Samsung, Apple mobile duopoly keeps rolling

Samsung, Apple mobile duopoly keeps rolling

Summary: By platform, Google and Apple control 85.7 percent of the smartphone market. Research in Motion is a distant No. 3 with 7.3 percent of the smartphone market in November.


Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the smartphone landscape and it's unclear what the rest of the field can do to dent the mobile tag-team.

According to comScore's data for November 2012, Samsung had 26.9 percent of the mobile market in the U.S., up 1.2 percent from August. Apple had 18.5 percent of the market in November, up from 17.1 percent in August. LG, Motorola and HTC all lost market share. Motorola, acquired by Google, lost the most share of the bunch.

By platform, Google and Apple control 85.7 percent of the smartphone market. Research in Motion is a distant No. 3 with 7.3 percent of the smartphone market in November. Microsoft had 3 percent of the market.


Some takeaways from the data worth pondering:

  • Samsung and Apple both have the scale to work production and supply chain economies of scale.
  • It's not clear what beyond patents Google got for its Motorola Mobility acquisition.
  • HTC could easily fall out of the top 5 in the U.S.
  • Microsoft's Windows Phone platform isn't lighting up the standings in the U.S.
  • RIM's share is worrisome, but still has the best position to be the No. 3 platform of choice if BlackBerry 10 keeps the installed base happy.

Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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  • Wait a few months

    Seeing again those charts for the next three months (comparing Nov-12 to Feb-13) will likely have a positive correction for Microsoft as Windows Phone 8 is quite popular but didn't really hit the shelves before late in November or early December.

    The picture would be a bit different in Canada as HTC is much more visible here than it seems to be in the US (I'm actually on my third consecutive HTC phone having gone from WinMo 6.1 to Android to WP8 all with HTCs).

    The next three months will be too early to really show RIM's Blackberry 10 effect just like this chart is for Windows Phone 8.

    I don't know what's attracting people so much to the Samsung phones, they really look like iPhones with their central button at the bottom and their Android skin really copies iOS look, two points which gets me away from them.

    In December I bought my new HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 smartphone and just beside in Bell's showroom was the Samsung ATIV and it really looked ordinary compared to the colorful look of the HTC, besides it cost 100$ with a 3-year contract while the HTC was 0$ with the same contract.

    I actually had to do a few Bell stores where the HTC 8X was sold out before I found it at TheSource which is a Bell affiliate for cellphones in Canada.

    LG is quite present is lower end smartphones and Motorola is almost invisible here in Canada. We also still have quite a few RIM supporters, most likely because they want to support a Canadian company.
    • Same old song and dance

      I heard the same song and dance when the W7 phone came out and where did that go. Again if you try to sell an inferior product for the same amount of money people are just not going to buy it. The Win phone is not a bad phone but for the money there are better choices, as the numbers show. MS has learned nothing from the whole Zune debacle.
      • "If you are going to sell an inferior product for the same amount of money

        people are just not going to buy it".

        Then, how do you explain iPhones and Android-based smartphones still selling better than Windows smartphones? Windows Phone 8 is a much better OS, and the technology partners who make the equipment, are also making smartphones that are, technically, equal to or better than what the iPhones of Androids offer.

        But, you and the report above, may be calling victory way too prematurely, since WP8 has only been out for 2 months, and it takes time for anything to develop a bigger customer base.

        But, like I said before, that a product has sold less than others, is no reflection of poor quality. Sometimes the better quality and better technology, takes longer to achieve a dominant position. XBOX 360 took a long time to become the premier gaming system. And in fact, so did Windows.
        • Whats does XBOX 360 have to do with the article?

          A success of one device likely to the success of another
          Not at all.
          • It is just an example, you dimwit!

            Using examples, or analogies, is a way of pointing to similar situations. In the current case, it is quite possible that the playing field will change, just like it did when it was thought that Microsoft was wasting its time and money with XBox. But, I suppose that examples or analogies are too complicated for simple minds to understand.
        • Re: Windows Phone 8 is a much better OS

          Care to provide any proofs?
          • And abstract cannot be explained, but, there are plenty of reviews and

            tests which people have produced, some of which can be found in articles and on YouTube, which can attest to the veracity of my statements.

            When somebody starts with a preference, it's hard to undo it, unless they go with open minds willing to be shown differently.

            I've played with and used the different OSes, and I came away impressed by how much better Windows 8 is than the others. It's even more impressive when one considers that Android and iOS have been in the market with a head-start of about 5 years.

