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ComScore has data out on the US phone market and Asymco breaks them down, including this great chart at right on the evolution of the US phone platform install base.It highlights a few key points, some of which are already known, but some of which don’t get talked about enough:
- The Blue Ocean is still HUGE. For all that we (justifiably, more on which below) talk about who among Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft et al. is winning in smartphones, the biggest opportunity remains the Blue Ocean of getting smartphones in the hands of non-smartphone users. (This is true of the US, but also very true of developing markets where the shift to mobile is enormous.)
- In turn, this means the game is far from over. Given that most of the market is still a blue ocean, the opportunity for newcomers is great. Particularly for platforms with lots of resources and distribution, i.e. the Microsoft-Nokia duo.
- Holy cow, Android! With all these caveats out of the way—the other thing that jumps out is how big and how fast growing Android is. Google’s open-source, broad distribution strategy is textbook disruptive innovation, and at least so far, seems to be working just like it should: i.e., it is eating the market.
- Yes, Apple should be worried; but no, it’s not over, far from it. First of all, Apple is huge and still growing very nicely. Second of all, because the mobile wars are platform wars, smartphone marketshare undercounts iOS marketshare because of the enormous successes of the iPad and iPod Touch, which aren’t phones but are still mobile iOS devices. And thirdly, this chart doesn’t count the two big potential gamechangers Apple has recently introduced: the iPhone 4S, which looks like an excellent device and could be a record-breaking seller; and, less flashy but at least as important, the FREE iPhone 3GS, which allows Apple to have an offering for the bottom of the market and be competitive with Android. How these devices perform could make things look very different three months from now.
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