comScore: iOS and Android continue move toward duopoly with 90 of US market in November

ComScore Nov 2012 platform

According to the latest numbers from comScore MobiLens for the United States mobile phone market, Apple and Samsung both continue to gain marketshare as the leading OEMs as Android and iOS move closer toward a duopoly with a combined almost 90 percent of the market. ComScore’s latest numbers track the three-month period ending in November, which saw Apple jump from 17.1-percent in August to 18.5-percent of the U.S. mobile phone market. Samsung continued its lead jumping up 1.2-percent to 26.9-percent, while gains for both companies come at the expense of decreases in market share for LG, Motorola, and HTC.

ComScore Nov 2012 OEMsAs for the U.S. market by platform, iOS and Android both experience slight gains over August numbers. With a joint 88.7-percent of the market for Apple and Google, RIM is the closest competitor dropping from 8.3-percent of the market in August to just 7.3-percent in November. Microsoft dropped from 3.6-percent to 3 percent:

In November, 75.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device (up 0.3 percentage points). Downloaded applications were used by 54.2 percent of subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points), while browsers were used by 52.1 percent (up 0.1 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.9 percentage points to 39.2 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.7 percent of the mobile audience, while 28.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 0.4 percentage points).

BlackBerry 10’s best feature is actually a third-party camera app, integrated?

Update: Scalado won’t confirm publicly what partners use its technology, but we’ve managed to confirm with a source close to the situation that RIM is using Scalado’s Rewind technology in BlackBerry 10.

If you happened to catch the highlights from RIM’s unveiling of BlackBerry 10 this morning, you probably noticed that slick new camera app with the ability to “rewind” time and capture the perfect expression of each person in the image. If you thought it looked familiar, it was probably because it looks almost identical to the Rewind technology from Swedish mobile imaging company Scalado.

The company has been showing off its tech on Android and other platforms from partners such as Qualcomm and Intel for over a year. A video of Scalado’s Rewind tech is above, and BlackBerry 10’s is in the video above at the 8:30 mark or below at 1:15. Scalado appears to have already partnered with at least HTC for some of its other tech and works specifically with OEMs and developers to implement its apps.

It looks like RIM may have partnered with Scalado to implement its tech, which would mean BB 10’s coolest new feature is likely headed to Android and other platforms soon. We reached out to Scalado and will update if we hear back.

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RIM drops app-sideloading support thanks to ‘Android Market Cesspool’

Blackberry Playbook users have —for a long time— been able to sideload Android apps for those who have not been updated with native versions for RIM’s tablet. As noted in a recent report from CrackBerry, Vice President of Developer Relations at RIM Alec Saunders announced via Twitter that the feature is being removed and an alternative solution for developers is on the way. In an earlier tweet, he noted, “Privacy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.” CrackBerry explained the reasoning behind the move:

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Millennial Media: Android now double iOS in impressions

Mobile advertising and data company Millennial Media is out with a new MobileMix report based on ad impressions across their network. The results are admittedly surprising considering Android’s seemingly unstoppable march: Google’s operating system did not grow in October compared to the summer period. All Android devices combined in October logged twice the ad requests of iOS gadgets, 56 percent versus 28 percent.

Both operating systems recorded same respective shares during the summer, although Android actually fell two percentage points in August before returning to its 56 percent share in October. As for the other players, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS did 13 percent ad requests while Symbian, Windows and Other each logged just one percent. In fact, the entire pie chart above is exactly the same as the summer 2011 chart. Also, relative data pitting Android vs. iOS echoes recent surveys by Nielsen and Gartner.

Of the top 15 device vendors, Samsung grew seven percent month-over-month and had six of the top 20 phones on the Millennial Media network. Interestingly, the Samsung Freeform, a feature phone, made the list of top 20 phones led by iPhone (it’s the first feature phone on their list since May 2011). Android devices represented 14 of the top 20 cell phones in October (15 devices in the summer period), with a combined impression share of 24 percent.

