Nielson has some new statistics showing that while ‘Apple Leads Smartphone Race, while Android Attracts Most Recent Customers’.
The statistics also show, in November 2010, 45 percent of recent purchasers chose a smartphone over a low end phone. While these figures are just for the US, I suspect similar trends are occurring in all developed countries.
What I find fascinating is that smartphones have been around for a relatively long time (relative to iPhone) but until recently, never gained mass market appeal. As with many other technologies, it has been possible to significantly improve something that had mediocre success and coupled with good timing (better display technologies, 3G, cheaper tariffs), create something with mass market appeal. Applying this to smartphone software, it makes me question how many mobile ideas (apps, services) that never gained traction in the last decade might also now be viable.