Gartner has new press release on smartphone sales. While Gartner concentrates on the battle between Apple and Samsung, the more interesting part for mobile developers is at the bottom of the press release where Android has extended its lead over iOS by 3.2%:
Android now has 81.7 market share. However, Google isn’t standing still and seems to be experimenting with replacing the kernel under Android and Chrome.
Flurry has an interesting new post on mobile app usage over the last year.
“overall app usage grew by 11% and time-spent in apps grew by 69%”
Most of the growth was in use of ‘messaging and social’ as well as other areas such as sports, news and shopping that demand that the user return to the app to discover new content.
Now that we are at ‘peak smartphone’, developers such as myself are starting to question what comes next. The answer is probably ‘more apps’.
As Gartner recently said…
Much of the innovation in the mobile space isn’t taking place inside the smartphones themselves, but in the things that communicate with them. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 25 percent of new mobile apps will talk to Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Most IoT devices talk to smartphones via an app or the browser. The app is usually the preferred mechanism because it provides a richer experience that also provides analysis and usage stats to backend services.
In the future the app will increasinly move from being centre stage and the central purpose to being an enabler for some other, probably more useful, purpose.
Canalys has a new press release where they say Smartphone shipments to grow 5% in 2016. This is despite the fact that Apple is expected to see its first annual decline.
It’s interesting that while most of the growth will be outside established markets, EMEA and North America will still see a slight growth.
We are now in a stable phase where iOS and Android market shares are likely to stay roughly as now. This provides some medium term stability for mobile app developers choosing their mobile platforms.
mobiForge has a new article showing Apple losing share, Samsung and Huawei growing in Q2 2016.
The report has additional insights that are of more interest to developers. Also note that numbers are based on web traffic rather than new device sales so give a better insight in the installed base rather than short term buying trends.
First of all, the change in Apple web traffic depends on the country. You can use this to imply changing device ownership in your particular country…
The stats on screen size vs country also provide clues as to what screen size you should be optimising (your designs) for based on your target country:
More stats are in the full report.
Tomi Ahonen has a useful post on his blog showing the latest installed base numbers across mobile operating systems. Installed base numbers, as opposed to current sales market shares, can provide a better view of the real makeup of the user base…
“Note that in my model I already had a very strong long-life factor for the iPhone and the iPhone installed base has for this whole decade been above the actual unit sales market share – due to the long life span of iPhones”
Gartner has new research that says Global Smartphone Sales to Only Grow 7 Per Cent in 2016 and will be the first year to see single digit percentage growth…
“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,”
I guess most people who want a smartphone now have one. Any changes in OS market share will be due to switching. This isn’t necessarily bad news for developers as it means that mobile platform market shares are now stable and can probably be relied on for staying so for some time.
This month’s net magazine (May issue to be exact) has a great article on 15 tips for cross-device optimisation. Craig Sullivan gives some rules to remember when testing cross platform.
Four insights of particular use for mobile developers…
- Track people, not devices. Many people use their phone to find items to buy and complete the purchase on the desktop or laptop where it’s easier to checkout. Use tools such as Google Analytics user view to track the user rather than the device to gain a better appreciation of whether leads are coming via mobile or desktop.
- Don’t ignore the wider context. Think about varying the functionality depending on the context. Craig gives the example of an airline app where what the user needs might be very different 48 hours before a flight than it is when it’s used at the gate.
- Don’t assume everyone uses iPhones. Avoid concentrating on what happens to be your personal device. Look to user base numbers and ideally recent domain specific metrics.
- Segment testing by device class. Different devices might look very different and might need different testing.