I got several inquiries about adoption rate of physical layers across the mobile and adjacent industries after posting the video showing D-PHY v1.2 silicon on 16nm I realize that it’s debatable if it’s fair to compare one spec vs the other. However, I would like to note that de-facto standard has a lot of weight and it is what sets it apart compared to other potential specifications which only a few vendors select. Once a certain standard is well adopted across the industry, it establishes an entrenched position and cannot be replaced instantly. Any potential replacement standard need to take into consideration backwards compatibility to ensure vendor’s investment in the de-facto standard continues to bear fruits. It requires a phased approach towards replacing a successful standard and it’ll only be possible if the replacement standard has proven benefits compared to the de-facto standard and that the transition period is not long and not painful.
The second quarter of 2011 will be remembered as an inflection point in the mobile industry with Apple becoming the world’s top smartphone vendor by shipping 20.3 million Smartphones. Nokia continued its decline, down by 34 percent from the same quarter last year and shipped 16.7 million units in the second quarter, with vendors like HTC and Samsung continue to stay behind. It’s important to note however that Samsung shows fantastic market share growth from a slim 3% in the first quarter of 2011 to 13% of smartphones sold in the first quarter this year. Other growing OEM’s include HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG. Apple’s iPhone dominancy in smartphone doesn’t translate to leadership in smartphone operating system as Android leads the game mostly due to the fact that Android operating system is used by multiple smartphone manufacturers. According to latest report by IMS research smartphone shipments in 2011 will reach 420 million units, taking 28% of the total handset market. The research firm also predicts smartphone volumes to reach 1 billion units in 2016 mostly due to lower end smartphones. Here’s a graph (courtesy of IMS research) comparing OEM smartphone shipments in Q1 2011 with Q1 2010: