Posted on January 10, 2011 - by David Etheredge
In addition to confirming that Google is quickly moving towards becoming the dominant player in the mobile OS space, a report from TechSpot.com entitled “Android passes iPhone in the U.S.” contains some valuable metrics on Smart Phone usage during 2010.
In the U.S.:
- 61.5 million people owned smart phones in the U.S. as of Nov 2010
- Smart phone users grew 10% in Sep – Nov 2010 over the prior 3 month period
- For the first time, more people are using phones running Android OS than Apple iOS
- RIM (Blackberry) lost 4.1% smart phone market share, down to 33.5%
- Google moved into 2nd place in smart phone market share, up 6.4% to 26.0%
- Apple fell to 3rd in market share at 25.0% on a meager 0.8% quarterly gain.
- Microsoft lost 1.8% smart phone market share, down to 9.0%
Some quick observations from this data.
- Given current trends, it is only a matter of time before Google takes the #1 position in smart phone market share and it wouldn’t be surprising at all for them to crest 50% market share late in 2011 or early 2012.
- RIMMs steady erosion in market share coincides directly with their lack of high quality touch screen enabled devices. There are a large number of business people who are stubbornly sticking with their old Blackberry devices, but unless RIMM quickly and emphatically moves into the touch screen market with a large number of high quality smart phones that enable easy web browsing and offer increased application support, Blackberry may fall to sub 10% market share within the next 2 years.
- Apple may have created the touch screen smart phone market, but in an eerie re-enactment of the Apple / Microsoft wars for domination during the early days of the personal computer, they’ve allowed Google to swoop in an take the market away from them. Apple continues to be draconian in their attempts to control all aspects of the iPhone / iPad business (choosing not to support Adobe Flash, maintaining restrictive control of iOS application development and deployment, failing to license iOS to third party handset manufacturers, etc.) and its now clear they made a huge blunder initially limiting iPhone availability to AT&T, thereby allowing Google to achieve a headstart with other cell providers. Apple will have to make some changes to their business practices very quickly, or they run the risk of ending up with a minor share of the smart phone market, just as they did with the PC market.
- Speaking of Microsoft, they are almost certainly losing market share because of the bizarre user interface that launched with phones running Windows Mobile 7. I have yet to hear from someone that likes the Win 7 mobile UI who isn’t also on the MS payroll and its a real head-scratcher why Windows decided to deviate from the type of simple, easy to use icon based UI that Apple and Google have popularized. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Miscrosoft continue to slide in smart phone market share to sub 5% levels unless they get in line with Google and Apple and provide a mobile operating system that isn’t different for the sake of being different.