Smarthphones running Android operating system saw an increase in market share, as Apple’s iOS lost substantial ground. Because of this, one analyst believes that Google’s OS may be poised to take over the smartphone market.
Android’s Increase in Market Share
In a note to investors issued last Monday, Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. said that Android’s market share increased to 72.4 percent from 64.1 in September. On the other hand, Apple saw its share slip to 13.9 percent from 18.8 during the same period.
However, he was quick to point out that the release of iPhone 5 last September affected the Cupertino-based company’s numbers. That’s because customers put off new iPhone purchases prior to the handset’s release. But with Android accounting to almost three-fourths of the market share, Wolf speculates that the smartphone industry may become a one-horse race soon.
As we have discussed in previous reports, we think a “winner-take-all” outcome is possible, but highly unlikely.
On the other, Blackberry maker Research In Motion saw an increased market share from 5.2 percent to 5.3. But that figure is still less than half of their 11 percent stake in 2011. Meanwhile, Microsoft Windows Phone’s market share decreased from 2.7 percent to 2.4. That’s because consumers held out for the release of Windows Phone 8 last October.
When it comes to hardware market, Wolf revealed that Samsung is the clear winner. In fact, the South Korean tech giant garners 32.4 percent of the market, shipping 54.1 million units this year. That is 129 percent annual increase from 23.6 million during the third quarter of 2011.
Google Maps for iOS—A “Mixed Blessing” for Apple
In another Google vs. Apple news, Wolf characterized the return Google Maps to iOS as a “mixed blessing” for the iPhone maker. However, he sees Google as the more definitive winner, as its Maps application was launched in over 40 countries and 29 languages last week.
We see the Maps app on the iPhone as a win-win for Google because the company will now be able to generate location-based advertising and other revenues from iPhone users who use the app.…
It has the potential to attract a meaningful number of new users to the iPhone who had previously shunned it, because of Apple’s well-publicized misstep in releasing a less-than-market-ready product in the first place.
The launch of Google Maps on iOS could also hurt Apple, as it could drive away users from its own Maps application.
Users’ input is critical in improving the quality of the application, and Apple will now receive less feedback on its own Maps app with iPhone owners flocking to Google Maps.