comScore: Android Soars, Windows Phone 7 Doesn't

Carl Weinschenk
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The Mobile Work Force Today

Mobile employees carry an average of 2.68 mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones and increasingly tablets.

It's fair to say that the most important element of the survey comScore released this week is that Android has moved ahead of both Apple and Research In Motion to become-at least for the three months ending in January-the top smartphone operating system in the United States.

To some extent, it is a good idea to not make a big deal out of the pecking order of operating systems. It doesn't matter whether the Yankees, Red Sox or Rays are in first on May 15. It only does on Oct. 1. The bottom line is that there are a few OSes that will be popular and others will just hang on. There will be a certain jockeying in position among those near the top.

But in the big picture, it is appropriate to note that Android experienced such a good quarter. CNET reports that the OS gained 7.7 percentage points in comScore's findings, to move to 31.2 percent. RIM dropped 5.4 percentage points (to 30.4 percent) and iOS ticked up .1 percent to close at 24.7 percent.

That's the big picture. In the even bigger picture, eWeek astutely points out that a big deal in the results is that Windows Phone 7 didn't do very well. Microsoft's smartphone market share sunk from 9.7 percent to 8 percent during the quarter, according to comScore. That's important because the results come after the hoopla surrounding the launch of Windows Phone 7 had settled down. It's possible to argue that it still is too soon to truly assess the potential of Windows Phone 7, and it clearly is too early to write its epitaph (which should be "Really? Well, no.")

At this point, the only certainty is that Windows Phone 7 hasn't been an explosive success. That's no surprise, given the buzz around other smartphones and the need to do the long-term work of attracting a developer community, building a marketplace and otherwise creating an ecosystem. eWeek writes:

Without a blockbuster uptick in consumer activations within its first few weeks of general release, Microsoft will most likely have to depend on a long game-similar to the one being played with Bing, which has made incremental gains against search-engine rival Google-in order to gradually make its presence felt in the smartphone arena.

This certainly isn't the search engine game, however. PCWorld also tries to make an analogy. This story points out that the Microsoft/Nokia deal may play the same role for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 as the Motorola Droid played for Android.

The basic idea that the Nokia deal is a good thing for Microsoft is of course correct. The similarity to the Motorola Droid scenario is the possibility that Windows Phone 7 can use the exposure it gains from being loaded onto Nokia to gain market share. Conversely, the thinking goes, Nokia will rely on Microsoft to revive its flagging smartphone fortunes. This, the writer suggests, is what Motorola did with the Droid. While an interesting argument, it seems a bit superficial.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 3, 2011 11:34 AM Cameron Smith Cameron Smith  says:

This article had a credibility factor until it started citing PCWorld as a source, one of the biggest anti Microsoft sites out there.

Well done


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