Tag Archives: ios

Apple iOS gaining on Android in U.S. and China

by Steve Blum • , , ,

Apple and Samsung are in a dead heat in the U.S. Both companies captured 35% of smartphone sales for three months ending in August of this year, according to Kantar Wordpanel, a market research firm based in London. Apple is showing strength in carrier distribution channels, particularly with Verizon…

“Apple maintained strong momentum in the US one month before the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and grew its sales share by 3.7 percentage points year-on-year, compared to Samsung’s growth of 0.8 percentage points,” [Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director at Kantar Worldpanel said]. “Weaker sales through Verizon hurt Samsung as Apple approached a 50% share within the largest US carrier – an even higher proportion than at AT&T, a traditional iPhone stronghold.”

Kantar bases its market share estimates on operating system sales data. Overall, Android has a commanding lead, with 63% of the U.S. market. But Apple is gaining ground. Its 35% share of operating system sales is up 4% from the same period a year ago, while Android’s share has dropped 3%.

Apple also appears to be benefitting from the demise of the Windows mobile operating system, which dropped from 2% of the U.S. market to 1%. Blackberry is in even worse shape, with just 0.3% U.S. market share.

In China, the world’s biggest smart phone market, Apple’s iOS gained 4% year over year, climbing to 18% market share, while Android dropped 4% to 82% – still a commanding lead. Windows is at a big fat zero percent in China, which is the principal reason its worldwide share crashed to virtually nothing, according to some estimates.

Huawei is the leading manufacturer in China, with 31% of smartphone sales. BBK Electronics, which sells under the Oppo and Vivo brands, is second with 20% and Apple is third. “The flagship iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the two top-selling models in urban China during the period”, according to Kantar’s press release.

Android is the best hope for making wearables into sellables

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Good intentions meet the harsh light of day.

The buzz this week around the announcement that a reasonably high profile fitness band – Jawbone’s UP24 – is finally supporting Android as well as iOS phones is a bit overheated. Launching without Android support is a huge minus for any wearable device. Unless the feature set, connectivity and server-side support is limited. And that’s a good description of the Jawbone UP24. It’s a simple product that’s attractively designed, but it doesn’t do anything particularly innovative.

So far, wearables like the UP24 or Fitbit are novelty items, not “must have” accessories for serious fitness enthusiasts or breakthrough lifestyle products for average consumers. It’s early days, though. Soon enough, someone will find the right combination of smartphone connectivity and features, server-side processing and wearable sensors and create a product that makes life more enjoyable and productive, with less effort and greater convenience. That’s what the iPhone did, after years of proto-smartphone products that didn’t exactly fail but remained in the niche category.

To do that you need the flexibility and developer support that the Android platform provides, including its easy integration with Linux server-side development. The problem will be solved by a cowboy developer, not someone living between the lines of Apple’s store policies. That’s why Google is coming out with a wearable SDK and why not putting Android at the top of wearable product development priorities is a mistake. Unless the feature set, connectivity and server-side support is limited.

That said, the UP24 will perform nicely as a novelty item, but my prediction is that 95% of units sold will be languishing in dressing table drawers within a month.