HYPE FAILED TO TRANSLATE into greater market share for Apple as figures show that the launch of the Iphone 4 did not result in Apple increasing its smartphone market share in the US.
Figures released by industry watcher Nielsen show that Apple's US market share held steady throughout 2010, floating between 27 and 29 per cent. The figures also show that Research in Motion's Blackberry OS, Google's Android and Apple's IOS all have just about equal market shares, around the 27 per cent mark, with IOS just nudging ahead by one per cent.
While the three major smartphone operating systems might be tied, only Google's Android is increasing its market share. Nielsen's figures show that Android's US market share grew every month except for January 2010, growing from 8 per cent to end the year with 27 per cent, while Blackberry OS market share dropped by 10 per cent during the course of 2010 to 27 per cent.
Nielsen didn't play down the surge of Android, saying the operating system "has been taking the market by storm". To back that statement up, Nielsen also provided data on sales in the past six months, showing that 43 per cent of American buyers purchased a smartphone running Android.
What is surprising about Nielsen's data is that the launch of the Iphone 4 had no effect on Apple's market share. It's hard to say whether the numerous faults of the Iphone 4 stunted the success of the device, but it must be worrying for Apple that the Iphone 4, which had new technology and a radical, if problematic, design, failed to increase its market share in the US.
For Apple fanbois the glass half full view would be that it has weathered the surge in Android market share without taking a hit. If the fruit themed gadget seller can maintain 25 per cent market share with Android devices mopping up most of what's left over, that might be good enough, especially if fanbois keep upgrading to the latest shiny toy Apple sends out the door every year.
What Nielsen's figures show is that the no nonsense superiority of Android smartphones managed to blunt the media hype that surrounded Apple's launch of the Iphone 4. µ
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