02
Oct
crownbugdroid

Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind. For the period from May to August, gains made by both platforms were much higher than they were between February to May. Obviously summer is a pretty big time to buy smartphones, especially given the late-June launch of the Galaxy S III in the states.

2012-10-02_14h07_42 2012-10-02_14h07_30

The more interesting part is what comes next. According to ComScore, there are 116.5 million smartphone users in the United States, out of 234 million total mobile subscribers. To save you the math, that leaves 117.5 million for non-smartphone users. We are right at the threshold. In fact, Given that it's already October, it's entirely likely that we've passed the point where smartphone users have become the majority. At that point, the question of who the top manufacturer is will become much more important.

As of right now, Samsung leads the charge. If you notice, Samsung has 25.7% of the entire mobile market (not just smartphones) in the US. This hasn't changed much in a year. In August 2011, that number was 25.3%. Manufacturers are already seeing their dumbphone markets decline, though. Motorola, for example, has lost considerable ground to Apple since last year, and LG has dropped a full 3 points in the overall market. For perspective, 3% of that 234 million is a little over 7 million customers.

Worldwide, we get a glimpse of where the next upset might come from. Android still commands a strong lead with 68.5% of the sales (not total install base, as is the case with ComScore's numbers) in the big five European countries (UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France), and iOS has 14%. However, Windows Phone is creeping up. Nokia and Microsoft's partnership has managed to boost growth, if only a little, raising the colored-square OS up to 5% of the same market, which was only 4% a year ago. Not huge growth, but for a fledgling operating system that's still finding it's legs, it's not bad.

It's easy to think that things have stabilized, and for the most part that might even be a little true. Every month, new stats come out that show what we all know: Android is the biggest OS, Samsung is the biggest Android manufacturer, Apple continues to sell a boatload of phones in its little corner of the world, and Microsoft struggles to gain traction. However, it's important to remember we're on the cusp of several important changes. For starters, China is poised to become the largest market for smartphone shipments this year, largely by purchasing cheaper phones. In the US, the dumbphone market is about to become a minority, which will shift how we approach the high-margin, high-end handsets. Plus, there's still time for Microsoft to pull out the stops. With Windows 8 very close to launch, Redmond is poised to leverage the biggest weapon it has in the fight against Android: synergy with the billions of desktops and laptops on the planet. Whether this gambit will be successful or not remains to be seen, but it certainly feels like there's a big shift about to be made. This is still anyone's game.

Source: ComScore, The Guardian

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

    LG has 18.2% of share? surprised...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Two words: budget phones.

      • dude

        Poor people have the right to own phones too. Atleast you can root those phones and put in CM10.

        • http://twitter.com/CDeviant Conventional Deviant

          I don't think David was bashing people with a smaller budget..

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            I most definitely was not.

        • anamika

          What would be the definition of poor when people buy subsidized mobiles?

      • Tyler Chappell

        I am definitely not a fan of LG, but my mom had her EnV3 for 3 years and was in no hurry to upgrade to a smartphone. However, once Verizon decided to add their $30 upgrade fee BS, it was enough to motivate my mom to get a smartphone and she didn't want one larger than 4" and she had a small amount of Android experience with her A100 tablet, so the only viable option at the time was to get her the LG Lucid and she has been super happy with it so far, and even more so after recently getting her the 3000mAh battery for it. So yeah, when it comes to rare cases like the LG Lucid, LG isn't too bad when it comes to budget phones, except for Verizon ruining the Lucid by having the phone say "Verizon Wireless!" every time she gets a call.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

    I think that the number of users of Android will increase by next two years to 2/3 of the total mobile share, and believe that it is the ideal, and leaves good competition between each manufacturers of Android AND Apple. Having Apple 25-30% of the share will be more than enough to keep their phone development and should keep them happy, since they only make one kind of phones so the margin of profit is a lot higher than the other manufacturers.

    I hope that Apple will drop their b***s*** law suits for their stupid design patents and focus on making their phone better then we will all benefit from the growth of the technology and new ideas.

