Monday, 5 September 2011

2011 The Year of Android


Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q11 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2Q11

Units

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q10

Units

2Q10 Market Share (%)

Android

46,775.9

43.4

10,652.7

17.2

Symbian

23,853.2

22.1

25,386.8

40.9

iOS

19,628.8

18.2

8,743.0

14.1

Research In Motion

12,652.3

11.7

11,628.8

18.7

Bada

2,055.8

1.9

577.0

0.9

Microsoft

1,723.8

1.6

3,058.8

4.9

Others

1,050.6

1.0

2,010.9

3.2

Total

107,740.4

100.0

62,058.1

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2011)


Gartner Says Sales of Mobile Devices in Second Quarter of 2011 Grew 16.5 Percent Year-on-Year; Smartphone Sales Grew 74 Percent:

2011 was a very good year of iOS and a great year for Apple. IPhone unit sales doubled and Apple overtook RIM Blackberry. But the explosion of Android is the real story of mobility in 2011. Apple sales were up over double but Android sale were up over 450%.

Android has everything going for it. Firstly as a platform not tied to a producers, unlike RIM and iOS, there is a wide range of choice in builds. If you want the top end high performance smartphone or tablet there is an Android for that, if you want a low cost smartphone there is an Android for that.

The number of Android producers will continue to make the widest range of selection on Android opposed to RIM that has a few versions and Apple that has a one phone fits all strategy right now.

Android has a real benefit of being along against Apple right now in competition. Apple is an excellent company, but its demand to control hardware and software means that they can never fully dominate a sector like this. Apple is asking for firms like HTC, Samsung, and Nokia to voluntarily go out of business. No chance at all. Microsoft would be a harder competitor for Android since Microsoft works with all the firms making Androids.

This may seem strange but over the long run we see Microsoft as a larger potential threat to Android than Apple. This is because Apple will never allow other firms to produce iOS phones. Therefore Android will always have a role as long as the other major smartphone platform growing in Apple.

But Microsoft Windows Mobile could, in theory, take out Android. Samsung and HTC might decide to drop their Android phones and makes Windows Mobile.

Also given the extreme nature of this industry this could be a battle to the death. Google and Microsoft dominate the technology that enables cloud living. Right now Google has a clear advantage. Microsoft is particularly hit by its failure to even hold its own in mobile. As a percentage of lost market Microsoft is doing worse than Symbian right now.

If Microsoft does not turn this around it might be isolated to a Enterprise business PC ghetto. Microsoft is becoming more and more the system you get at your job. As bring your own laptop and phone policies become more common and home working becomes more common there is a danger that Microsoft could be cornered and rapidly isolated.


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