Welcome to the latest edition of MobileTime, a blog about the issues affecting mobile time tracking and the construction industry in general. Our goal for this blog is to provide useful, helpful information presented in a concise format to our customers and all others who might benefit. Today’s article discusses the current state of the smartphone mobile technology market.
Google continues to build significant momentum in the smartphone market. According to ComScore, for the three month average period ending in May, 2011, there were 234 million Americans using mobile devices of which almost 77 million were smartphone owners. In just 3 months from February to May, 2011, Google Android has been able to increase its market share by over five percentage points from 33% to 38.1%. In the same period, Apple grew its share of the market to 26.6% from 25.2% three months earlier. The bulk of these gains came at the expense of RIM (BlackBerrys) and Microsoft (Windows Mobile) who suffered losses of -4.2% and -1.9% respectively. In fact, Microsoft has lost an incredible 35% market share since it released Windows Phone 7, its next-generation smartphone platform, in November of 2010.
Samsung ranked as the top OEM in the U. S. market with a market share of 24.8%, followed by LG (21.1%), and Motorola (15.1%).
In contrast with the Android’s steady growth, the smartphone market in general seems to be slowing down. It has gone from adding 3.7 million new users in February, to 3 million in March, 2.1 million in April, and finally 2.2 million in May. If these two trends were to continue, it is conceivable that the Android could have a 50% market share by the end of this year.
However, nothing ever stays the same and that is definitely true for smartphone technology. Although there have been plenty of rumors concerning the coming of iPhone 4S, BGR has “independently confirmed that the next-generation iPhone will not merely be an upgraded iPhone 4 as had been previously rumored.” Instead, it appears that Apple will make an iPhone5 announcement in early August with a late-August availability expected.
In other news involving Apple, even though they just began selling iPhones and iPads through Verizon in February, there is much speculation that Apple will sell the iPhone through additional new carriers. Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek is reporting that “Industry checks indicate AAPL has or is about to announce new carrier deals in time for the holidays with T-Mobile and Sprint.” Could this affect market share in a significant way? Maybe market share has already begun to change – again. According to Nielsen, the iPhone has shown the most growth in the last few months. Their share of new sales in the period from February to May of this year has increased from 10% to 17% which calculates to a whopping 70% increase. Could Apple be primed to mount a comeback?
And why is all of this information important? According to Henry Blodget of Business Insider, “technology platform markets tend to standardize around a single dominant platform (see Windows in PCs, Facebook in social, Google in search)”. More and more developers will build applications for that leading platform at the expense of the other platforms. Ultimately, it may come down to which strategy will prevail . Apple, with its complete control over hardware and software, or the open platform utilized by Google. What is your smartphone preference and why?