Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

Summary: Nielsen's latest smartphone 'state of the union' is in. While Android and Apple beat the trousers off RIM, Nokia and Microsoft continue to struggle.

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Nielsen data out today shows that more than ever, the U.S. smartphone market is undoubtedly a two-horse race between Google's Android mobile operating system, and Apple's iPhone ecosystem.

Over the past nine months, Android continues to dominate the smartphone operating system market with a 43 percent share, while Apple holds on as the lead hardware manufacturer with a 29 percent stake.

During the last three months between August and October, however, Android jumped a whole percentage point and more, from 43 percent to 44.2 percent. Between July and September, Apple only achieved half that, notching up from 28 percent to 28.6 percent.

But the BlackBerry maker, Nokia and Microsoft struggled in the face of high competition.

Research in Motion took a knock of three percentage points, while Microsoft's share is merely a blip on the radar at just over 6 percent. Nokia, though not in the business of making smartphones per se, though currently finding its feet after its 'dumbphone' to smartphone cultural shift, still holds 1.7 percent of the smartphone market.

The figures show that 44 percent of the U.S. market owns a smartphone, yet suggests a holiday season or a strong first-quarter to help push it towards the majority mark. Also worth noting is that 56 percent of all new buyers in the past three months chose a smartphone. Should this trend continue, first-quarter results could show that the majority of Americans could own a smartphone.

Interestingly, however, with the run up to the Nokia Lumia launch in the United States, which won't come until 2012 at the earliest, this could push Nokia's share significantly higher. Considering the Lumia appears to be doing well in the UK -- one of the regions the smartphone was released in, Nokia hopes that positive reviews will float across the pond and reflect in first-quarter sales reports.

As the Lumia is powered by the Windows Phone operating system, where the Nokia Lumia succeeds, so will Microsoft.

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Topics: Microsoft, Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Nokia, Smartphones

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21 comments
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  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    Even if the market does not change, consumers benefit from competition between the three major players. Nokia is going to become a subsidiary of Microsoft, if not get totally absorbed by Microsoft.
    Rick_Kl
    • So Apple's share grew even in Q3, when the company was failing to deliver

      iPhone update for four months?

      Probably Q4' data will not be liked by Apple's competitors. Just announced UK sales data for October shocked competitors.
      dderss
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @dderss just something about the iPhone, people just want one. It could be the phone, it could be the apps, it could be the best ecosystem. It could even be combination of the three.
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @Rick_Kl
        Or it could be that the slaves making the iPhone in Asia do not get personal protection from hazardous substances, pay is terrible and get beaten and threatened by Apple's henchmen if they speak to journalists. So they can offer much better product for less money. Just a thought.
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @kirovs you must be on some good meds.It has been shown that the factories that produce the xbox, and several Nokia phones have higher death rates, than the factories that make the iPhone and iPad.
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @Rick_Kl
        Thank you for your concern honey. It is true that I am on antibiotics- nasty strep thing.
        I am not sure about Nokia and XBOX, please put some references.
        But I know from reports (NPR, thecrunch, etc.) that close to 140 workers in China have permanent nerve damage from working on Apple hardware and paid under minimum wage (that is Chinese, not US). BTW, Apple lied they are taking care of the medical care of these workers, they are not.
        Chinese reporters who dared to report on that story are facing ~3M USD lawsuit (in China, where we know courts are independent).
        So again, I do not know about Nokia/MS, but I do not see how them being bad makes Apple better?
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @kirovs@ When advocating one product over another, you might want to get the facts about the factories they are made in. Microsoft, and Nokia Branded products are made by workers, getting paid theses slave wages. Have you read this article http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_joelinchina/all/1 ? There are 1 million workers, and only 17 suicides. Compare that to China's average rate of 14 per 100,000. Sure the number of suicides is three people higher, but the number of workers is 10 times higher. So the rate would be 1.7 compared to 14.
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @Rick_Kl
        Can you cite how I advocated for a product vs another?
        I pointed the fact that Apple's product are made using slave-like labor in absolutely unacceptable conditions and Apple are trying to cover up this fact anyway they can.
        Now the article you cite (and you) is missing a point. There were 17 suicides at the workplace. For all we know there could be 140 suicides + 17 at the workplace. Is this statistically significant? I do not know. But the fact is that people work for under minimum wage and longer shifts than allowed. Nobody disputes this.
        Also nobody disputes the hexane story and the people who's life was ruined.
        Oh, BTW, I would never look up to MS to be ethical in any way. But you still did not provide any link.
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

        @kirovs@ how about you prove your assertions? I often do not read some of the so-called tech journals. If you read the article I linked to, you???ll see the following paragraph:
        [q]That 17 people have committed suicide at Foxconn is a tragedy. But in fact, the suicide rate at Foxconn???s Shenzhen plant remains below national averages for both rural and urban China, a bleak but unassailable fact that does much to exonerate the conditions at Foxconn and absolutely nothing to bring those 17 people back.[/q]
        The article also goes on to state that the conditions are better than the author expected
        Rick_Kl
  • On no, we're so threatened

    7.6%??? I'm turning over in my grave.
    ZombieSteveJobs
    • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

      @ZombieSteveJobs lol, Windows mobile 6.x makes up around 6.09% while the rest is split between No Do, and ManGoo. The first was because it still did not do things the others have been doing for years, the other is one of Ballmers favorite things.
      Rick_Kl
  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    I predict that RIM ultimately adopts the Android OS in a desperate last bid to survive.
    dsf3g
    • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

      @dsf3g Are you serious? Do you honestly believe that? Nutward for you!
      kwatcha
    • Not likely, and if they have to switch OSes, it will to towards WP7 or Win8

      RIM is not for kids, and the kiddie OSes won't be welcome.
      adornoe
    • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

      @dsf3g It's too late for that now. Maybe back in June they could have managed to turn that corner. They might try now, but this one is over.
      symbolset
  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    RIM is still alive because of emerging markets. The Blackberry is king in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Once Apple decides they peaked in the developed nations and goes for the jugular, RIM is done. A footnote here is the D.O.A. Windows Phone 7. No one can save it from irrelevancy, Microsoft has another Zune in the book.
    YouAreSuperWrong
  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    More like downhill slide for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia.
    symbolset
  • Profits market share?

    Results count and I think I read somewhere that Apple's market share in profit is far higher than Android's. That means ultimately that Google (Stock sells for 4.5 x sales, AAPL and MSFT for 2.5 x sales) is going to fall further behind in quality. Android is a low-price play, Apple is the best-in-class play. Bet on iPhone, it is the number 1 selling phone in the world according to the chart above.
    mlindl
  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    microsoft should stop making mobile OS
    linuxforhumanbeing
  • RE: Apple, Google retain smartphone lead; Uphill battle for RIM, Microsoft and Nokia

    So Rim is the number 2 smartphone vender in the US market.......I thought it was dead? Not bad considering they are just trying to squeeze the last bit out of an archaic (1999) operating system that was never intended for mobile web. Can`t wait to see what they can do with a platform that is actually optimized for it.
    puzzzled