Jan 042011
 

Smartphone-os-nov2010-2b Market analysis firm, The Nielsen Company, has released interesting updated data on smartphone sales and market share.

Looking at the chart depicted here (and more clearly visible full size on Nielsen’s website) one thing seems surprising clear – Apple’s market share has been remaining more or less steady, and it could be argued that Android’s extraordinary growth is all coming at the cost of poor old Blackberry.

Blackberry’s continuing loss of market share is even more apparent when you look at monthly new sales instead of the evolving established user base (also charted in the Nielsen article).

Android phones have been outselling Apple iPhones since before the chart series begins in June 2010, and Blackberry has been the lowest of the ‘big three’ since July.  In November 2010, Blackberry’s market share was a mere 19.2%, compared to 26.9% to Apple and a massive 40.8% to Android.  This leaves 13.1% of the market to be shared between various Windows Phone 7 devices, Palm devices, and Nokia devices.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was released in the US and Canada on 8 November, so it is too soon to tell from November figures if it has had a measurable impact on the market.  But it is interesting to track the total ‘other’ category of phone sales :

November  13.1%
  October  15.4%
  September  15.7%
  August  17.5%
  July  20.5%
  June  16.6%

This shows no apparent impact in November for Windows Phone 7 sales at all – indeed, there were fewer ‘other’ category sales in November than any preceding month.

In other news, AT&T has halved the price of two of the three Windows Phone 7 devices it sells, down from $200 to $100.  It is hard to interpret this as anything other than an indication of marketplace weakness by the Windows Phone 7 devices.

  4 Responses to “More evidence of Blackberry’s decline and Android’s ascendancy”

  1. Hmm. RIM is in trouble, for sure. But at least it has the inertial pull of corporate IT departments on its side. Microsoft is a whole other matter. With a half billion dollar marketing spend and, by most accounts, a pretty good system on offer, WP7 appears to have had almost no impact at all. Mobile networks and retail chains are discounting Msoft’s phones like mad. And, tellingly, the only sales figures MS has released have been wholesale, not retail.
    I still think Google’s approach contains major inherent problems for the consumer — as in fragmentation and quality control — but if your core business is advertising sales, not software or hardware, Google’s certainly getting the job done.

  2. The other interesting aspect of this is profitability. Android phones seem to go to “Buy one get one free” pretty often. Great for the consumer, not so great for the vendors. Iphones rarely seem to be discounted…so Apple is certainly getting an outsized portion of industry profits. (And I predict you’ll see a similar situation when all the Android tablets start shipping.)
    And should the VZ Iphone become reality (a few things including the good deals ATT is offering lead me to think it will) then Android’s biggest telco backer will have divided loyalties.
    I think there are some interesting twists yet to come.

  3. It’s obviously true that profitability is Apple’s primary objective. That was also the case when it was Apple vs Microsoft in the PC marketplace, with Apple contending that third-party licensing risked quality control and brand dilution. But what happened? The Mac was pushed to the margins of the industry.
    I tend to think Apple will be smarter this time round. But there are cogent arguments opposed to this view, such as here: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/215361/apple_iphone_will_drown_in_sea_of_androids.html?tk=out

  4. I ought to add that the iPhone’s new deal with Verizon, regardless of David’s view about its capabilities, does add another significant twist to this story: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/01/verizon-iphone-android/
    The mobile operators are key intermediaries in this saga with a role which did not exist in the Mac-vs-Windows struggle.

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