iOS and Android dominate smartphone market, but how long until Apple feels the pinch?

Apple and Google has forced every major handset provider through a major transition.

As RIM's market share goes into freefall, the smartphone market is a two-horse race between Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, and according to data by NPD, no other player has a market share worth mentioning.

Android's market share grew 28% between January and October of this year to command 53% of the US smartphone market, while iOS was up by 38% to grab 29% of the market.

"The competitive landscape for smartphones, which has been reshaped by Apple and Google, has ultimately forced every major handset provider through a major transition," said Ross Rubin, executive director, Connected Intelligence for The NPD Group. "For many of them, 2012 will be a critical year in assessing how effective their responses have been."

One of those hardest hit is RIM, down a massive 59% and now has to make do with a market share of 10%. Even RIM's crop of new handsets such as the Bold 9930 or the Torch 9810 could do little to prevent the slide.

“Few companies have felt the impact of the shift to touch user interfaces and larger screen sizes as negatively as RIM, but the company is beginning anew with a strong technical foundation and many paths to the platform,” said Rubin.

Microsoft isn't doing very well either. While it's expected that the doomed Windows Mobile platform would see a slide (to 3%), Windows Phone 7 has only managed to grow from 1% in 2010 to 2% (though you could look at that as a 100% growth).

According to Rubin "Nokia and Microsoft must build from almost nothing to carve out success between the consistency of the iPhone and the flexibility of Android."

Symbian and Palm/webOS are also in decline, as we'd expect for dying platforms.

Looking at that chart above, you really get a feeling for how things have changed since 2006. All the big players from back then have been totally crushed by Android and iOS. With RIM well on the way to a single-digit market share, and Windows Phone 7 chuntering along at 2%, I think it's safe to say that Android and iOS will continue to dominate for some time.

2012 will be interesting. Since there's much much market share to crush from the competition, how long until Android starts putting major pressure on iOS and its market share?

(via BGR)


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