In 2013 just over one billion smartphones were sold worldwide compared to 725 million in 2012 – a rise of 38%. These impressive figures show there is still a very large smartphone market, while Apple with a 15% share of this multi-billion-dollar market cannot be considered weak. The global smartphone market is very competitive and truly dynamic. Only just a few years ago, companies like Motorola, Nokia, and Blackberry had dominated this market, but today the landscape has completely changed with Samsung and Apple the market leaders. Although Apple is clearly an extremely strong company with great devices and an excellent brand name, it appears that they have hit a wall because they are competing with many developers and manufacturers of different smartphone devices, as well as thousands of software applications that make use of the Android open operating system. As Android offers a larger range of handsets manufactured by multiple vendors and at various price levels, combined with a richer offering of software and applications, it seems that in the war of the smartphones Android handsets have the upper hand. According to Stat Counter, Samsung currently has 45.48% of the Israeli smartphone market, Apple has 22.5%, Xiaomi with 10.6%, LG with 10.03%, Huawei with 3.79% and unknown with 1.26%. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the country’s most popular phone, with 7% of smartphone usage. The S5 is rather old in smartphone terms. This age points to larger issues with Samsung’s recent launch of the S8. The S7 and S7 Edge (both at 5%) are growing and are the next most popular Android devices. The iPhone 6 is the most popular iPhone at 5%. LG’s G3 (4.5%) and G4 (3.6%) smartphones have a significantly larger market share compared to the United States. While according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2015, roughly 74% of the Israel adult population own a smartphone.
However, looking at more historical data, in the last quarter of 2013 Samsung held 33% of the Israeli smartphone market, as opposed to 40% in the first half of 2012. Apple, was in second place with a 24.5% market share in Israel, was at 34% in the first half of 2012. According to spellshelp, third place was Alcatel, surprising the market with a 13.4% market share compared to a 4% market share in the first half of 2012. Alcatel’s success can be explained by a very efficient and focused marketing operation, but also by an attractive value-for-money approach which Israelis love. These technologically advanced smartphone devices sell for NIS 1,300 to NIS 1,700 and contain many of the important functions offered by their more expensive Apple or Samsung counterparts. Alcatel sells its smartphones at all the cellular providers as well as at major retail chains in Israel, which makes it a real threat to the larger handset manufacturers. Accel developed the first ever car-based smartphone, adapted to the needs of drivers – whether of private cars, commercial vehicles or Voyager trucks. Accel sells this device at Orange and has also started international sales with a multi-billion-dollar market potential. This seems to be the first Israeli company to commercially launch a smartphone, which again shows the great potential in partnering with Android. But like all market products, Accel will have to continue developing more advanced technologies or decline in a market that shows no mercy. Phones will also need to consider innovations such as an FRP bypass app to protect user’s data effectively.
As we continue to see new innovations and changes in the smartphone industry it will be exciting to see who will dominate and lead Israel’s smartphone industry in the years to come. It is very likely that whichever phone is most successful in Israel will also be the most successful phone in the world.