Friday, 30 March 2012 08:55

iPhone fights back against Android in US

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Recent smartphone sales in the US have shifted in Apple's favour. But Android isn't the loser.

Market research firm Nielsen has found smartphones account for more than two-thirds of mobile device purchases during the last three months in the US. That took the installed base of mobile phones to an almost even split between smartphones and feature phones.

This time last year, smartphones were outnumbered by feature phones by almost two to one.

Android maintains its leadership position in the US market, but there are signs of change. Android accounts for 48% of the installed base, and 48% of smartphones acquired in the last three months.

But the corresponding figures for iPhone are 32% and 43% respectively. Apple's gain comes at the expense of RIM's BlackBerry (12% installed base, 5% three month recent acquisitions) and the catch-all 'Other' (8% and 4%). It's increasingly a two-horse race, and iPhone gained share but Android didn't.

This suggests Microsoft will be fighting an uphill battle to establish Windows Phone 7 as an serious contender. However, the company has tried to make it easy for existing Windows developers to program for Phone 7.

If potential support from developers turns into actual support, more phone buyers might be tempted to take a chance on a minority platform. But at this stage it is hard to see signs that Microsoft's Metro interface is a hit among smartphone users.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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