Closed versus open. Bauhaus design versus mass market design. One company versus a conglomerate. Apple iPhone versus Google Android.
According to an eMarketer report, Android will beat out iPhone by 2012 — a lofty prediction, but also quite likely.
The battle for mobile market-share has been one for the ages, and only twenty-four months ago who would’ve thunk the little green robot would capture the hearts and minds of so many?
In my view at least, credit that to: (a) the army of developers who find joy in programming with Google’s SDK; (b) the legion of manufacturers — LG, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and more — who have been flooding the market with some stellar Android smartphones; (c) Google’s prowess with cloud apps; and (d) an absence of a licensing fee which in turn allows vendors to aggressively compete on price.
So eMarketer estimates “that after exploding from just 6% of the US smartphone market in 2009 to 24% in 2010, Android will continue to gain share through 2012, when 31% of all smartphone users will own a device running the Google OS.”
The report suggests that Microsoft and Palm will continue to chug away as bit players. RIM, meanwhile, has fallen hard, having lost 15% user share (from 38% to 23%) in only three years, if the forecast is accurate.
“Ultimately, the winner, if there is one, matters less than marketers’ ability to make the most of the growing number of smart devices to deliver rich, engaging experiences for consumers.”