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…
Four out of ten Americans now wield smartphones, Nieslen says. Smartphones will continue eating into feature phones and dump phones until eventually all phones become smartphones, as predicted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu:
I don’t see non-smart devices being interesting to vendors in the near term. Each additional dumb phone added to a portfolio will decrease a company’s operating margin. The market dynamics are such that I think non-smart phones will disappear entirely from branded portfolios in 3 to 5 years.
Revenues for microelectromechanical systems in consumer electronics and mobile communications devices will grow 37 percent this year due to the rising popularity of tablets and smartphones, per this Consumer & Mobile MEMS Market Tracker report from IHS iSuppli. They also estimated that by 2015 sales of smartphones will beat dumb phones, which today account for more than two-thirds of all mobile phone sales. For more politics in smartphones, check out an amusing U.S. map telling whether you are an Android or an iOS state.
Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com