    • PhilNelwyn

      Nothing about Windows Phone?
      Don't you think it can succeed?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

        I think that their (MS) target of market should be tablets, as people want to use their office products. There are Google office or other office products, but it's not quite the same. So I think that their own and first products, Surface, has an edge and merit to a lot of people.

        But for a phone market, I think that it's a different story; there isn't really a good reason to try Windows phone now, unless they come up with a really good idea to combine with their existing PC platform. I personally don't feel the necessity to try it. For majority of people, trying a phone means getting stuck with their cellphone provider with a contract for more than 2 years. Android has become a solid OS for mobile format, which will make it more difficult for MS to appeal to those users.

        A nice scenario for MS will be that if Apple fails to deliver the best user experience in next couple of their devices (iPhone 5S or Newer iPad), then some of their users will/may try something other than the current market, in which case, Windows 8 phones. But we all know how loyal their fans can be.

        And BB? ummm... I'm surprised they are still in the market. They should sell their intellectual properties to Google and get done with it. They already failed to read the trend and still failed to show off what they got. I don't know what they are trying to do.

        • DCMAKER

          I called the deal of BB years and years ago because they were stuck in their ways

          • DCMAKER

            death*

        • PhilNelwyn

          But don't you think that people who'd buy a Surface would then be interested in a Windows phone?
          I've heard a lot of people say that the Nokia Lumia is gorgeous (I agree with them) but that the UI is "weird."
          Don't you think that Windows Phone could have more success when people get used to Windows 8?
          BlackBerry's market share surprised me too, that's why even if I don't really believe in that, I started wondering... with BBOS10, why not?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

            Just like you said, for MS to have more market share in mobile industry, first they must advertise and encourage people to even try their new Windows 8 and then get used to the UI (without laptop/PC manufacturers start having their products pre-installed with Windows 8, there won't be many people who even tried the UI before considering buying their phone.). I also liked the design of Nokia's new phones, but a good design alone isn't enough for me to use it.

            Second, this is quite possible, say people buy Surface and absolutely love it and it make them to consider buying Windows phone. But, honestly, do you see this will happen a lot?

            Here's an idea, let them make a phone which can be used as free Xbox online account. Without having to pay for subscription (I don't know the exact amount since I don't own a console), the owner of Windows phone will get it for free. And you can use the phone as some type of remote controller as well.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I'm still secretly hoping that Microsoft can pull off some magic and become a strong third platform. I don't think that they'll be able to beat Android simply because the dominant platform needs to be able to be as versatile as possible. Sure, Android gets criticized for being chaotic and fragmented, but what people don't realize is that this is what the market needs. It needs an OS that can be both amazing and crappy. It needs to be high-end and low-end. Android can be anything. The iPhone can't. It's high-end. The low end is kind of scraped up by last year's model, but even then it's still just a slab touchscreen. Where are the keyboards? Where are the giant phones, and the super tiny ones? Where are the bizarre, dual-screen phones? Take a look at the Echo and the Note. Both were widely ridiculed when they came out, yet one became a huge success and the other a failure. Android can do that. Android can be a success and a failure at the same time. Apple can't do that.

      Windows Phone stands as somewhat decent middle ground. Some hardware variation can be made, and that's great. However, the OS is still tightly controlled. Microsoft wouldn't let a TouchWiz situation happen, and that limits the potential of the platform drastically. The advantage, though, is that with Windows Phone in the race, combined with the iPhone's influence, Android will never be out of people to compete against.

      It's already become boring to compete with the iPhone. Even Samsung thinks it's a joke. The manufacturers can compete with each other, and that's great. But you notice that HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG don't really have the best UI design departments. Arguably, the biggest fire under their feet in that department is coming from Apple and, perhaps more in the future, Microsoft. It sure isn't coming from Google, as the Nexus line is historically not a great seller (Nexus 7 aside). It's important that Windows Phone succeed, at least to the level that the iPhone has, for the benefit of all of us.