Apple remained the leading manufacturer on their platform and Android remained the top OS when combining Smartphone & Connected Device impressions. More surprising than that, nearly three-quarters of ad requests, or 71 percent, came from smartphones. The remaining 15 and 14 percent came from feature phones and connected devices. Other interesting takeaways right after the break…

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Survey: Android folks more comfortable switching handsets, one in three eyeing the iPhone

Apple’s embattled iPhone has had tough time competing against the legions of Android handsets that have flooded the market. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: Carriers are promoting inexpensive Android devices left and right and they are literally everywhere. But how satisfied Android and iPhone users are with their handsets? According to a study of 515 smartphone owners conducted by USB Research (via GigaOM), iPhone is “sticky” like no other phone, with an average retention rate of 89 percent.

It is falling rapidly for other vendors, though, and the next nearest hardware is HTC with a retention rate of 39 percent and 28 percent for Samsung. Android phones in general are at 55 percent. Nokia and Research in Motion are sinking really fast. The former saw its retention rate drop from 42 percent in March 2010 to just 24 percent and the latter dropped from 62 percent to 33 percent.

The survey may not be terribly accurate due to a small sample size, but it helps understand market trends. People are obviously happy with their iPhones and a large portion of users will happily stay within the Apple ecosystem. USB concludes:

Demand for iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro remains robust, with a leading ecosystem that creates sticky demand.

Truth be told, Android’s low stickiness could be due to its users being more comfortable changing handset manufacturers. Another interesting nugget that bodes well for Apple: Nearly one-third (31 percent) of polled Android users have plans to switch to an iOS device in the future. Also important, more than half the smartphone switchers are in the market for an iPhone while only one in ten iPhone users plan on defecting to other platforms.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

Android the platform of choice for the earliest of early adopters, says Nielsen

Like politics, smartphone wars come down to two major parties – Google and Apple – embroiled in a never-ending fight for consumers, especially those who have not made up their mind as to which operating system they’d like in their next smartphone. According to July 2011 data from Nielsen survey, “these ‘undecideds’ will be the ones device makers will be hoping to win over”. Interestingly, the Late Adopters among likely smartphone upgraders are the ones most likely to be undecided about their next phone platform.

The research firm discovered that forty percent Americans aged 18+ now have smartphones. Android leads the pack with a forty percent OS platform share  and iOS came in second with 28 percent. Compared to Nielsen’s June 2011 study, Android grew its share by one percentage point while iOS growth fell flat. The BlackBerry platform lost one percentage share and now stands at nineteen percent.

Of those buying a new smartphone next year, one third would opt for an iPhone and another third would go Android. This leaves other manufacturers outside the Android-iOS duopoly to fight for the remaining 33 percent of buyers.

Android, however, is the preferred platform of choice for the earliest of early adopters:

Among those who say they are usually the first to embrace new technologies, “Innovators” or the earliest of early adopters, Android leads as the “Next Desired Operating System” – 40 percent for Android compared to 32 percent for iOS. (Survey respondents were asked several questions to determine their attitudes toward new technologies.)

Moreover, the smartphone is clearly on the rise…

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The march continues as Android gains share and Google eyes the prepaid market

In the battle for mobile supremacy, Apple and Google are winning as competitors continue to lose ground, finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the strong iOS and Android ecosystems (can you say ‘duopoly’?), per latest survey from the NPD Group. The results came by tracking U.S. consumers aged 18+ who reported purchasing a mobile phone and exclude corporate purchases. In the June quarter, iOS grabbed 29 percent of the U.S. smartphone share versus Google’s 52 percent share. Both tech behemoths have grown their platform share at the expense of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

RIM’s been on a serious decline amid poor sales and delays related to their QNX-based superphones. Their BlackBerry OS software share fell to just eleven percent in the U.S. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS is in a state of limbo as the world’s leading computer maker announced intentions to exit the hardware business. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile grabbed five percent of the market each.

The emerging prepaid market is the next battelground for iOS and Android. Google, however, has the first mover advantage here…
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Google, the accidental hardware company?

The smoke has cleared on Google’s $12.5B purchase of Chicago-based Motorola and now that almost everyone has had a chance to speak, I think we’re starting to understand what went down.

Google purchased Motorola (MMI) for $12.5B, a 63% premium over its weekend closing price.  Motorola, however, has around $3B in cash and securities, which makes the real purchase a slightly more reasonable $9.5B for Google.  For instance, if Google wanted to slice and dice Motorola, they’d take the cash and patents and sell off the cable box and device divisions for a couple billion dollars each and come away with about what they would have paid for Nortel – and get double to triple the patents. On sheer numbers of patents alone, it seems like a good buy. Obviously some patents are worth more than others.

