Linked by Matthew Johnson on Tue 31st Jan 2012 22:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In its analysis of last year's smartphone market in the U.S., NPD found that market share for Apple's iOS went up following the release of the iPhone 4S, to 43 percent of all smartphone sales in October and November from 26 percent in the third quarter. Android, meanwhile, retained its lead, but lost market share towards the end of the year, dropping in October and November to 47 percent from 60 percent in the previous quarter. These are some dramatic shifts in market share but what do they really mean to you and me?
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developers, developers, developers
by kristoph on Tue 31st Jan 2012 23:13 UTC
Member since:

I want to address your point about developers using statistics to understand which platform they should support/build for.

In general, your assessment is not quite accurate.

The overriding decision to support or not to support a platform is a financial one.

A platform with poor market share - say Windows Phone - might be supported because Microsoft is willing to provide financial and placement incentives to support the app.

In contrast a platform with great market share - like Android - may not be supported because it's very difficult to make money from software sold to Android users. At the very least Android takes a back seat to, say, iOS, because the revenue opportunity per installed device is tangibly smaller.

So we happen to support iOS because it makes us money organically and we will support Windows phones and tablets because Microsoft is willing to help out. Android will be supported eventually (we have a bunch of devices and we have software we've deployed for it) but it's certainly not a priority because it's just not a great revenue earner.

Reply Score: 3

Tony Swash Member since:

I agree that using market share as a proxy for the factors that determine whether a given platform has a healthy OS ecosystem or not, or a viable and healthy future or not, is not that useful. It's a left over metric from the PC days when it was the metric. Market is not irrelevant but just not that central anymore, other key metrics (developer focus, profitability, the availability of third party software and peripherals, etc) have become detached from market share, market share no longer drives those metrics.

Reply Parent Score: 2