            Great products don't always succeed, but, it's all about persistence with any market, and MS showed persistence with XBox, and now, since they have to stay in the market, it's only a matter of time before WP8 also becomes the dominant smartphone OS. MS has no other choice but to make it work, and Google and Apple have to be worried.
        • The problem with your argument is Microsoft's WinMob reputation

          I'm not going to argue which OS is better or worse; each person has their own opinion about that. However, Microsoft's Windows Mobile developed a very poor reputation over the last decade or so for instability, unreliability and plain old unsuitability. Windows Phone 8 is an improvement on WP7 which is an improvement on WinMob 6. By extension, that makes WP8 no better than the old WinMob even though it has been vastly cleaned up from the old kernel. The main factor is that a lot of the 'fluff' and bloat have been taken out--in essence WP8 is Microsoft's version of iOS--based off of but without all the 'heavy duty' functions of a full version of Windows which Microsoft previously believed necessary for even a mobile device. Until WP8 has proven itself superior to the old WinMob to a statistically-significant number of users, that reputation will be difficult to overcome.

          It doesn't help that many current Windows users claim that the new interface is gross, unfriendly and simply too different. People who would be willing to try WP8 are now being told that it's worthless because the interface is worthless. Again, until there is enough anecdotal evidence to the contrary, there will be resistance to adoption.
          • Comparing apples and oranges is not a way to prove a point...

            and comparing the old Windows Mobile OS with the "new" WP8, is like comparing WinME to Windows 8. Completely different animals (or fruits).

            There is not an expert anywhere who would make the claim that WP8 is no better than the old WinMob, but, I gather you're not an expert, or you come with a predisposition to bash whatever Microsoft puts out.
          • Your reading comprehension seems lacking

            I said WP8 is having to fight WinMob's REPUTATION. I happen to believe that WP8--and really WP7 before it--are more like iOS than WinMob for Microsoft.

            I also never said that any so-called "expert" would make that claim, but that doesn't mean users of the old WinMob will be so forgiving.

            How about you pay attention to what I'm saying rather than jumping to conclusions?
          • Apples & Oranges...

            Hmmm...comparing the 2, I found ME familiar & easy to adapt to despite those BSODs.
            Not so with W8...Ugh!
          • Well, since ME was never part of a mobile OS, you're great.

            And I did clearly point out that there are those who don't like the look of Win8.
      • Cannot sell for same amount

        "Again if you try to sell an inferior product for the same amount of money people are just not going to buy it."

        Apple proves this every day. You have to charge more, sometimes a lot more, for the inferior product to get people to buy it.
        • Just because it's different doesn't make it inferior--only different.

      • When you are stuck with a brand?

        Look none of the number above reflects the true for each individuals as users. If u are a suck up for M$ or Idumb well great for you. As the events are revealing; not only Windows and IOS will suffer more but will decrease its share, with mozilla, ubuntu and Samsung pushing and developing new OS, probably this other OS will reflect a decrease in their sales and share market. To be honest im more optimistic of RIM and the "improved" OS they will unveil. Even though im not a user or fan of the brand i respect their product and the security it involves. All and all Linux lead by Android will rule the new technological wave. This is not a prediction is the reality.
        • You do know that Android is moving backwards, don't you?

          The three months ending Nov 30 showed iOS at 54% and Android at 47% in the US.
    • samsung

      I moved from an HTC EVO to a galaxy III. I am going to switch it to a note II. My phone has become my primary internet device for the biggest part of my day so Screen size and clarity is a key point for me. I got the S Iii the day it was released. initially ,people would remark on how big the phone was. Since then, it seems more and more people are migrating to larger screen sizes. The underlying OS isn't the only thing people look for
  • In USA, Apple grows twice faster than Samsung -- but not worldwide, though

    Total count of Samsung's devices that are connected to cellular networks grew from 25.7% to 26.9% -- id est Samsung's market share growth is 4,67% in three months.

    Apple's share grew from 17.1% to 18.5% -- id est Apple's market share growth is 8.19% in three months.

    Nor relatively to their prior market shares, but relatively to total market, the growth is 1.2% and 1.4%, correspondingly.

    DISCLAIMER: those shares are meaningless in estimating level of sales of new devices in the period since it is about cumulative statistics, that takes into account all devices that were ever bought and still somehow connected to cellular networks.

    From ComScore data THERE IS NO WAY TO SEE how many old Samsung's and Apple's devices are put to rest to the bottom drawers or given to waste recycling. All of ins and outs are taken into account altogether, so we can only see "general direction" of market developments.

    Also, this statistic shows only indirectly, with very low numbers (as calculation above proves) any recent developments. For example, if RIM's sales were down dramatically in the three months covered in this report, this would only result very little change of total current market share of connected devices.
    • Since you brought up growth

      WP is growing much much much faster than iphone.
      • Going from 5 to 6 is 20%...

        Your comments are ridiculous...