Interesting visualization of smartphone market-share vs profit-share and how it's changed from 2007 to 2010. Also interesting how survey results use terms like Android vs. iPhone while the actual business metrics always seem to break down by manufacturer (notice it's Apple, not iPhone or iOS above, and no Android is mentioned, though Moto, Sammy, et al are front and center).
What I'm curious about is whether consumers think they're buying an iPhone or iPhone, an Android phone or a Motorola or HTC phone, or an AT&T or Verizon phone? For Apple it doesn't matter much in the US (or internationally with unlocked models now available pretty much everywhere), but for Google and Microsoft (when Windows Phone 7 launches), what phone do mainstream consumers think they have? Do they know a Droid Eris is an HTC Hero and that's why they bought it or do they just know it's on Verizon and does apps?
For developers, manufacturer certainly isn't anywhere nearly as important as platform (iOS vs. Android) because, with a few exceptions to insure compatibility between devices, they're targeting OS not hardware. In that case, however, iPhone isn't a device unto itself because iOS apps also work on the extremely popular iPod touch and iPad, meaning iOS smartphone market share (i.e. iPhone) isn't the whole story.
That I've spent this whole post focusing on Google and their partners and Apple is also strangely consistent with the directions of them arrows on that chart. With Windows Phone 7 launching this month, new webOS 2.0 hardware next year, and BlackBerry on a hot new QNX OS sometime in the future could make it change again by 2012, which is great for consumers.
(And Microsoft, it's still not to late to launch as Xphone with a Halo Special Edition right on the shelf at AT&T across from iPhone. Really.)
See, we shouldn't be "fans" of a manufacturer or platform -- though we can certainly find one or the other better suited to our current needs -- and fight over them. Manufacturers and platform makers should be "fans" of users and fight over us by making the best, least crippled, most advanced, powerful, and delightful products they can, with great services and killer customer support.
Because momentum -- and money -- will go with those arrows.
[asymco, thanks everyone who sent this in!]