Android continues relentless market share gains

Nascent threat? Nokia and Microsoft hope to claw back share with the Lumia 800

The latest smartphone stats from the US make interest reading (especially given New Zealand seems to be following the same general trend, albeit on a six-month+ lag).

The good news for almost everyone: the total smartphone market is growing (as it is in New Zealand). Close to one in three Americans now owns a smartphone, according to market tracker ComScore (which surveys 30,000 subscribers than extrapolates numbers for the whole population).

The better news for Google: Phones based on its Android software (made variously by HTC, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson and recent Google acquistion Motorola) - which rapidly caught then passed Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM over the last 18 months - continue to widen their market lead.

Microsoft and Nokia Symbian smartphones continue to languish; the pair are pinning their come-back hopes on a new series of Windows Phone-based handsets, the first of which are the Lumia 800 and 710 (yet to get a New Zealand release date - possibly because the company still has to off-load its N9 - a well-regarded model, but a dead-end by dint of being the first and last handset in Nokia's "Meego" software collaboration with Intel).

Smartphone subscribers (Click to enlarge)

Total cellphone subscribers (click to enlarge)

Samsung is selling the more handsets than any other member of the Android camp, and outsold Apple during the third quarter.

The Korean company's smartphone push has also helped it top total cellphone sales (above).

Despite a recently reported a dip in iPhone sales - which appears to have been caused by customers waiting for the new 4S (released in NZ Friday) - Apple cracked the 10% mark.

(Click to enlarge)

Again reflecting local trends (Vodafone NZ recently told NBR that total mobile data use on its network doubled between June 2010 and June 2011), ComScore found smartphone customers are doing more, and downloading more (see table above).

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And yet we still wait for a decent data plan from any of the providers........

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Don't be an idiot "total mobile data use on its network doubled between June 2010 and June 2011" but revenue didn't.... in fact prices have come down....

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It doesn't surprise me that 1 in 3 Americans has smartphone - that is the standard size of the mobile data market and has been for 5 years. In NZ it used to be around 10%, but given the way feature phones have crashed and burned of late (Symbian/Sony Ericsson) I'd probably double that here. Still, I'm waiting to see the market breakthrough to 50%. That would be something to write about. I think we'll need to wait a generation for that to happen in NZ because mobile usage is dominated by sub-cultural behaviours.

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