Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, January 01, 2010

U.S. Smartphone Market Segmentation Shifts

According to a comScore market study, consumer awareness of Google's Android is growing rapidly. Seventeen percent of American consumers in the market for a smartphone are considering the purchase of an android-supported device in next three months, compared to 20 percent indicating they plan to purchase an iPhone.

"With handsets on multiple carriers, from multiple manufacturers, and numerous Android device models expected to be in the U.S. market by January, the Android platform is rapidly shaking up the smartphone market," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile.

While iPhone continues to set the bar with its App Store and passionate user base, and Blackberry remains the leader among the business set, Android is clearly gaining momentum among developers and consumers.

RIM Blackberry Still the Market Leader

Overall, however, of those people who said they intend to purchase a smartphone, more chose from the Blackberry family of smartphone devices than any other type, by far (49 percent).

Moreover, although Android's share of the smartphone market is relatively small, it has quickly doubled in the past year -- to 3.5 percent in October 2009.

Users of the Apple iPhone were most likely to consume mobile media, with 94 percent of users doing so in September 2009, while 92 percent of Android device users, predominantly T-Mobile G1 users, engaged in mobile media activities -- 12 percentage points higher than an average smartphone user.

Apple and Android users were equally likely to engage with news via their browser and nearly identical in their mobile application engagement. Email was the only major activity in which iPhone users (87 percent) were far more likely to participate than Android users (63 percent).

In August 2009, just 22 percent of mobile users had heard of the Google Android, while in November 2009 this figure had reached 37 percent, largely prompted by the Verizon Droid advertising campaign launched in the fall.

Google Android is Gaining Momentum

The comScore study found that not only is general awareness increasing about Android, but intent to purchase an Android-supported device is also increasing among mobile phone users.

When mobile users were asked in November 2009 which phone they planned to buy in the next three months, 17 percent of respondents in the market for a new smartphone said they planned to purchase an Android-supported device, with 8 percent of those planning to purchase a Verizon Droid, compared to 20 percent of respondents who said they planned to purchase an iPhone during that same time period.

In comparison, when survey respondents answered this same question in August 2009, only 7 percent indicated an intent to purchase either the T-Mobile G1 or the T-Mobile MyTouch -- which were the only Android-supported phones available at the time -- while 21 percent of respondents planned to purchase an iPhone in the next three months.