iOS holds steady behind Android platform market share in Q1 2012
IDC released their quarterly report on worldwide smartphone market share by operating system today, and the chart looks more or less as you'd expect: Android has kept ballooning (59% market share), while iOS maintained a respectable second place (23%), while Symbian (6.8%) and BlackBerry (6.4%) continued their downward spirals. Windows Phone growth saw decent 26.9% growth since last year, but that still only amounts to 2.2% market share. All in all, 152.3 million smartphones were shipped in Q1 2012, which is 49.9% more than the same quarter in 2011.
With these trends continuing, it won't be long before BlackBerry and Symbian barely even show up on the radar and the smartphone game becomes a two-horse race - some would argue it already is. Between Apple and Google's operating systems, 80% of the world's smartphones are accounted for. I'm really curious to see if Windows Phone can manage to claw enough mindshare to become a viable third option, but it seems more likely that it will be a bit player just like RIM. It's interesting to see that even after a year of Nokia announcing its retirement Symbian it's still commanding the market share that it is. Despite the nosedive, BlackBerry hasn't managed to squeak up over Symbian market share, and at the going rate, they probably won't be able to swing it next quarter either. IDC actually had some advice for those lower on the food chain.
That's true enough, but not many developers are willing to invest in platforms that don't have the hardware sales unless the manufacturers are paying them off. What comes first: manufacturers making phones people want to buy, or developers that make phones into things people want to buy? It seems like in the case of iPhone, it's the latter; out of the box it does pretty much everything any other smartphone can (admittedly with a great deal of polish) but it's the App Store that really gets buyers invested in iOS. That said, Android's app ecosystem isn't exactly healthy when you consider piracy and fragmentation, but the hardware manufacturers are able to address a much wider variety of tastes and needs. Should competitors be picking up Android's approach or that of iOS in order to snag third place?
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Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.
You can mouse over the graphs and see that iOS maintained 23.0% over the two quarters
Right now it seems Android and iOS are the ones to get first dibs on apps. My guess is this is due to them being the top two OS choices. The other platforms seem to get apps as an afterthought. "OK, we've covered iOS and Android, lets port our app to the other guys to increase our reach."
So my guess is RIM, Microsoft and the others need to find a way to get developers to "express themselves first" on their platforms rather than just getting ports.
Likewise, I really like Windows Phone. But I needed a particular app for work email/calandar and Windows Phone didn't have it. So it was never an option. Even if it were an option, my carrier only carried one model and I didn't like it.
Apple, to an extent, also has that issue. By only offering a single model, no matter how good it is, it won't satisfy everybody. I would expect them to offer more options at some point. Not dozens like Android, but perhaps a 4", 5", 7", and 9.7", maybe even unifying the iPhone and iPad platforms. There are markets at each of those sizes that are too large to ignore forever. At least I would think so.
Which is exactly why I dumped my BB and went iOS. No apps was a major, major problem for me with my BB. After a while, BBM wasn't enough to keep me grounded with BB when iOS and Android offer so much more.
And after the 2012 iPhone is released, there will be four models. The 3GS will be sold in emerging nations as an ultra-low-end model.
And the App Store is just one facet of the Apple ecosystem. iCloud will add value to (and spur sales of) all of Apple's hardware devices in the next decade. Exactly the way the iTunes ecosystem added value to (and spurred sales of) iPod and Mac in the previous decade.
Few Android users have many 3rd party apps. And those that do have downloaded free apps. Less lock-in. This will make it easier for Samsung to switch to Tizen. It's actually truly open, it's truly standards-based, and it's being backed by Intel, the Linux Foundation and yes, Samsung.