Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Smartphone Market Share: Android Up, iPhone steady, Blackberry Who?

Market share... isn't that something RIM used to have?
It's interesting to watch to the market share numbers for smartphones over time. There are no big surprises in the numbers themselves: Android continues to rise (up to 34.7% from 28.7%) , Apple gains slightly (up to 25.5% from 25%), Blackberry continues its headlong plunge (dropping 4.5% to 27.1%; they've gone from over 40% a year ago to about 27%), Microsoft continues to go from bad to worse while awaiting Nokia's introduction of Windows Phone 7 phones.

The real surprise, to me, is what has to happen before RIM takes action to prevent (or, at least, delay) its complete loss of market share and relevance. Are they striving to be the beeper company of the 21st century?  Apple should pass them this quarter in terms of market share, and from there RIM is just racing downward to see how long it takes to reach Microsoft's market share of under 10%.

At least Nokia figured out that it was in trouble, though they had to completely change out their management team in order to come to that realization. Now they are trying to do something about it by adopting Windows Phone 7, though how successful that effort is we won't know for a couple of years. RIM, though, just continues making Blackberry phones with minor improvements as if nothing has happened in the phone market. Kind of sad, really. It must be ego; the co-CEOs of RIM just don't want to admit how badly they've screwed up, and so they will continue to deny there's even a problem until they're escorted off the campus by security. Let's hope, for RIM's sake, that occurs sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, if you're a developer looking to make some money on games, better try iOS or Android. I guess there is an opportunity for a small developer on Blackberry or Windows Phone 7, since you could stand out in a field that's much smaller than Android or iOS, and thus get some attention and brand equity before taking your title to the platforms where you can really sell a lot of copies. For larger developers, though, there's nothing to gain by looking at the Blackberry marketplace. Except, perhaps, a delightful frisson of schadenfreude.

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