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  (Source: DVICE)

Google's Android is rising fast in smart phone OS marketshare.  (Source: Flickr)
Google's Android continues to gain momentum while Apple and RIM hold steady

Market research ComScore just released its latest set of numbers on U.S. mobile phone usage and the results are intriguing.  They indicate that the Windows Phone 7 Series can't come fast enough, with Microsoft continuing to shed loads of market share, dropping since October 2009 from 19.7 percent to 15.7 percent.  Likewise, Palm appears to be in trouble, dipping from 7.8 percent to 5.7 percent.  

Apple and RIM managed to hold steady with small gains -- 0.3 percent for Apple and 1.7 percent for RIM.  However, the big winner was clearly Google's Android OS, which sailed up to 7.1 percent from a mere 2.8 percent in October '09.

The study covered the 234 million Americans ages 13 and older who are mobile subscribers.  According to the study, between November and January 42.7 million of these users had a smart phone, up 18 percent from the August through October period.

The survey show that mobile browsing, apps, and mobile social networking are all slowly on the rise.  Interestingly, mobile gaming only crept up 0.4 percent since last October, despite the iPhone's dominance in the mobile gaming market.

The study also found Motorola to be America's top handset maker, with LG in a close second.

The mobile market is sure to shift more by the end of the year, but its hard to see what direction it will shift in.  Apple is currently trying to kill Google's smartphone momentum by suing its handset makers for allegedly infringing on its mobile intellectual property.  By the end of the year we may get some hints as to how that will play out.

Meanwhile Microsoft prepares to release its Windows Phone 7 Series, which look very promising, and Apple gears up for its latest summer iPhone launch.  Ultimately, how those two platforms stack up hardware wise may determine who goes head to head with Google in terms of smart phone dominance.



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Great news!
By Abrahmm on 3/12/2010 10:50:13 AM , Rating: 5
This is great news to see the best Mobile platform available making the greatest gains in market share. Android offers the best OS on the best hardware, so it isn't really a mystery why it is climbing the fastest. Hopefully that continues as consumers wise up to the capabilities of their smart phone choices instead of simply making the decision based on a fashion trend.




RE: Great news!
By bug77 on 3/12/2010 11:04:18 AM , Rating: 4
I believe the reason it is climbing fast is that Android is the new kid on the block. If it doesn't climb fast, it's gone.


RE: Great news!
By HotFoot on 3/12/2010 11:13:42 AM , Rating: 3
True.

I think the Maemo 5 OS is absolutely fantastic for my phone, but how many, even on these pages, know much about it? It's not going to have the market share even Palm had, despite being a solid product.


RE: Great news!
By Roffles on 3/12/2010 2:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
God himself could code a phone OS and it won't go anywhere in the US if you don't make it available on a big network with a contractual discount. Maemo will never grab market share until Nokia changes the way it does business.


RE: Great news!
By Samus on 3/12/2010 3:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Linus Torvalds endorsing it as the 'first phone he has ever had that works' has something to do with it? Conspiracy? CONSPIRACY!


RE: Great news!
By Penti on 3/13/2010 12:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
There's plenty of subsidized Nokias here in Europe.

But remember Nokia mostly makes there money on the developing world and low end handsets, with the average cost of like €64 per phone. On the other hand Motorola is pretty much none existing here. (They are available but have never seen them pushed by a carrier).

Maemo isn't mean to be on all their phones any ways.


RE: Great news!
By adiposity on 3/12/2010 12:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Droid. Sure would love to see them implement bluetooth voice dial.

Until they do that, I don't know about the "best Mobile platform." I realize it's just one feature but it really neuters the Droid. Other than that I like the OS, and hope it does well.


RE: Great news!
By Bateluer on 3/12/2010 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure how not having a feature no one uses neuters the phone? I have a Droid as well and its been great. Love it. My only compaint so far is with the length of time its taking Moto and Big Red to get the Android 2.1 update pushed out.


RE: Great news!
By deputc26 on 3/12/2010 8:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm running 2.1 on the Droid. Touchscreen is more responsive, scrolling is smoother, soft keyboard is way better (though it looks the same). Also the voice keyboard is awesome as is Google Earth.


RE: Great news!
By seamonkey79 on 3/13/2010 1:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a Droid Eris and it's now running the 2.1, the changes are pretty sweet, and I've barely even started playing through all the phone can do.


RE: Great news!
By DEredita on 3/12/2010 1:09:57 PM , Rating: 3
I dunno if I would call it the best. I'm an iPhone user, but have to say my favorite smartphone OS is the WebOS on the Palm Pre Plus. I love how well is works, and the UI. I'm hoping AT&T gets this, because I will promptly ditch my iPhone for it.


RE: Great news!
By DEredita on 3/12/2010 1:10:52 PM , Rating: 1

My favorite mobile platforms go in this order:

WebOS
iPhone OS
Android


RE: Great news!
By eskimospy on 3/12/2010 2:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem with WebOS is that it's sluggish. My Palm Pre has the same hardware as the iphone 3GS but it definitely runs noticeably slower.

It has multitasking, a better overall design, and it's not infected by Apple's control freak mentality, but I do find it annoyingly slow at times.


RE: Great news!
By Jeffk464 on 3/12/2010 5:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is palm is going under. If you have stock dump it.