If the deal doesn’t go through, Google owes Motorola $2.5B for the trouble, so Google is dead serious about this play.

But back to what Motorola does: They have IP, they make smartphones, they make tablets and they make cable top boxes.  It seems like almost too good a setup for Andy Rubin’s Android to just want to sell off piecemeal.

But did Google want to pick up a hardware company?  I reported earlier this year that the Android Hardware division that Andy Rubin had started up with former Danger Co-founders had intentions to build physical devices, not just Operating Systems.

That scale is what attracted and the former Danger founders to get the band back together, with their goal being to build the hardware and features they want to see show up in new Android devices. It’s not enough for Google to just provide Android software to carrier — now they hope to influence what handset makers build, too.

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Kodak considering sale of patent involved in Apple lawsuit

In January of 2010, Kodak sued  Apple and RIM for infringing on their patent to preview photographs. The lawsuit is still going on, but today Wall Street Journal is reporting that Kodak is currently looking to sell 10% of their patent portfolio, which includes the patent Apple and RIM are bring sued for.

The 1,100 patents include patents covering  capturing, storing, organizing and sharing digital image. WSJ credits the sale to Kodak’s loss in profit over the last two quarters.

Chief Executive Antonio Perez has been using Kodak’s intellectual property as a means of funding the company’s long and expensive transformation. In 2008, Mr. Perez put forth a goal to generate between $250 million and $350 million a year from Kodak’s patent portfolio.

Google is fresh off acquiring 1,000 patents from IBM and is likely still in a buying mood as it battles everyone from Oracle to Microsoft to Apple-by-proxy in the courts.  Apple, who outbid Google for the Nortel patent portfolio is obviously on the offensive.

Corss-posted from 9to5Mac.

Strategy Analytics: Android tablets finally giving iPad some proper competition

Research firm Strategy Analytics discovers that shipments of Android-driven tablets are finally beginning to make a meaningful impact on the overall tablet market. Yes, Android slates are making their presence known, even though iPad is still king of the hill. According to the research firm’s survey, June quarter tablet shipments topped 15.1 million units, a material increase over the 3.5 million units from the year-ago period. Apple seized the #1 slot with 9.25 million iPads the company reported for the June quarter, representing a 61.3 percent share of the tablet market overall.

At the same time, Android tablets have gone from 2.9 percent market share in June 2010 to 30.1 percent in June 2011, a surprising 27.2 percentage points increase based on sales of 4.55 million units. In the year-ago quarter Apple enjoyed a 94 percent share, so iPad’s 33 percentage points drop is substantial no matter how you look at it. GSM Arena observes that “in terms of market share, the iOS lead in the past quarter is nearly three times smaller than it was in the same period of last year”.

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PlayBook exec leaves for Samsung

Brain drain at Research In Motion continues with the news that the PlayBook senior product manager Ryan Bidan left for greener pastures at Samsung. Bidan is third high-ranked RIM executives to defect for Samsung following the departures of the company’s vice president of digital marketing and media Brian Wallace last month. CrackBerry reports that Bidan is now Director of Product Marketing at Samsung Telecommunications America and Bidan’s LinkedIn profile confirms this. Prior to joining RIM in October 2008, Bidan was Product Manager at Microsoft’s Games division and Operations Manager at WorldWithoutWire. Two weeks ago Samsung’s chief product and technology officer Omar Khan resigned and went on to work for Citigroup, but it’s unclear whether Bidan will fill his shoes.

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comScore: Android gains over 5 percentage points in the Feb-May quarter

The Android train keeps chugging along with the comScore showing a 5.1 point increase in total US Android use in the Feb-May Quarter putting the OS at 38.1% of the total US smartphone market.  Apple also gained, though less spectaculary with 1 percentage point improvement, coming in at 26.6%.  Android head Andy rubin said last month that Android activations had grown to over half a million a day worldwide.

For the other guys, it wasn’t a happy quarter.  RIM continues its slide down to a under quarter of all US smartphone purchases, while Microsoft and webOS risk being bundled into the “other” category as their marketshare continues to erode into almost nothing.

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