According to what year you were born, it is very likely that the evolution of one of the most differential industries of the century has passed through your hands: that of the mobile phones.
Brands like Nokia, Sony Ericsson or Motorola they sound to us today to the past, while in recent years firms that until recently sounded like Chinese to us – because they simply are – have entered strongly into the market share of the largest manufacturers.
Two decades give much in any sector, but in the mobile propose the beginning of the story in the year 2000 supposed to do it from the mystical model of Nokia 3310 to see all its evolution: the arrival of the color screen, the first internet connections, the MMS, the arrival of the first iPhone, each of the old brands, the Asian entrance, the increase in touch screens to make them increasingly large and ubiquitous, to what seems to be introduced as the future: the new foldable phones which began to enter the market in 2019 is a very experimental phase.
In this business earthquake where large firms enter, leave or are absorbed by others, and hegemonic models have become completely obsolete in a little less than a year, operating systems have also changed (Do you remember Symbian?) or connectivity. A vision in perspective that has influenced how it could not be otherwise the social and economic evolution of the world: two decades ago the sale of smartphones in China or India It had nothing to do with the current one.
So, now, one month after the Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona, a bird-eye review of everything that has changed in the mobile market in the last 20 years:
There was a time when Nokia had 30% of the market
By the beginning of the millennium, the mobile was already a fairly established device. He had left the Motorola DynaTAC, the brick that was the first phone that could be held with one hand. They were the times of Nokia and its strength with the indestructible and today almost pieces of nostalgia 3210 and 3310. The lack of SMS, of the missed calls as a method of micro-communication and, in short, when the majority of mobile consumption left in the lurch to look for them.
We have chosen three dates to see how the main players in the market have evolved. In the following graph you can see its changes, since 2000, when Nokia had a market share of total sales of 30%, followed by Sony Ericsson or Motorola, going through 2010, with Samsung already won enough share and the appearances of Apple or RIM (Blackberry), until the thymus reports of 2019, where the dichotome as technological pointers of the company of Cupertino and the Korean have already been strongly joined by Huawei, Xiaomi or Oppo.
In the next chart You can see these changes by the manufacturers that had more sales quota in each of these years:
Other time brands:
In the graph we can see some firms that have gone from assuming large dominators to have a residual value, with their brands sold or in some cases absorbed or even defenestrated. To put in context, this is the current state of the Nokia, Blackberry or Siemens:
After dominating the market from 1999 to 2011 – it is said soon -, the Finnish Nokia did not know how to get into the car of the smartphone that propelled the appearance of the first iPhone. First, I signed an agreement to integrate with Microsoft Mobile, which later ended up buying its entire phone division in 2014, to sell the brand and its license, then to the Finnish HMD Global, created with part of the foundations of the previous one, which continues to sell the current Nokia and even recover the 3310 a few years ago in a version with 3G.
Little remains of the company that pioneered mobile. In 2011 Google took over its division for more than 12,000 million to sell three years later to Lenovo for just over 2,000, which is now the owner of the brand. Of course, Google kept a good part of Motorola's patents, which have been used for its Pixel project.
Born in 2001 as a joint venture of the giant Sony with the Swedish firm Ericcson, the phones of SE had strength and were pointers until 2012, when they still occupied the fourth place of the market share. Today it operates only under the signature of Sony, which continues to launch its Xperia with much less strength.
The German giant's mobile division accompanied the introduction of several novelties at the beginning of the century, such as color screens or the inclusion of MP3 players. However, after losing and being sold as a brand to Taiwanese BenQ, Siemens stopped producing telephones in 2005.
Rim / Blackberry
It was a device that undoubtedly marked a little. In 2010 it is estimated that 70 million people were communicating from the integrated chat service that these devices had, irremediably marked by its expanded keyboard, but the arrival of Whastapp marked the beginning of the end of its fundamental value. It is currently operated by the Chinese TCL-
Along the way, old brands like the French have also stumbled Alcatel -which now operates in collaboration with the Chinese TCL, as well as BlackBerry, Panasonic, HTC or the rapid boom and each of Microsoft Mobile and your Windows Phone, which nevertheless continues to explore the market today – now with Android – in its Surface range, with its own bet on dual screens.
Models and formats: from 'shell' phones to folding phones, going through the iPhone revolution
And there is no doubt that at this time the main change has been the migration of concept 'mobile phone' to 'smartphone'. A path that has been traveled through different phone formats, concepts and form factors of the phones.
Of the initial Nokia, going through the first folding phones, 'cover', or shell (as the mythical Motorola RAZR V3 2004 now reissued with folding screen), the proposal with Blackberry QWERTY keyboards or slide or drop-down that hide the keyboard under the screen until the evolution of touch screens. The LG Prada of 2006 is considered the first mobile with a capacitive touch screen, that is, it was not guided by pressure but detected the touch of the fingers electronically. A year later, the presentation of the first iPhone rounded this with a screen that recognizes more than one boost, and that allows for example to zoom is the photographs.
Other precedents such as the first commercial mobile camera was the Sharp J-SH04, although there was still a long way for the image to be the center of the smartphone. With the touch screens seated and the rise of the image, the photograph and the video, since 2010 the smartphones tended to get bigger and bigger until the term phablet was settled. The 4-inch standard was left behind powered by the iPhone to give way to the 6-7 that are currently in the market, with formats such as the 'drop' that set the trend as iPhone X and the almost disappearance of edges, before making the leap, if it ends up being imposed, to the folding format that manufacturers like Samsung begin to mark with their Fold models (and now Flip) or Huawei with the Mate X, presented just a year ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
In the following table that closes our tour through the last two decades of the mobile phone market you can see the models that have sold the most for years (you can order the table according to units sold, launch or manufacturer). A quick glance that gives us an idea of the strength that the example had Nokia 1100 and 1110 -each one with more than 250 million units sold- the iPhone 6 as Apple's total hatching point to the masses -220 million sales- or the differential point that also marked for Samsung the Galaxy S4 2013.