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Despite Verizon iPhone Release, Android is King
April 6, 2011
Thomas Mennecke
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Just about everyone has their opinion about the current market share of the smartphone environment. Is the iPhone in the lead? Or is it Android? More convincingly, it is the Android that reigns supreme. Speculation suggests that Android's "lead" was only propped up thanks to its exclusivity with AT&T, and that such studies never include the iPad. But the iPad can't make calls, and Verizon has had the iPhone for several months - so let's take a look at the latest smartphone statistics.

According to Comscore, the news for Android is quite good. In a three month span, the mobile environment changed drastically. Since November 2010, Android make a 7% jump from 26% share (#2) to 33% share of total mobile OS penetration (#1).

Blackberry's fortunes were not so good. Although Blackberry has tried to remain relevant, with such releases as the Torch, but in what has become the Android vs. iPhone race, Blackberry is becoming increasingly outmoded. And the stats reflect this: Blackberry had the single most precipitous drop in use, falling from a commanding 33.5% lead to 28.9% (or a 4.6% drop). Blackberry may still have a stranglehold on the corporate/enterprise market, but even this support is waning.

Apple made some progress in the last 3 months, but generally their growth was statistically flat. The biggest move for Apple was finally freeing themselves from the clutches of AT&T; although this move allowed the iPhone to grab the biggest gain in the phone market, it did little in the overall OS market.

This fact is quite remarkable since in other words, despite the iPhone coming to Verizon, Android was able to not only consolidate its position but also grow substantially. It's this point, however, that some Apple pontificators will claim, "but the study doesn't include the iPad!” Nor should it. Until the iPad can make calls, in no way should it be compared to other mobile phone devices. Sure, you can use Skype or whatever to communicate, but if such a broad standard is to be used to judge mobile market share, why not include netbooks, MP3 players and ebook readers, since they can be used for voice communication too?

Apple will always have its core base, but if it wants to continue defining the mobile marketplace, it has to become innovative again. Currently, the iPhone 4 lags technologically when compared to the latest offerings in the Android world. The iPhone 5, if it even gets released this year, needs to redefine mobile computing the way the original did. Otherwise, the space separating Android from Apple will only continue to expand.


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