      • PhilNelwyn

        Well said, sir.

      • D

        That doesn't really make sense. How is Microsoft a fire under Samsung, HTC and LG's feet in terms of UI when they are the ones making Windows Phones? If anything it seems like the sort of competition WP8 would cause is Google and Microsoft both vying for the same OEMs (with the exceptions of Nokia and Motorola). That actually gives even more level of leverage to both the OEMs and carriers (who are the actual customers of these handsets, not the end-consumers.)

  • DCMAKER

    if Microsoft gets off its lazy ass and makes a real OS they will rule the cell phone market in 1 year. All they need to do is have an OS that is 100% compatibly with x86 architecture and have embedded power tools like remote desktop, MS:O, compatibility with all window programs, built in VPN to your home network, file syncing with your desktop, and other features like that and they will own the cell phone market. That means that no more third party BS to get remote desktop, file syncing, easy access to files on phone and computer, all windows games on your cellphone/tablet, and countless other things. If they did this I would dumb android in a second. It baffles me how they have not even tried to do this. They truly have the potential to make a smart phone a mini computer especially now with 22-28nm SOCs that command a lot of power. Hell with Haswell they got a 10 TDP chip that is going to be bomb! Too much juice for a smart phone but Tablet? Hell yea!

    • Lord_Data

      They had that a decade ago - it was called Windows Mobile, and save for the x86 architecture it came with remote desktop, MS Office, file syncing with any windows machine, even tethering built in.

      You know what happened to Windows Mobile? It got cancelled for the woefully inadequate replacement that is WP7.

      • DCMAKER

        it didn't run regular window programs though.....thats what i am getting at here. The fact that they could easily make one that would make a cell phone and computer 100% compatibly in everyway. WM CM7 or whatever was never that. It was a stripped down minimum OS that everything had to be rewritten for from what I remember. It was CE or something like that. You couldn't just install COD 1 and start playing on it or install photoshop or NWNII or whatever

        • bse88

          The "photoshop reason" is quite plain. Imagine that your phone would be able to handle PS reasonable fast. How the hell are you suppose to operate it with such a tiny workspace? Just grab a screenshot of a photoshop window and try to open it in any phone. You will realize that you just cant design or edit anything in it.
          It not even just a display size problem, you would also need a mouse and a keyboard.

          • ElfirBFG

            I've had PS7 run quite well on a PIII 450mhz machine with 128MB RAM, I think it would run well enough on dc/qc ARM chips with 1-2GB RAM and a ~720p display. I used to run CS2 with nothing but a Finepoints stylus on my old(Core2Duo) Gateway convertible tablet notebook, so you do not need a mouse, you just need a stylus. Give me programmable shortcut softkeys for ctrl+ functions and I think I could do a fair bit of editing on a mobile device.

          • bse88

            Dont get me wrong, I would love to run Photoshop in my smartphone someday. I think Adobe Configurator would make a great job by allowing the user to create its own phone preset.

          • DCMAKER

            Haswell....so excited!

          • GraveUypo

            that is true, but i'd welcome the option to do so. that's what hdmi-out and Bluetooth are for.

          • PhilNelwyn

            Or just a Padfone style Windows transformer...

          • DCMAKER

            I was just naming some random programs off....Anyways some of those options i was referring to tablets more. Wrote it fast. It is very easy to sync a mouse and keyboard to a tablet or phone. If you had a Windows tablet that was good. You could use it as your desktop/workstation/tablet/anything else. Haswells 10TDP SOC will be awesome and that means you could use a tablet for everything...100% synergy(hate that word). WiDi and bluetooth would cover all your needs when it comes to cables. You could just walk in your office and your tablet auto connects to your monitor mouse keyboard and everything. Now that is awesome! MS can easily do that but they are lazy

