Re: "referring to the smartphone market that began with the iPhone launch"
>"Lee said, referring to the smartphone market that began with the iPhone launch.
>Um, right. Leaving aside that the first Iphone wasn't a smartphone (couldn't run apps) - the smartphone market >existed years before. It's bigger now, but there's been continual growth before and after Apple, and if you look at >sales, the main contribution of the market was coming from Symbian and Android.
I think what he means is the market that may have been kick-started by the launch of the iPhone (much like the tablet market was tiny before the launch of the iPad). At the very least, I think you'll find that none of the contribution to that market was coming from Android as the first handset (the G1/HTC Dream) didn't launch until the end of October 2008.
In fact, the iPhone itself has never had that much of a market share, but I think it's difficult to argue that the coverage of the device hasn't had an overall effect in awareness of smartphones and probably resulted in the market moving from corporate-only to mainstream.
In case you care, these figures are from Gartner:
2006 - 80 million
2007 - 122 million (3 million iPhones)
2008 - 139 million (11 million iPhones)
2009 - 173 million (25 million iPhones)
2010 - 597 million (46 million iPhones)
2011 - 1,775 million (you get the picture)
Not forgetting that the original iPhone didn't go on sale until June 2007, was only available on one carrier in one country, it's hardly surprising the sales were relatively low. That said, you can see the total market pretty much double in size over that 18 months to the end of 2008.
You can argue that this may have been inevitable, but as we don't have a control-planet where the iPhone never went on sale to compare with, both arguments (that it did or didn't have an effect) are valid.
Anecdotally, I was the only person in my group of friends/family/colleagues who had a smartphone prior to 2007. By the end of 2008 almost everyone was asking me if the iPhone was any good and if they should get one (how the F. would I know, I don't have one). By the end of 2009 almost all of those people had a smartphone of some kind (not all iPhones). So from a personal perspective, I'd be quite comfortable saying that on balance, I think it kick-started the consumer market and yes, Android has made it the size it is today.