Google Takes a Bite out of the Apple!

What does that mean to mobile commerce?

This week comScore released their July 2010 US mobile subscriber market share report.  The results show the American Consumer is using the phone for more than just a call.

The hardcore data users, smartphone subscribers, grew to 53.4 million people at the end of July 2010, up an 11 percent from the three month period ending July. The majority of the growth in the market came from the Google smartphone operating platform. Google’s market share was up from 5% to 17%, while Apple’s share drop by 1.3 percentage points to 23.8%. While Apple’s market share dropped, the number of subscribers using the platform still increased.

Apple analysts have been quick to point out that all is well and this is just an unusual blip caused by two main factors:
• A delay in Apple iPhone subscriptions in May and early June as everyone waited for the new iPhone 4 model. After all, who wanted the old iPhone 3Gs line!
• The inability of Apple to meet the demand for Apple 4 iPhones in June when they ran out of stock.

Is that really the case or is history repeating itself?

Apple has a great platform but is prisoner to the AT&T network and one hardware manufacturer, Apple. The focus has just not been on producing a great smartphone platform.

Google’s approach is to focus on delivering a great platform that is easy to develop and can be incorporated by Motorola, Samsung, and HTC mobile handset manufacturers. Google’s app store is growing and now boasts more free applications than Apple.

Who has a better strategy?

Well if you are a mobile marketer who cares! You need to plan to reach both smartphone platforms. The good news is that mobile subscribers are using the phone for more data oriented activities. Just look at these comScore stats:
• Sent text message to another phone – 66.0% up 1.4 percentage points.
• Used browser – 33.6% up 2.5 percentage points
• Used downloaded apps – 31.4% up 1.6 percentage points
• Accessed social networking – 21.8% up 1.9 percentage points.

So Google taking on Apple is all good news for digital marketers who want to reach their customers while they are on-the-go. Mobile is becoming the way to deliver your digital message.

Okay. So how will the Google and Apple smartphones impact how you manage your business in the digital world?

Data Source: comScore Reports July 2010 US Mobile Subscriber Market Share – July 15, 2010.

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