Here are some interesting facts about the mobile platforms and what the mobile users of each platform are doing with their smart handset. The information are provided by Nielsen. The takeaway for me is that Android users are downloading more music than I expected. That's pretty awesome given the perception we are given about Apple's iTunes dominance.
- Android dominates the market at 36% followed by Apple at 26% and Blackberry at 23%. Looks like the second half of 2011 could be an epic fight for second between the Canadian company and Cupertino.
- Android users are wireless Web hogs. It's not difficult to imagine that since Android has ran up quite a bit of ad impressions during this time. The average Android users use 90 MB more data than Apple at 582 MB. Surprisingly, WebOS users are not too far behind at 448 MB versus iOS users at 492 MB.
- iOS users download quite a bit of music but Android users spend 23% of the bandwidth doing the same thing. That's a lot of music for a platform that does not have its own music store.
- iOS users spent a larger percentage of their data downloading more apps via wireless than Android. However, there are reports that for developers, Apple's mobile users could be more profitable for them than Android users.
- WP7 ahdn Windows Mobile has 1% and 9% of the market share respectively. It is not great but definitely a good launching point for Microsoft should its deal with Nokia pay off.
- Interestingly, Palm OS still has 1% of the market share.
The biggest surprise for me is iPhone and the lack of growth. Keep in mind that the iPhone gained an additional carrier in the US. And as everyone knows, Verizon is the biggest carrier in the US. If anything, by adding an additional carrier, Apple has managed to keep the iPhone sales in line with Android sales, since neither platform grew.
Right now, I eagerly look to the 4th quarter of 2012 when just about everyone will bring their best to the market:
- RIM will release new Blackberries powered by their newest OS.
- Microsoft's next Windows Phone 7 update, Mango will give it a lot of features that puts WP7 devices on par with current Android and iOS devices.
- Google will merge the smartphone and tablet OSes into one unifying OS much is Apple has done with its own mobile platform.
- Apple's anticipated iOS 5 should bring new features that could set itself apart from its competitors while, hopefully, close the gap with Android where it is the weakest
In a way, this post is a summary of the smartphone and mobile device market. What we've seen so far is a fight to a stalemate. Depending on your perspective, it could be good or bad. RIM held ground while Apple has at the very least stunted Android's growth while not doing much beyond that. And for HP and Microsoft, there is hope for them yet as this market is clearly one that is growing and has plenty of room for more competitors.