Apple, Google, RIM in smartphone dead heat

Android rising, Symbian flaccid


Although Android-based smartphones now have a larger US market share that do handsets from Apple or RIM, the three-way battle remains a tight one.

"When it comes to consumer marketshare by operating system, Android (29%) appears to be pulling ahead of RIM Blackberry (27%) and Apple iOS (27%)," a Nielsen survey released on Thursday reports.

But there's a big, fat "but" sitting in the midst of the Nielsen data. "But an analysis by manufacturer shows RIM and Apple to be the winners compared to other device makers," the company continues, "since they are the only ones creating and selling smartphones with their respective operating systems."

Smartphone operating system market share, with handset-manufacturer data

Android may be on more smartphones, but Apple and RIM sell more smartphones

Of the other smartphone handset makers, HTC accounts for a wee bit over 17 per cent of sales, and Motorola 11. If you're a Nokia fan, don't even ask – okay, we'll tell you: the Finns weigh in at 2 per cent.

But bear in mind that Nielsen's figures are for the US only. In Europe, Apple's iOS holds a comfortable lead, but Nokia's SymbianOS holds a market share of well over 10 per cent – although it's declining as Android rises.

In the UK, RIM and Apple are battling for number one, while Android remains far behind. But Blighty does agree with the Eurozone on one trend: Android is rising while SymbianOS declines.

Smartphone users' age by company and market share

Android enjoys an slight – but noticeable – advantage in the all-important youth market

Neilsen also points out that age distribution among smartphone users is fairly consistent. As might be guessed due to its business focus, RIM's BlackBerries are most used by the old-but-not-too-old crowd – but not by much. Android rules the 18-24 Youth of America™ group – but not by much. Apple pleases the most retirees – but not by much.

The only "by much" stat that Nielsen discovered was the worrying discovery – worrying to Nokia, that is – that the aftermentioned YoA™ have little or no use for SymbianOS.

To be sure, there's a lot of smartphone market to go around. During his iPad 2 rollout pep talk yesterday, Steve Jobs bragged that Apple had recently sold its 100-millionth iPhone. IDC has noted that smartphones had rapidly become the computing device of choice for Mr. and Mrs. World+Dog, having outsold PCs for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2010.

Phones running Android can continue to tussle with Apple and RIM's offering for number-one bragging rights, but the truth of the matter is that the pie is growing, and that all three of the big players are getting fat – or fatter – thanks to overall smarphone market growth.

If Nokia can get its Windows Phone 7 act together – fast – it might have a chance to grab its rightful share of the pie, and let SymbianOS slip off into a well-earned retirement. ®


Other stories you might like

  • US won’t prosecute ‘good faith’ security researchers under CFAA
    Well, that clears things up? Maybe not.

    The US Justice Department has directed prosecutors not to charge "good-faith security researchers" with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) if their reasons for hacking are ethical — things like bug hunting, responsible vulnerability disclosure, or above-board penetration testing.

    Good-faith, according to the policy [PDF], means using a computer "solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation, and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability."

    Additionally, this activity must be "carried out in a manner designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices, machines, or online services to which the accessed computer belongs, or those who use such devices, machines, or online services."

    Continue reading
  • Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips
    AI chips are sucking down 600W+ and the solution could be to drown them.

    Intel this week unveiled a $700 million sustainability initiative to try innovative liquid and immersion cooling technologies to the datacenter.

    The project will see Intel construct a 200,000-square-foot "mega lab" approximately 20 miles west of Portland at its Hillsboro campus, where the chipmaker will qualify, test, and demo its expansive — and power hungry — datacenter portfolio using a variety of cooling tech.

    Alongside the lab, the x86 giant unveiled an open reference design for immersion cooling systems for its chips that is being developed by Intel Taiwan. The chip giant is hoping to bring other Taiwanese manufacturers into the fold and it'll then be rolled out globally.

    Continue reading
  • US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew
    Swiss banks cough up around half of the proceeds of crime

    The US government has recovered over $15 million in proceeds from the 3ve digital advertising fraud operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed.

    "This forfeiture is the largest international cybercrime recovery in the history of the Eastern District of New York," US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement

    The action, Peace added, "sends a powerful message to those involved in cyber fraud that there are no boundaries to prosecuting these bad actors and locating their ill-gotten assets wherever they are in the world."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022