Whether it’s the real year of mobile or not doesn’t matter much really. Although we like to try to pinpoint these types of ‘movements’ by some magical moment in time where the switch was suddenly turned on it’s not how it happens. What does happen is year over year signs and hints appear saying that shifts are truly taking place and we just slide into a new era of communication regardless of what name we give it.
A study by Gartner shows that in year over year numbers there was increase worldwide in number of mobile phones purchased. In fact that number was up 17%. In these uncertain economic times it is of interest to see what people view as essential beyond the obvious food, clothing and shelter. Apparently, having a mobile phone is pretty high up the food chain.
The chart below tells a story that will interest many especially in the US. While Nokia still is the worldwide leader in mobile phone sales (does anyone in the US still use one?) the real trend is in the proliferation of iPhone and Android OS devices.
Note that all other OS’s for mobile platforms experienced a drop in market share year over year but the jumps by Android and Apple are striking. I suspect that when we see the numbers in Q1 of 2011 that there will be an even greater closing of the gap between other operating systems and the two up and coming powerhouses.
With Android running on multiple manufacturers’ devices it is likely that there will be significant gains that may even help it pass the Apple especially as the folks in Cupertino continue to make moves that keeps Apple in its own, albeit a highly successful and profitable, box.
Who’s going to be the biggest loser? I have my money on RIM. The image of Blackberrys being the corporate “go to” for mobile communications is quickly losing its shine. Android devices, in particular, continue to strengthen its ability to deliver SMB and small enterprise services that Google supplies to millions of businesses. After all that is part of Google’s play. In the world of “It’s the application, stupid!” Google is positioned well and RIM is simply not. Where the iPhone falls on the corporate use continuum is a wild card for sure.
So how do see this playing out and how will it impact your marketing efforts? What kind of apps and services have you engaged in to spread your brand into the mobile space? Who will be the winners and losers from your perspective?