Nathan Becker from the Dow Jones Newswires reports that for the three-month period ended in October, Blackberry-maker RIM again had the biggest market share at 35.8%, according to comScore Inc. But that was down 3.5 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone operating system remained at No. 2, gaining 0.8 point to a market share of 24.6% while Android surged 6.5 points to 23.5%.
Android has seen sharp growth in recent months as it is used by wildly popular phones such as Motorola’s Droids. Meanwhile… industry leader Samsung Electronics Co. maintained its trend of market-share growth in the U.S. mobile-phone sector, boosting its share by 1.1 percentage points in the latest three-month period to 24.2% of the cellphone market, comScore said. LG Electronics and Motorola lost 0.2 point and 2.1 points, respectively. LG had 21% of the market while Motorola garnered 17.7%.
Zooming into October 2010 though, according to the latest data from The Nielsen Company, Apple’s iOS for iPhone and RIM’s BBOS for BlackBerry are neck-and-neck for total U.S. smartphone operating system market share sitting at 27 percent each. Android OS, which powered several phones from Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and others, is very close now sitting at 22 percent of total U.S. Market share.
“Among users planning to get a new smartphone, current smartphone owners showed a preference for the Apple iPhone (35 percent), while 28 percent of both smartphone and featurephone planned smartphone upgraders indicated they wanted a device with an Android operating system as their next mobile phone.
Featurephone owners planning to get a smartphone are less likely to have made up their mind about the OS they will choose: 25 percent were “not sure” what their next desired OS might be compared to 13 percent of smartphone owners. Those over 55 were markedly less certain than younger mobile users, with 27.8 saying they weren’t sure what kind of device they wanted next, compared to 12.2 percent of those 18 to 24.
Apple’s iPhone and devices with the Android operating system were the “most desired” among likely smartphone upgraders, with Apple showing a slight lead among those age 55+ , 18 to 24, and 25 to 34. Women planning to get a smartphone are more likely to want an iPhone as their next device, with slightly more males preferring Android.”
While Android is catching up, Gartner says Apple delivered “Stellar Performance” in Q3 2010. Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 35 percent increase from the third quarter of 2009, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales grew 96 percent from the third quarter last year, and smartphones accounted for 19.3 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2010.
“This is the third consecutive double-digit increase in sales year-on-year, indicating that consumer demand is healthy,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “This quarter saw Apple and Android drive record smartphone sales. Apple’s share of the smartphone market surpassed Research In Motion (RIM) in North America to put it second behind Android while Android volumes also grew rapidly making it the No. 2 operating system worldwide.”
Although the top three worldwide mobile device manufacturers Nokia, Samsung and LG remained the same – albeit with reduced market share – the third quarter saw Apple rise into the top five manufacturers, surpassing RIM for fourth place.
Apple delivered a stellar performance in the third quarter of 2010, selling 13.5 million units. It could have sold more but for its ongoing supply constraints and is now in fourth place worldwide. The iPhone is sold in 89 countries through 166 CSPs. Apple’s sales in Europe, Asia and Japan, more than doubled from the third quarter of 2009 and sales in Western Europe delivered Apple the third spot in the regional ranking. While Apple remains focused on consumers, enterprise adoption of the iPhone and iPad has grown.
RIM sold 11.9 million devices to end users in the third quarter of 2010, and its global share of the smartphone market fell to 14.8 percent. RIM’s share of the overall North American market declined to 11.2 percent in the third quarter of 2010, from 12.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009. RIM lost its leading smartphone market position to Apple. As well as the effect of the iPhone 4, new Android devices like the Motorola Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Incredible and Evo also reduced RIM’s market share. But new devices like the BlackBerry Torch helped to maintain RIM’s unit sale momentum in the U.S. due to AT&T’s promotional campaigns.
The third quarter of 2010 produced record sales of more than 81 million communication devices based on open operating systems (smartphones). Android accounted for 25.5 percent of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the No. 2 operating system (OS). It was particularly dominant in North America.
“Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users.”
For 2010, Gartner now expects overall devices sales to show over 30 percent year-on-year growth fueled by white-box manufacturers. The impact of media tablets on mobile device sales will be tested in 2011. Gartner forecasts that media tablets (such as the Apple iPad) will reach 54.8 million units in 2011.
“Apple’s dramatic expansion of iOS with the iPad and the continuing success of the iPod Touch are important sales achievements in their own right. But more importantly they contribute to the strength of Apple’s ecosystem and the iPhone in a way that smartphone-only manufacturers cannot compete with,” Ms. Milanesi said. “To a developer, the iPod Touch and iPhone (and to a lesser extent the iPad) are effectively the same device and a single market opportunity. While Android is increasingly available on media tablets and media players like the Galaxy Player, it lags far behind iOS’s multi-device presence. Apple claims it is activating around 275,000 iOS devices per day on average — that’s a compelling market for any developer. And developers’ applications in turn attract users.”