BlackBerry's Mobile Share Drops, Microsoft's Stabliizes
The outlook for Research in Motion
grew even grimmer last week with news the company cut 5,000 of its 16,500-person workforce and will delay launching the latest version of its BlackBerry platform until next year. The company’s
woes were underscored by comScore data released today showing BlackBerry’s share among smartphone operating systems in the U.S. has fallen from 13.4% to 11.4% in the three months ending in
A year ago, BlackBerry had almost a quarter of the U.S. smartphone market, putting it roughly on part with Apple’s iOS platform. As of May, though, iOS represented almost two thirds (31.9%) of U.S. smartphones, up 1.7 percentage points between March and May. Google’s Android also continued to gain share, albeit not as fast as in the past, up 0.8% to almost 51% of the smartpone market.
A court ruling last week barring Samsung from selling the Android-powered Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the U.S. won’t help Google’s quest for even more share. The injunction against Google in patent litigation brought by Apple has also raised questions about whether it could affect the Galaxy S III, which has just gone on sale in the U.S. this month.
The latest mobile metrics from comScore did offer a faint glimmer of hope for Microsoft, however. After months of continual contraction, its share of the smartphone market stabilized over the last three months at 4%. Still, that’s only a small fraction of the total, and down from 5.8%. a year ago.
Whether Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform can build
any momentum through devices like Nokia’s heavily-marketed Lumia 900 should become clearer as the year unfolds.
Among mobile phone makers, the biggest change in share was Apple’s increase from 13.5% to 15% through May. Ahead of Apple as usual was Samsung, with 25.7% share, followed by LG, with 19.1%. Rounding out the top five were Motorola (12%), and HTC (6.1%).
In terms of mobile activities, the biggest difference was an increase in the proportion of people listening to music on their phones, up to 27% from 24.8%. The share of people downloading apps officially crossed the halfway mark as of May, hitting 51.1%. Three-quarters were text messaging, making it again the most common mobile data activity, while nearly browsed the Web, 36.7% visited a social networking site or blog, and 33.5% played a mobile game.