July 06, 2011

Apple's iPhone Up, Android Flat and RIM Down

The year 2010 saw Google's Android (News - Alert) gain rapid momentum, surging ahead of Apple's iOS platform. Google took comfort from the fact that the number of smartphones using its Android OS continued to grow with its market share, outpacing that of Apple's iOS. Of course, BlackBerry (News - Alert) from RIM was not even in the running with a dip in percentage points in the market.

However, one thing was unclear. Was Google's ascent due to the fact that Apple's iPhone (News - Alert) had a spotty coverage figuring only on one carrier? Google would have liked to think “no”.

A Nielsen survey, conducted four months after Apple finally released an iPhone for Verizon (News - Alert), sadly proved Google wrong. Although the survey indicated that Android was still popular among the smartphone masses, the growth rate plateaued with Apple's (News - Alert) iPhone ringing in accelerated growth.

"Apple," according to Nielsen, "is now driving smartphone growth." Although Google can take heart from the fact that 38 percent of smartphone consumers owned Android devices, it knows that this is a “transient state”, which will alter in the face of increased iPhone growth in the recent months.

So, whether the Verizon iPhone has been the culprit in eroding Google's Android status or whether it has eroded because of Apple's iOS ecosystem gaining in popularity will perhaps be hard to determine.

However, what is sure is that the damage has been done and Android will again have to take on the popular iPhone. Another Smartphone War begins.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
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