Rating: W7 Mango & RIM slip in last 3 months
Only slightly more US cellular subscribers (50.3 per cent) own a featurephone as opposed to a smartphone according to the latest figures (for February 2012) just released by market watcher, Nielsen. If you do the maths another way this means there’s been a pretty hefty leap in US smartphone ownership. The number of smartphone owners has effectively increased by 38 per cent over the last twelve months. By comparison, back in February 2011 only 36 per cent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones and now it’s 49.7 per cent. In essence this is all great news if you happen to be a mobile app developer. Android continues to do well as does Apple’s iOS – so it is RIM’s BlackBerry OS and Microsoft’s W7 Mango OS which are faring badly.In February 2012, 48 per cent of smartphone owners said they owned an Android OS device which is roughly the same percentage as a year ago. So the big gainer has been Apple’s iOS.
With nearly one third (32.1 per cent) of smartphone users saying they now have an Apple iPhone, iOS has done even better because in the last three 43 per cent bought an iPhone.
Although everyone loves to try to write RIM off, in terms of total ownership, BlackBerry owners still make up around 11.6 percent of the smartphone market.
The last 8 per cent of existing US smartphone owners have an OS which is classed as ‘other’ but is generally assumed to equate largely to Windows Phone’s share.
The most telling statistic is that while four per cent of new smartphone owners chose an OS classed as ‘Other’ – just five per cent claimed to have acquired a new BlackBerry based smartphone.
What these figures do indeed confirm is that if you decide to follow a policy of providing dedicated app for each mobile OS – then in the USA both Android and iOS are the obvious options.
What these figures cannot gauged is just how many brands decided to attack the mobile market via HTML5 based offerings and how many decided that just giving their mobile web site a new lick of paint was all that is required.