Has the USA smartphone market peaked? 80% of households in the US now have a smartphone, and the market is dominated by only two manufacturers. With India and China flexing more economic muscle, we’re seeing more competition overseas. Should we be concerned?
Android showed a modest increase to 52.1% of the overall market. Apple lost ground, and now represents 41.7% of the pie. Microsoft gained another .2%, and now sits at 3.6%, while Blackberry shrank a little more to hit 2.3%.
While Apple might have lost market share, overall the smartphone market is a growing market, and looking at individual manufacturers, Cupertino still reigns. Remember the iPhone owns 41.7% of the market, with the next closest competitor being Samsung who also saw growth to 29%. LG continued their growth trend hitting 6.9% of the market while Motorola was down to 5.4% and HTC dropped to 4.4%.
comScore also examined what apps were most popular, and while Google dominated the list, Facebook ran away with the top spot as the most used app on any phone. You can check out the full app list below.
I keep telling you people, the actual gadget matters less than the ecosystem of customers+hardware+software+accessories. You can’t fake that. Customers will not be impressed by one new handset no matter how good it is. Every manufacturer wants to jump into this market and sell as well as the iPhone does. It’ll never happen, and people forget that the iPhone didn’t just waltz into the smartphone market without some teething pains. Anymore, a company needs to show us at least three years of steady growth, refinement, and support before they’ll start to crack into consumer awareness.
Well wouldn’t you know it, Microsoft is getting to that three year point, and I’m starting to see the occasional Windows Phone out in the wild. Here stateside, MS is a distant third place competitor growing to only around 3% of the smartphone market, stealing the third spot from Blackberry. Recently announced by analysts at Kantar World Panel however, Windows Phone is cracking into double digit share in Europe. WP is within one percent of the iPhone in Germany, makes up 10% of the French market, and stands at 12% in Great Britain. Averaging the five largest European markets Windows Phone is currently at 9%.
The Nokia brand still counts for a lot in those markets, especially the blend of unique design and bleeding edge camera technology. Unfortunately Nokia somewhat abandoned us here in the States, so they’re pretty much rebuilding their consumer base from scratch. We do get to see some very general trends though, and from my anecdotal experiences, the push into entry level devices is serving Nokia very well. Doesn’t hurt that outlets like CNET can’t figure out the difference between a phone which costs $100 out the door, and a phone which costs $100 on contract. Surprisingly, Nokia’s 520 does a remarkably good job of competing against phones which cost four times as much.
Plus with a two faction war between Apple and Samsung, those consumers who want something a little different only have Microsoft to turn to. Never underestimate someone’s desire to go a little hipster. We live in an age where new smartphone consumers will know Apple like people from my generation saw Microsoft.