Counterpoint Smartphone Market Share

counterpointCounterpoint has a new infographic based on their Q1-2015 Market Monitor report that tracks more than 75 top vendor shipments across countries that contribute to more than 95% of the total global smartphone volumes.

globalmobilephoneshare

The infographic is particularly good if you need region specific data.

336 million Smartphones Shipped Worldwide in Q1 2015

IDC has new research showing 336.5 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2015. Samsung has overtaken Apple as the leading vendor.

idcworldsmartphoneshipmentsq12015

There’s no mention of the mobile OS market share in this press release but, looking at the above graph, it’s likely to be relatively unchanged compared to previously.

Smartphone Shipments Cause Mobilegeddon

idc.gifIDC have some new research that shows how smartphone shipments are already much larger than for desktops and laptops and how the difference is likely to become even larger in the near future.

idcglobalsmartdeviceshipments.png

Expect more and more companies to develop for mobile first. It also explains Google’s “Mobilegeddon” changes coming April 21 when Google will have a great search engine result shuffle based on mobile-friendliness. However, the end goal for Google is probably to be able to target mobile and non-mobile ads more effectively.

Latest IDC Smartphone OS Research

idc.gifLatest IDC research shows that Android and iOS made up 96.3% of the Smartphone OS Market in 2014. While Windows Phone grew 21.6% in Q4 2014 that was 21.6% of not a lot which resulted in only 3% market share.

 idcsmartphonemarketshare2014.png

From a developer perspective, this reflects the type of work my clients tend to be doing. Unless a client is doing something vertical and (Android) device specific, all development now seems to be on Android and iOS. It’s more common now for Android development to be done at same time as, rather than after, iOS. I haven’t seen any clients doing Windows Phone or BlackBerry development.

Latest Mobile Market Research

strategyanalystics.gifStrategy Analytics has latest research that shows about 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped in 2014. Of these, about 1 billion were Android. Meanwhile, IDC released numbers that agree with the 1.3 billion smartphones being shipped.

strategyanalyticsq42014.png 

I continue to regularly update my market research site with these and other free mobile market research releases.

IDC Smartphone Predictions for 2018

idc.gifIDC has new research into Smartphone shipments and predictions for 2018. 1.3 billion smartphones will ship this year representing an increase of 26.3% compared to 2013. However, this growth is set to decline to about 9.8% compound annual growth between 2014 and 2018. The respective Android and iOS market shares are expected to stay at about the same order of magnitude over this period.

idcsmartphonedec2014.png 

If IDC are right, this means we will be entering a relatively stable period for mobile developers with no major differences in market share likely to cause developers to switch between platforms.

Generally speaking, if you are selling something then iOS will continue to be your most important platform as it’s a self-selecting group of users who have higher disposable income. If you are providing a service and need reach, then Android is your most important platform as it represents 82.3% of devices in use. However, my usual advice applies – survey your intended users and see what devices they own. Depending on your industry, you might be surprised.

Shift in Smartphone Market Shares

idc.gifIDC have a new press release showing smartphone vendor shipments for Q3 2014. Samsung lost market share at the expense of Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG. Apple’s market share dropped slightly by 0.9% to 12% meaning shipments of units grew by 16.1% vs 25.2% for all smartphones.

idcsmartphonevendorsq32014.png 

What does this mean for developers? For Android developers it’s going to be increasingly the case that testing mainly on Samsung devices won’t get you the majority of the devices being used. With iOS now having only 12% market share, there’s going to be continuing intolerance by end users of some companies that still only provide an app for iOS.

Does OS Market Share Matter?

gartner136.gifGartner has new research that compares sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones across the respective operating systems. The headline is that tablet sales are slowing. However, does it matter?

The ever insightful Benedict Evans also has a new post where he explains that we are in the uncharted territory where a minority market share is still very large. He talks of the potential fallacy of "winner (platform) takes all" and suggests that we should look at other things such as the geographic region we are targeting.

Benedict talks a lot about developer revenues and geographic region when choosing a ‘mobile first’ platform and concludes…

"It isn’t so much that ‘maket share doesn’t matter’ (the mantra of Apple fans for decades’) as that you need to think about what kind of market share, where, and whether that matters."

I’d advise you to think and analyse even deeper. I find the emphasis on app revenues and market share slightly concerning. People should be think more about the benefit to their company. This benefit can take many forms. Whether an app is financially viable depends on the kind of app/company as much as it does the platform.

Taking Benedict’s examples of Citibank, Tesco and Carrefour they don’t even sell their apps nor use store in-app purchasing. The fact that iOS users are more affluent probably doesn’t matter for Tesco and Carrefour as iOS customers might be shopping at, at least in the UK, John Lewis and Waitrose anyway. Conversely, I very much doubt many Citibank customers use Android and they would prefer iOS. The key thing here is that these are hunches and guesses.

You need to assess what platform to use on a case-by-case basis and do some market research beforehand as to what devices your users are using and whether they would access your product/service via an app, smartphone, tablet or indeed anything else.

Back to the Gartner headline that tablet sales are slowing. Does it matter? Sales are still of a similar order to PCs and it’s still a large market. What’s probably just as important is whether your end users would access via a tablet and if so, what kind of tablet are they using?