ChangeWave's latest consumer smart phone survey shows the Google (GOOG) Android mobile operating system is continuing to have a huge impact on the smart phone market.
The survey of 4,040 consumers provides an up-close look at the meteoric rise of the Android OS, taking the spotlight from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and its iconic iPhone. With these two smart phones as the leaders, future demand for Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry devices is drying up.
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The Rise of Android
The Google Android OS has nearly doubled its market share with nearly twice as many consumers using Android-based phones compared with three months ago. Among respondents who currently own a smart phone, 7 percent say it uses an Android mobile operating system compared with just 4 percent three months ago. It goes to show that when it comes to developing a brand, there's not many better than Google.
It must be said however, these users still make up less than 10 percent of the market and are way behind the iPhone's 32 percent share of the market or the BlackBerry's 37 percent, but the growth rate is impressive nonetheless.
The Apple iPhone OS is the only other operating system showing increased market share, being up 3 points.
Overall smartphone ownership continued a steady march upward, according to the ChangeWave study, with 42 percent of US consumers reporting they had a smartphone in December 2009. That was a 10 percentage point increase over the previous year. In addition, nearly 13 percent of respondents planned to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days.
Growing in Strength
With strong consumer up take, strong future demand and strong current satisfaction ratings, Android has a lot of momentum behind it. One issue on the horizon, however, that could cause problems is, dependent on the devices hardware, every version of Android under the sun is floating around out there. Version 1.6, version 2, version 2.1, Android is in essence letting the phone manufacturer pick which version is right for them. So what happens to the app store as time goes on and certain apps are only available on certain phones?
If Android truly is aiming for the iPhone's crown (which it is), it needs a common platform, with better over-the-air updates. If this happens, it truly would be worthy of all of the hype, and be deservedly top of the pile.
With another frontier almost conquered, one must wonder where Google will set their sights next?
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