comScore’s mobile report for October 2010

comScore Reports October 2010 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share is available.

Quick summary:

Mobile OEM manufacture Samsung continues to increase (+1.1%) market share over the last three months, while Motorola (-2.1%), LG(-0.2%), and Nokia(-0.7%) falter. RIM remains basically unchanged with a slight 0.3% increase in market share.

Google and Android again has substantially increased (+6.5%) its market share in the smartphone platform over the last three months. Apple’s iOS did have a slight increase(+0.3%), but only maintains a lead of 1.1% market share over Android(23.5%). Who has taken a beating? RIM (-3.5%) and Microsoft(-2.1%) continue to lose market share to the other smartphone platforms.

Text messaging is still the consumer’s favorite way to use mobile devices (68.1%) and continues to grow over the last three months (+2.1%). Mobile web browsing gained the most over the last three months(+2.6%), followed by downloading mobile apps (+2.3%) and interacting with social networks(+2.4%).


Android will continue its growth trend in market share and overtake Apple as consumers choice of a mobile platform during the first quarter of 2011.

The mobile OEM market will continue to fluctuate based on price point and usability features. Currently, Samsung has become the consumers choice, but that will change quickly on the next release of some great new smartphone.

Last thought on comScore’s report is “Who said text messaging was dead?” Text messaging is so prevalent with the millennial generation, that as they grow up, they will continue to use text.  The diversification of smartphone usage is growing  in parallel with  text messaging. This is a testament of consumers’ desire to have a single device for all their computing needs, especially in a society where everyone is constantly “on the go”.

A bigger question?

When looking at the mobile platform market share, one has to ask, “Is the current Google vs Apple smartphone OS battle similar to what occurred between Microsoft and Apple personal computer OS wars of the 90’s?” Microsoft’s willingness to open their OS to be installed on the proliferation of hardware devices enabled them to capture OS market share over Apple. One reason that almost put Apple out-of-business in the late 90’s.

Why? Hardware is ubiquitous in the computing world. This fact is even more relevant in today’s economy due to the globalization of manufactures. The prevailing competitive advantage therefore goes to the OS that can run on many devices and allow the free markets (consumers) to drive price and innovation.

Today, thanks to the open-source community and Google; Apple, RIM, and Microsoft are seeing their market share diminish. Android is open and device agnostic, while the others are closed and proprietary. So the questions becomes, “Will Google/Android eventually obtain majority market share in the same manner as Microsoft did in the personal computer OS wars of the 90’s?”

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