In a
survey of over 4,000 mobile phone users in March, battery life came out as the
aspect of their phone they were least satisfied with. Another survey of 3,000
consumers in June showed that having better battery life than current mobile
phones and notebooks would make two-thirds of respondents "more", or "much
more", likely to purchase a Mobile Internet Device (MID) - a device designed
for web browsing on the move. This registered as a stronger influence than the
inclusion of features such as GPS, mobile TV
or the ability to make phone calls.

As the number of GPS-equipped phones
rises, adoption of location-based services (LBS) becomes a more realistic
prospect. Canalys' European consumer surveys also reveal interest in a variety
of such services. The most popular are those that relate to driving, such as
getting information on local road traffic, speed cameras, open petrol stations
and current fuel prices. The services that fewest respondents thought would be
useful were those that delivered information on local cinemas and programme
times, and local retail price comparison and stock searches.

"Something that stood out in the latest survey was that those who already
owned a Portable Navigation Device (PND) showed only a slight preference toward
paying to have these services on their PND rather than on their mobile phone,"
commented Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd. "There is already quite high acceptance
in principle that even key driving-related location services would be delivered
to the phone."

With 4.8 million PNDs shipping in EMEA in Q2, and 4.7 million integrated GPS
smartphones, it is clear that PND vendors will have to adapt quickly to the
rising threat posed by phone-based navigation solutions and location-based
services, even if most of those GPS phones
today are not being used for vehicle navigation.

Location, map-based applications and the future of navigation will be key
topics of the EMEA Canalys Navigation Forum, being held in Budapest,
on 8-10 September
2008. Sessions will look at location-based mobile advertising, the role of dynamic
and location-aware content, the future of connected devices and services, and
PND differentiation. Presentations will also analyse the navigation value chain
in more depth and explore the interaction needed between mobile operators,
vendors and content owners.

To find out more about this key industry event, please visit
There are a limited number of complimentary places still available for
accredited press. To take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain access
to industry experts and insight into this changing market please request a
place, registering as press here.

Here's a Comment we received from Rikke Helms at Dexterra

Canalys may focus on the consumer space, but conclusions about the enterprise market can also be drawn from this, particularly given such a significant rise in smartphone shipments. Issues such as device usability and battery life are arguably even more pertinent in the enterprise space, and while there is growing recognition that smartphones can be key to enabling greater business mobility, more needs to be done to address the concerns highlighted by the research.

It doesn't matter whether you're using a smartphone for business or personal use - if a device or a specific service is hard to operate, you're less likely to use it. Equally, if you need to preserve battery life in order to make and receive calls, you'll be reluctant to run a power-draining application. The difference is, in the business world, failure to make use of the mobile applications you've been given could damage your company's productivity.

The demand for smartphones is evident, and it's important to remember that business users are also consumers, and vice versa. For example, Canalys highlights the demand for information services such as local road traffic, open petrol stations and current fuel prices - it's easy to see how these would be equally beneficial in the business world. Given the enterprise market offers the greater potential revenues, the onus is therefore on operators, manufacturers and developers to work together to create ease-to-use business applications that don't suck the life out of smartphones, in order to let more businesses improve their workforce mobility.