Mobile phones: Who’s up, who’s down and who’s moving sideways

Three years of pitched battle for share and profit reduced to a set of vectors

Asymco's Horace Dediu is a master of the art of turning bland data into eye-opening visualizations.

His latest, posted Tuesday afternoon, starts with two sets of data in two points of time -- market share and share of profit in 2007 and 2010 -- for eight vendors in the mobile phone space, from Apple (aapl), the smallest in 2007, to Nokia (nok), the largest.

At the suggestion of one of his readers, Dediu has plotted the data in two dimensions at the same time and divided the results into four quadrants labeled as follows:

  • Dominant: large market share and large profit share
  • Star: low market share with large profit share
  • Fading: high market share with low profit
  • Marginal: low market share and low profit

Through a series of four diagrams, he takes the reader step by step to the eight vectors at right.

It's a lovely piece of work and quite easy to follow. You can see it here.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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