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February 14, 2013


Today’s chart shows smartphone operating system market share in Q4 2012, based on unit sales to end users.

The race for the leading smartphone platform has been decided. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Android phones accounted for almost 70 percent of global smartphone sales to end users, relegating Apple’s iOS to a distant second. Apple still holds roughly one fifth of the smartphone market, but it won’t catch up with Android anytime soon. The third ranked BackBerry continued to lose market share, but will surely hope to regain some traction following the release of the well-received BlackBerry 10 OS. Microsoft increased its market share from 1.8 percent in Q4 2011 to 3 percent, but for now Windows Phone remains a niche platform.

Using the Sheth Rule of Three, we would expect Android and iOS to maintain the top 2 spots. Periodically they will leapfrog one another in an occasional bold move. In terms of product innovation, expect incremental gains as these two players dominate the market and innovation is not needed to maintain their profitable mass market positions. Blackberry risks falling into the ditch. An M&A opportunity may be their only hope. If breakthrough innovation comes from any of the players it will likely come from Blackberry as they have no choice but to innovate if they are to remain relevant. The other smaller players will likely consolidate and maintain their niche positions.



From → business, Strategy

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