Fighting for Mobile Platform Market Share

What Business Model Will Win?

The recent release by comScore of its mobile subscriber report continues to show Google Android (promoted as Droid by Verizon) closing the market share gap with Apple for mobile platforms.

Google’s market share is up 6.5% from June to 21.4% and now only 2.9% behind second place Apple which has 24.3% of the market. Apple’s share is the same as reported in June. RIM continues to lead the pack with 37.3% share slipping 2.8% from what was reported in June.

The Google / Apple competition for market share presents two very different business models. Google’s Android or Droid contains an open source operating system. The code is available to manufacturers to add their own features and functionalities. They can listen to their market and shape the product. Apple owns their operating system and keeps their code proprietary. Apple allows developers to build applications on top of their operating system. These applications are then sold through retail or on the web where Apple controls distribution of iPhones and iPads.

It will be interesting to see how these competing business models evolve over time.

Apple’s recent announcement that iPhones will now be available at Target stores through the Target Mobile Centers, located in 846 stores, might be the start of a change in strategy to sell more phones. In the third quarter of 2010, Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones, up 91.4% from the prior year and beat the top competitor, RIM, which sold 12.1 Blackberry’s in the same quarter. Apple is already selling a lot of phones.

Regarding the Google / Apple business model differences, during a conference call with analysts, Steve Jobs was quoted as saying “It’s worth remembering,” he said. “that open systems don’t always win.” “In reality, we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen,” he concluded. The real issue he said is integrated versus fragmented. “We think integrated will trump fragmented every time.”
We will continue to watch how the story unfolds…
So how are the actions of, Apple and Google, influencing how you will reach your customers in the digital world?

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