The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect


iPhone almost but not quite dead in the water

Okay, the headline is mostly a tweak at Apple pundits. But Gartner's worldwide first quarter smart phone market share report just came out and, while there was lots and lots of movement amid the fast-growing sector, Apple's global market share rose from 15.3% in the first quarter of 2010 to 16.8% in this year's first quarter, a whopping one and a half percent gain. Not very exciting.

Android, drum roll please, meanwhile jumped from 9.6% to 36%. Big losers included Symbian, RIMM and Microsoft.

I know, I know, this is the land of a thousand caveats. Unit share is not the same as revenue share or profit share. And Android's total includes some weird Chinese variants that may not benefit Google much while Apple's total excludes the rest of its iOS universe of iPods and iPads.

Nonetheless, Android is adding phone users much, much more quickly than the rest of the market and now it's number 1. One factor may be that RIMM is one of the weakest of the weak and Android offers phones with physical keyboards while Apple does not. With many more models, Android has also been quicker to take up new technologies and features like LTE, wifi hot spot and NFC. Both trends will continue to influence customer preferences going forward.

The segment of the punditocracy that continues to dismiss, diminish and generally explain away Android's success needs to stop and rethink. In no way do I foresee a solitary, dominant smart phone world but Android is making a lot of the right moves and there's much to be learned.

Posted by Aaron Pressman

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  1. iPhone’s share of smartphones is shrinking, but their share of ALL phones is growing. It sound to me like Android is taking over a niche.

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