For those of you who measure your self-worth based on how well your mobile platform of choice is doing (or just like following industry trends), today is that day: the latest comScore numbers are out, detailing market share in the U.S. for the second quarter. They tell a tale of mostly static market share – Android and Apple continue to make small gains, RIM and Symbian lost a few more, and Microsoft pretty much stood still. Of course the static numbers still tell a tale, as this was the first full quarter of Nokia Windows Phone sales in the U.S., so their failure to gain much market share is noteworthy. For the specifics, check out the slide show below.
ComScore numbers, winners, and losers
ComScore numbers, winners, and losers
1. Platform numbers
For the second quarter of 2012, Apple saw the biggest growth, up 1.7% to 32.9%. Android grew the second most, up almost a percent to 50.9% of the market. Most of that growth seems to have come at the expense of Research in Motion, who lost another 2% of the market last quarter to drop to 11.4% - at this pace they are just one quarter away from dipping below 10% market share. Symbian lost 0.4%, and Microsoft trickled up a tenth of a percent – it’s likely that both movements fall within the margin of error of the study.
2. Samsung and Apple dominates hardware
Samsung has held on to its position as the top mobile hardware vendor, making a quarter of all mobile phones last quarter (of both the “smart” and “feature” variety). Apple gained an impressive 1.5% additional market share, while not making any low-margin feature phones. No wonder Apple and Samsung are taking home the lion’s share of the profits
3. Winners: Android
Android is coming off the slowest upgrade cycle
we've seen with Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as facing strong U.S. sales of the iPhone, yet managed to claw back to about the same market share it had earlier in the year
. And that was before the launch of the Galaxy S III in the U.S. With the excitement created by Jellybean
, a price drop to the GSM Galaxy Nexus, and multiple Nexus devices coming later this year, Android is in a good position to increase its market share in Q3 & 4. The biggest hurdle in the second half of the year may be legal challenges, so Google's move to intervene in lawsuits
between Apple and Android OEMs may be crucial to continued success.
4. Winner: Apple
Apple continues to slowly ratchet up the platform market share column. And while it may not be catching Android any time soon, it makes more profit than the rest of the industry combined, so the wins it got last quarter in hardware vender market share are true wins for Apple's bottom line. Recent legal victories over Samsung and HTC are also making it more difficult for other hardware vendors to expand their market share (and profit margins).
5. Losers: HTC
The launch of HTC's One series of phones was heralded as their big comeback move, as the company looks to emphasize fewer and higher quality phone launches this year. While their market share loss of 0.2% may be within the margin of error, they needed to post major market share gains now, before major launches from Samsung, Motorola, and Apple occur in the second half of the year. It looks like the turnaround may take longer than they had hoped.
6. Losers: Windows Phone 7
There's no other way to look at this; The Lumia 900 launched on AT&T in early April, so there's been essentially an entire quarter of sales of a top tier and heavily marketed
WP7 device. Despite that, Windows Phone numbers have not changed. Perhaps the happiest scenario one could imagine is if users of Windows Mobile devices were leaving the platform in droves for new Windows Phone handsets - although the fact that Nokia didn't even show up among U.S. hardware OEM's last quarter suggests that this pie in the sky idea is wishful thinking. With no major devices launches left ahead of Windows Phone 8 this fall, this was the last major chance for WP7 to gain traction. Microsoft's mobile holes are pretty much all riding on their Windows 8/RT/Phone strategy at this point.
7. Losers: Nokia
We discussed Nokia's lack of sales penetration in association with the stasis of Windows Phone's market share, but Nokia is actually in far more dire
straights than Microsoft. Symbian use has collapsed world wide after they announced they were EOLing it over a year ago (not that it was ever particularly high in the U.S.), and with hardware sales flagging Nokia doesn't have any other cash cows to turn to like Microsoft does with its Xbox and Office products. The success or failure of Windows Phone 8 may be more important to Nokia than it is to Microsoft (at least in the short term). Perhaps that's why there are rumors that they have developed a fallback plan