        • http://twitter.com/m4k8y Makby Wiz

          I see a nerd talking... maybe you should go work for microsoft... you'll fit right it. As Steve Jobs would say "You just don't get it". The majority of the population actually don't care about all the features you are talking about for a phone. Not to mention the impracticality of it all (small screen, small battery (want to photoshop something and have your phone die in 2 hours?), no accurate pointing device, etc.) The majority of people want a phone that is simple and easy to use, for calling, texting, a little browsing, light gaming, etc. Not for heavy content creation or heavy gaming. I dare you to see if all those mildly heavy content creation apps for phones are gaining much use. I doubt it. You may think you want it but if you have it you won't be using it... unless you are a nerd who just loves to show off no matter how inconvenient it is.

          • DCMAKER

            read what I said on Haswell and PS. Was referring to Tablets on that area. But the ability to not have to deal with such BS 3rd party programs is what I was referring to for phones and tablets. To actually use android to be a power device you have to root it, find 40 different programs to use, customize them and connect them with your desktop and other devices.....huge pain in the ass.

            For things that would benefit phone for being x86/Win compatible
            1.) Video and music playback. There is no decent video play in android that supports all the codecs! If it was compatible you could just install the super codecs pack and be done with it and have everything in one install. It was called CCC codec and Kcodec pack or something? Can't remember installed it two years ago.

            2.)Games....enough said. You would not be restricted at all.

            3.)OS experience. It is a pain to find and manage files on a phone! I don't even bother anymore because it is a joke. Plus not all phones work with total commander or whatever it is called. EVO3D doesn't work with that program :/ I could go on with all the OS issues that a solid windows OS would solve. Well here are a few more:
            -Audio. For whatever reason I can't play music through BT headset. Android says its only a talking device so I xan't play music through my MOTO H1 or H790. Even though my shitty Nokia E71x could lol.
            -Sum up a whole group...power settings. Multi user, overclocking, OS customization, high level features like WiDi, multi windows(phone with 1280x800 and being 5 inches can use a couple windows), advanced recover programs, trues crypt, advanced driver support for devices like iris pen/scan snap/printers/cameras and every other device that has not been ported.

            4.) thinking of above no more porting BS. All devices will work so no more multi devices....like i said your tablet could be everything

            5.)alright I am getting lazy I think I have proved my point. The biggest thing is everything would work and there would be no limits! Imagine 1 device!!!

          • DCMAKER

            Oh and you say people wont want to deal with those features? guess what it would be super easy to have. You have the standard windows RT/phone design and than you could push a small button on the screen or something and it would automatically load an advanced user interface...woot awesome!

          • ari_free

            But just sticking real Windows doesn't solve your problem. You need a UI that was designed for the tablet that can handle all that power and Microsoft isn't interested. They'll show you 'desktop' for the legacy power stuff but they really want you to use the dumbed down Metro apps.

          • DCMAKER

            I was making those statements as if they redid the UI for touch screen....we all know trying to use Win7 layout with a touch screen it a little difficult. The ASUS and Sony? Win tablets are cool but not the easiest thing to use. You can have all the advanced features in a layout that is touch friendly. Not the hardest things to do. I am not going to elaborate on ways to pull it off because that is too much to type.

      • ari_free

        Yeah it turned out that people were dumping Microsoft Office for Softmaker because Microsoft didn't even try to compare with the desktop version.

        • DCMAKER

          softmaker?

          • DCMAKER

            are you talking about android program? I use office suit....probably the best office app. Too bad google didn't buy that one.

          • ari_free

            Exactly. A small company from Germany was doing a better job handling Office files than Microsoft on WinMo. WinMo wasn't a good OS for mobile and it wasn't a good Windows so that's why it failed.

    • ari_free

      Touch interface is a bigger problem than x86 for compatibility

  • ari_free

    How are we going to have the bandwidth to cover all these people?

    • DCMAKER

      there is plenty of spectrum but it is just not divided out well between companies. Verizon holds a total BS amount. Also the FCC will probably release more for purchase at some time...at least i would assume so

Quantcast