Mobile's Crystal Ball

December 29, 2010
With the continuing surge of the smartphone market, where developers should focus their attention has become the billion-dollar question of the mobile world. The answer is a matter of determining what part of the mobile market will be most valuable in the coming years. According to a new report for website analytics service, Statcounter, November marked the first time that Blackberry OS overtook iOS in mobile internet usage. 'BlackBerry usage rose to take a 34.3% share of the mobile browsing market, overtaking Apple's iOS, which recorded a 33% over the course of November.' Another staggering statistic is the increasing growth of the Android smartphone, which tripled its market share from 8.2% to 23.8% in the past year. In fact, the most recent ComScore smartphone subscriber data shows Google OS phones with a 6.5% in market share since July while Apple has only grown .8% and RIM actually slipping -3.5%. (keep in mind this is subscribers, not usage as previous data was referencing) So RIM is losing share. Google is gaining share. Apple is maintaining share. Why? According to a writer from AVC, many Blackberry users are still hesitant to test out the iPhone as they have reached an unprecedented level of comfort with their 'crackberries.' The Android provides Blackberry users with a similar phone that is not quite as drastic of a leap as the one to the iPhone. Whether it's the lack of keyboard, the touchscreen, or the fact it's an 'Apple' product, there are still many Blackberry users who are simply turned off by the iPhone. And then of course there is the cost. Mobile users looking to jump into the smartphone market might not want to drop $300 on an iPhone right off the bat. Android offers a smartphone as cheap as $30 and as mentioned earlier, provides a smoother transition into the smartphone world. And there is yet another statistic to look at in of terms of measuring importance -especially for advertisers - impressions. According to TechCrunch, this is where Android and iOS really separate themselves in the smartphone market. "Both mobile operating systems (Android and iOS) share 38 percent of ad impressions on the network. RIM followed Android and iOS with a 19 percent impression share in November, down one percent from October." The smartphone world is in a race that is moving faster each day and it seems the morale of this story to all mobile developers is pretty simply. Just try to keep up.