Monday, 30 July 2007

MIDP Performance over Time

Handset Performance
In my last post, I examined the gross relationship between MIDP performance over time by plotting JBenchmark 2 scores against handset release date as well as plotting percentile scores. The results are interesting for the fact that, at the low end, there has been very little change in performance over the past three and a half years to July 2007.

In this post I delve further into changes in MIDP 2 performance over time.

Performance Percentiles by Year
Performance percentiles are an extremely useful tool through which developers can target a particular handset market share and identify type model handsets for testing. The plot, below, shows performance percentiles by year. It was generated from the same JBenchmark2 data set of 609 handsets from January 2004 through July 2007 as my previous analysis.

This plot reinforces the fact that there has been little change in performance the low end. The bottom 20% of handsets released in 2007 have no better performance than the bottom 20% did in 2004.

Performance in the Mid-Range
Note the flattening of the percentile plots from 2004 - which is close to exponential - to 2007 - which is much closer to a linear relationship. This flattening is good news for developers as it means that mainstream handsets have seen a significant improvement in performance as compared to the top-end terminals.

What this Does Not Say
The information presented thus will enable managers to clearly define a handset market share based on either a percentile, which gives a performance specification, or a handset terminal, which gives a score through which market share can be derived.

The market share derived in such a way will always be biased unless weighted by vendor market share, or rather, market share of particular terminals. Terminal sales numbers are notoriously difficult to obtain for a given market (iPhone aside). However, vendor market share figures are published and will be used in my next post to look at what performance to expect from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson terminals (the top 4 in Australia, where I live).

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