Android Rapidly Gaining Mobile OS Market Shares

From a post on GigaOM this morning:

(…) Nielsen said among recent acquirers of smartphones in the last six months through August, Android was the top platform in the U.S. with 32 percent of new purchases, followed by the iPhone and Research In Motion’s Blackberry platform, tied at about 25 percent.

When looking at overall market share, RIM remains on top with 31 percent, trailed by the iPhone at 28 percent and Android at 19 percent. But the race continues to tighten with RIM maintaining a slide from 37 percent in February. The iPhone has remained largely stable during that period, while Android market share is up from 8 percent in February.

What it means: as the GigaOM article says, “it’s hard to see how the Android momentum will subside.” I’ve started using an entry-level Android-powered tablet recently and I find it extremely useful. I’ll probably upgrade to an Archos 101 when it comes out in a couple of weeks. I’m  also getting “Android smart phone” envy and I’m tempted to buy a Samsung Galaxy. Expect Android to become the leading operating system for both smart phones and tablets within 12-18 months and make sure you’re building an application for that platform as well.


Is There A Mobile-Only Yellow Pages Company in Our Future? mobile advert

Flickr picture by Dale Gillard

The Yellow Pages Association just released new ComScore data regarding business directories access on mobile. Excerpt from the press release:

The number of mobile subscribers accessing business directories on a mobile phone increased 14 percent year-over-year to 17.3 million users in March 2010, extending the reach of Internet Yellow Pages beyond the personal computer. This increase outpaces 10 percent growth in the number of mobile media users who browsed the mobile web, used applications or downloaded content during the same time period.

US Mobile Local Audience

In addition, the data shows that while mobile browsing (10.8 million subscribers with 21% year-over-year growth) is still the most popular way to access business directories on mobile, applications are used by 4.2 million subscribers and are showing a 42% year-over-year growth. SMS is the other popular method.

Mobile Browser vs. App Access

What I think is the most exciting news in the release is the demographic profile of those users. “58 percent of those who access Internet Yellow Pages on a mobile device are 34 or younger.”

What it means: following my last blog post about GPS inside mobile devices (see Four out of Five Cell Phones to Integrate GPS by End of 2011), the rise of smart phones, the future explosion of Android phones, and the interesting demographics of mobile business directories users, I have to ask: can mobile become the platform of choice for a directory publisher in the future? What would it take? The survey says “The number of people accessing Internet Yellow Pages on a mobile device at least once per week increased more than 16 percent year over year to nearly five million in March 2010.” That’s good but I think the directory industry needs to build applications that would be used multiple times per day in order to build a scalable and successful mobile-only business. It’s not impossible but the industry needs to innovate and right now, that’s not happening. Should a big directoy publisher buy Foursquare or Gowalla?

Google Q4 2008 Results: Some Thoughts on Mobile and SME Ad Budgets

Just read through the details of the Google Q4 2008 results conference call on Seeking Alpha. I extracted a couple of interesting comments.

On mobile:

Eric Schmidt, CEO: “In the area of Android and mobile, we’re going to open up mobile devices to developers to stimulate innovation. As an example, 800 free apps are already onto the Android marketplace and making the mobile Web much more user friendly, with billions of page impressions already available through the G1 phone.”

Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP, Product Management: “It’s also clear more people are searching from mobile phones and they’re doing that more often. Our general objective there, with mobile, is simply to make search from a mobile phone as easy and as fast that as it is from a computer. In some cases, like with the voice search feature that we launched this quarter for iPhones, we’re making it even easier. You basically just pick up your phone and talk. I mean it couldn’t be much easier than that. (…) With all of our improvements, mobile search traffic went up substantially this year and not surprisingly it peaked at the end of December.”

On SME ad spending:

Jonathan Rosenberg: “What we see is that small and medium advertisers tend to cut their ad budgets back less than the larger direct advertisers. We think what happens there, is that the larger advertisers are much more prone to doing more across the board media spend cut”

On blended search:

Jonathan Rosenberg: “We’ve also mentioned universal search on many calls this year, and for perspective over 2008, we tripled the number of queries that trigger different types of results across images, videos, news, blogs, websites, and of course, books.”

What it means: Google continues to bet on mobile as they see more usage with new smart phones. They are hopeful Android will be successful but, until the mobile OS has a larger installed base, it’s still an early adopter product and ecosystem. On SME ad budgets, Google is confirming what everyone in the directory business knows, that directional advertising is much less susceptible to budget cuts in a recession. Finally, Google is experimenting with more types of blended search to deliver a better search experience to the users. Their long-term vision is trying to “guess” your search intent to deliver you the best results possible. I’m surprised Rosenberg didn’t mention “local” in his universal search examples…

Mobile Devices Are Social Networks

Without a compelling existing brand or a really innovative product with protectable intellectual property (some of the games fall into this category), the only chance these apps have for long term success is to start thinking about ways to have users interact with each other in order to build network value. I’ve long argued that social networking on the iPhone is a huge opportunity, and the fact that the big guys are ignoring it for now leaves the door open for a newcomer to get long term market share.

(From Most iPhone Apps Are Failing To Leverage The Network Effect on Techcrunch)

What it means: great insight from Mike Arrington today. I’ve also been talking about the fact that your mobile device is a social object. It holds your contact list, it knows where you are and it’s a multi-channel communication device. We’re not far away from a specific mobile device-centered social network. Is there a “Facebook” in Apple’s future? I wonder if it would be possible to integrate DiSo (distributed social networking) with open source mobile operating systems like OpenMoko, Android or Symbian?