BII REPORT: The Race To Be The Third Mobile Platform


Android and iOS account for almost 90 per cent of the global smartphone market. They control a similar share of the U.S. smartphone market, the world’s largest by revenue.

For now there’s no certainty about which company, if any, will be able to mount a serious challenge to Google’s and Apple’s dominance. 

In a recent report from BI Intelligence on mobile platformswe examine the rationale for a third platform, and then survey the potential competitors for the coveted third spot.   

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Here’s an overview of the race to be the third mobile platform:

  • The argument in favour of a third platform is straightforward and compelling: A new, robust competitor will prevent the dominant platforms from growing complacent or stifling innovation. Apple and Google are pretty happy with the status quo. Consumers are probably not consciously pining for a third mobile platform. Developers would happily get behind a third platform if it widened their revenue streams.
  • Microsoft has a head start: It launched Windows Phone in 2010, and tablet-friendly Windows 8 this year. It is experienced in building developer communities. However, Windows Phone has so far only managed a paltry 3 per cent platform market share.
  • Amazon has the most potential to upend the market: A smartphone would be a natural extension of Amazon’s distribution empire, and its Kindle Fire tablet play. Amazon has 106 million unique visitors accessing its sites, many of them with credit cards on file. 
  • Samsung is a dark horse: Its dependency on Android may become a liability and push the South Korean manufacturer into the platform business. Samsung’s strength is its hardware sales prowess — Samsung shipped over 56 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012.   

In full, the report:

  • Examines the rationales for a third platform
  • Details why Microsoft is the consensus favourite to become the third platform
  • Evaluates how Amazon is a scrappy upstart that could potentially lead ahead
  • analyses the questions and opportunity surround Samsung’s potential foray into the market

The report is full of charts and data than be downloaded and put to use. To access BI Intelligence’s full reports on Mobile Platforms, sign up for a free trial subscription here.