This article is a follow-up to the post the author wrote in last month’s Whittaker Report. To read that article please click here.
Until a few years ago, BlackBerry was synonymous to smartphones and was the ‘it’ device that everyone dreamed of owning. How fast things have changed. Apple and Google, who had nothing to do with the mobile phone market until recently, are making BlackBerry fight for its survival. Google, with its open-source Android system, is rising rapidly and is even threatening Apple’s iOS and the iPhone empire as the market leader. The chart below shows the market share among major mobile operating systems between January 2009 and April 2011 in the United States. The trend in the chart below clearly shows the rise of Android and the relative decline of iOS.
Globally, SymbianOS (an operating platform maintained by Nokia) is the market leader as of April 2011. But, Android could catch up very quickly with Symbian and iOS (which is currently placed second with 23% market share). The chart below shows the market share among major mobile operating systems between January 2009 and April 2011 in the global market. The trend in the chart below clearly shows the rise of Android and the declining fortunes of Symbian and BlackBerry.
Mobile phones, which were only used to make calls (and set the occasional alarm) only a decade ago, are used today to browse the Internet, play games, keep track of your friends, tweet, email, pay bills, post pictures on the web, take and post videos on YouTube, and many other things.
Microsoft recently acquired Skype for $8.5 billion and made a strategic partnership with Nokia (there are even some rumors of an acquisition) to revive its chances of making a mark in the mobile market. The price that Microsoft paid, and the acquisition itself, surprised many analysts. But it appears that Microsoft is betting hard on its upcoming Windows Mobile 8 operating system. Some analysts believe Microsoft plans to integrate Skype into its operating system so video calls can be done from anywhere as easily as voice calls. The only question with that is how major carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Vodaphone will take the idea.
Smart phones are changing the way we communicate with people. I have recently become a big fan of uploading pictures via my iPhone to Facebook whenever something cool is happening. It lets my friends know what I am doing and helps me connect with hundreds of people all with a few clicks and swipes. With the kind of investments that companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are making, we can only imagine what the next few years will bring to the mobile market.