If raw reach was the strategy, then Google's open-platform mobile OS running across multiple OEM hardware and carriers is performing according to plan. The latest Nielsen survey of U.S. consumers shows that the Android may be a friendly monster robot, but it is eating the market. Among those polled, 43% now own a phone based on the Google mobile OS. And the momentum is with the platform. Among those who have purchased a smartphone in the last three months, 56% bought an Android model.
Apple continues to hold its market share by strategically expanding its base with new carriers and major hardware launches. Nielsen pegs the iPhone with 28% of the market right now, and also 28% of those who recently purchased phones.
Of course if you look at the Apple market share more in terms of iOS and its reach across millions of iPads and iPod Touches, then the perspective changes and Apple has a tremendous growth story.
The smartphone march continues as well. We are fast approaching the 50% tipping point, with 43% of current phone owners having a smartphone and 56% of last-quarter buyers getting these models.
The big loser in this two-OS race is the usual suspect, beleaguered Research in Motion, whose once-dominant BlackBerry OS is now down to an 18% share. The trending for BlackBerry is just atrocious; nabbing only 9% of recent buyers.
In decades to come, there will be reverse case studies written about RIM. From dismissing the importance of the touch screen early on to mistaking its email dominance with enterprise IT its ace in the hole, few companies in modern corporate history have blown a lead so thoroughly and quickly as these guys.