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Smartphone Industry & Sheth Rule of Three

April 9, 2013


Today’s chart shows the market share of leading smartphone platforms in the United States from January 2011 through February 2013.

After a long period of sustained growth, Android’s market share in the U.S. smartphone market has recently taken a slight hit. According to recent comScore data, Android’s market share dropped to 51.7 percent in the three-month period ending February 2013. This marks the third consecutive decline of Android’s market share since hitting a peak of 53.7 percent in November 2012.

Google’s mobile operating system is still the number one smartphone platform by a relatively comfortable margin, but Apple’s iOS has regained some lost ground in the past few months. Android developers probably won’t be too worried by this short-term trend though. The imminent release of Samsung’s new flagship model, the Galaxy S4, will probably re-accelerate Android’s growth in the U.S. and elsewhere. Moreover, Apple’s momentum is likely to slow down in anticipation of the next iPhone refresh which isn’t expected until later this year.

As Sheth’s Rule of Three would predict, the number 1 and number 2 mass market competitor compete with each other in incremental fashion for market share. The number 3 position competitor on the mass market line will be the most likely to innovate sufficiently to leap frog one or both. This may also be an indication the smart phones as an industry are more mature than popularly believed. I would expect a new disrupter on the scene as this industry matures.



From → business, Strategy

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