The Android invasion continues to sweep the globe, bumping up against the 60 percent mark in a research firm survey on quarterly market share.
At the same time, the news gets worse for one-time champion Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry devices' share slipped to single digits at 6.4 percent, less than half its market share in the first quarter of 2011.
Seamlessness Is Key
More than eight of every 10 smartphones shipped in the quarter were powered by Google's Android operating system, which is available on a range of devices on multiple carriers from many manufacturers, said International Data Corp., based on its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
The company said Android's method of making the smartphone experience "intuitive and seamless" was the key to its success as competitors have struggled to challenge them. That means ensuring a steady supply of apps and content.
"In order for operating system challengers to gain share, their creators and hardware partners need to secure developer loyalty," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program, in a statement releasing the study. "This is true because developer intentions or enthusiasm for a particular operating system is typically a leading indicator of hardware sales success."
Apple's iOS, however, continued to show solid growth, with a boost from 18 percent to 23 percent year-over-year, coming in at an impressive second place given that Apple only makes one device.
Last week Gartner gave it a 56 percent global share.
The news is less encouraging not only for BlackBerry but for Microsoft, whose Windows Mobile and newer Windows Phone 7 devices combined barely showed a pulse with a 2.2 percent share of the market, more or less the same as its 2.6 percent share in the first quarter of last year, despite Microsoft's partnership with Nokia and its Mango update. Nokia's Symbian platform, which is being phased out, not surprisingly fell from a 26 percent market share to just 6.8 percent.
IDC said that Nokia appears to still be supporting Symbian, which will power its PureView 808 device, but investment in the platform will continue to decline.
Don't Count Out Windows
Analyst Gerry Purdy of MobileTrax believes Microsoft in the near future will gain some ground on Google and Apple.
"They are putting all the right ingredients in their partnership with Nokia," Purdy said. "That's going to have an effect on first-time smartphone buyers and also help them with the market. "
To stay on top, Purdy said, Google must properly leverage the assets it acquires from Motorola Mobility, while at the same time maintaining its relationship with South Korea's Samsung, now the world's leading mobile phone maker.
"They are selling up more [Android phones] than anyone, and they also have their own Bada operating system," Purdy said. "They have to make sure Samsung doesn't say they are too focused on Motorola, and bolt on Android."
Posted: 2012-05-26 @ 6:10am PT
Now why do you have to keep on telling us "DONT COUNT OUT WINDOWS." Please, PC has windows, now why would one want it on their cellphones? Cellphones tend to be static, their contents have Apps but users generally don't care much about the updates of its OS. A smartphone usually lasts for 2 to 3 years only before it gets destroyed. What they will buy is what is most displayed on the shelves.