Google, Apple and RIM: mobile market masters

Ronny Kerr · March 3, 2011 · Short URL:

Nielsen paints a picture of the mobile market that actually makes sense

Navigating the mobile market can be a sticky situation.
Using a smartphone feels like a complete, unified experience, but when you think about it, you realize that many companies’ work went into putting that phone in your hands. A software company developed an operating system to run all your favorite apps, a manufacturer designed a device to seamlessly take advantage of that operating system’s features, and a wireless carrier provides the network by which all the device’s services actually function.
To better illustrate the struggle for market share in the smartphone market, Nielsen has created the perfect infographic:

The first thing worth noting is that Google Android, with 29 percent of the market, is beating both Apple iOS and RIM BlackBerry, each with 27 percent, as far as OS platforms are concerned. Lagging far behind are mobile OS offerings from Windows (10 percent), HP (four percent) and Symbian (two percent).

When we look at manufacturers exclusively, however, the picture is quite altered. Since Apple and RIM both maintain complete manufacturing control over their smartphones, each owns their respective 27 percent shares of the market. Whereas with Android, the winning platform by OS, the market share is divided up amongst several manufacturers, including HTC (12 percent), Motorola (10 percent) and Samsung (five percent).

The fragmentation story is the same with Windows Mobile, while HP and Nokia manufacture the majority of their phones.

Nielsen’s graph also grants the opportunity for some unlikely comparisons. For example, HTC’s Android owns as much of the smartphone market as all Windows Mobile manufacturers combined. Similarly, HTC’s Windows Mobile offerings own more of the market than all of HP (Palm/WebOS) and Nokia’s Symbian combined.

If I had to declare any companies as winners of the mobile market, they would be Google, Apple and RIM, with HTC and Motorola as runners-up. The mobile landscape is constantly shifting, however, and Android seems to be a ways from filling its belly with more market share.

Along with the above infographic, Nielsen provided another that broke down each mobile OS by the age group that uses it:

Nielsen seems to think it shows that younger consumers prefer Android, but I don’t think it’s that conclusive.

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