RE: Great news!
By Motoman on 3/12/2010 1:15:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Android offers the best OS on the best hardware, so it isn't really a mystery why it is climbing the fastest.


Actually, it is. The best product/technology frequently loses out due to someone else's marketing prowess.

This time, perhaps there is sufficient marketing to go with the product.


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Great news!
By Motoman on 3/12/2010 1:56:57 PM , Rating: 3
Uh-huh. The true power of marketing is best embodied by Apple, who manages to make a 4% marketshare look like a significant competitor to the PC. Which it isn't.

...but it looks like it is, granted how much propaganda they produce (and get others to produce for them).


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Great news!
By JediJeb on 3/12/2010 3:22:48 PM , Rating: 4
4% units sold being equal to 10%+ total sales money wise only shows that 4% of computer users are not wise when it comes to spending money.


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Great news!
By mcnabney on 3/14/2010 12:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because investing a lot of money in something that only serves as transportation and does nothing but depreciate is just another way people waste money for status.


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Great news!
By Chocobollz on 3/15/2010 8:51:31 AM , Rating: 1
Certainly a flawed analogy. Lexus/Infinities and Chevys/Kias don't use the same part, while Macs and PCs are using the same parts (their hardware). It maybe true for the old Macs (with the PowerPC architecture), but not for the current Macs. A better analogy would be, Lexus and Infinity had been made with the same internal (engines, etc.) as with Chevys/Kias, but with a more luxurious interior and exterior and sold as uxury cars with a highly inflated price. So you're basically driving a "wannabe" Chevys/Kias LOL. You don't think that would be a good way to waste your money, right? (as if there's a good way to waste money? ;-P)


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/15/2010 10:15:47 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Certainly a flawed analogy. Lexus/Infinities and Chevys/Kias don't use the same part, while Macs and PCs are using the same parts
Man, you don't understand such a simple thing. Look, cars have exactly same ICE engines and four wheel bodies, difference is in design, one ICE is a bit different from another while body and interior are a bit different too. Computers are EXACTLY the same, they just have slight differences in case and motherboard design. What's so hard to understand about it? Tell me please.


RE: Great news!
By JediJeb on 3/15/2010 1:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think the analogy is more like Honda/Accura or Toyota/Lexus or Ford/Lincoln, one is base other is luxury. I would definitely take the Ford over the Lincoln because I think it is a waste to spend more money on something that does essentially the same thing, move me from point A to point B. And if anything comparing the PC to the Mac would be like having a Lincoln that you can only drive half as far as a Ford because there is so much more software you can run on the PC than on the Mac. So why pay more for a limited system? Same with the phones, for me a phone is to call people with, Im not going to waste money on one that has stuff on it I will never use. I pick function over form not form over function. Give me an Armani suit and I will just trade it for several pairs of jeans and flannel shirts, because those I can use, don't care what they look like.


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/15/2010 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
comparing the PC to the Mac would be like having a Lincoln that you can only drive half as far as a Ford because there is so much more software you can run on the PC than on the Mac
Mac works about two-three times more on a single battery charge compared to an average PC, so turns out it's Ford that can only drive half as far, not Lincoln.


RE: Great news!
By Maharajamd on 3/12/2010 3:49:57 PM , Rating: 1
While you're right in a way, in another, you're still just as wrong and idiotic as usual.


RE: Great news!
By Motoman on 3/12/2010 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, Macs cost more than PCs. And for the same reason why Monster Cable costs more than normal speaker wire.

...and with the same validity to that inflated price. All that demonstrates is that, like people who buy Monster Cable, Apple consumers are unbelieveably gullible.


RE: Great news!
By CurseTheSky on 3/12/2010 7:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, the Macbook Pro is great... it's just the big apple on the cover that ruins it.

;)


RE: Great news!
By Pirks on 3/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Great news!
By OrSin on 3/15/2010 8:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
If you going to do dollars earns then Are discounting the hardware price since MS dont sell hardward/OS bundles.

Are you even looking at the server market. That where the realy money is. MS just about gives aways the Desktop OS to keep market share for server, and browser (on line ads really).

Sorry but you can cut any data for it to look good. Apple is a bit player in the OS market.


RE: Great news!
By crystal clear on 3/13/2010 9:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Android offers the best OS on the best hardware, so it isn't really a mystery why it is climbing the fastest.


Yes its isnt a really mystery cause its grabing Microsoft & Palm's marketshare & Not Apples/Blackberry market share-they both continue hold their marketshare.

quote:
Hopefully that continues as consumers wise up to the capabilities of their smart phone choices instead of simply making the decision based on a fashion trend.


Yes the trend will continues as Microsoft/Palm dont have a Andriod killer,forget an Apple killer.

Those making decisions based on fashion trends are looking status symbols more than anything else & are willing to pay for that.

The other group being those looking for the best deal namely price.


RE: Great news!
By MrX8503 on 3/15/2010 12:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hopefully that continues as consumers wise up to the capabilities of their smart phone choices instead of simply making the decision based on a fashion trend.


The iPhone is a fashion trend, but I don't see how this makes it an inferior phone. The iPhone could make you toast every morning and people would still complain, simply because its an Apple product.


This is all good news for the consumer
By mcnabney on 3/12/2010 10:39:04 AM , Rating: 3
We are all lucky that Android is there is pick-up the slack as Palm kerplodes. And a new Microsoft solution, with legs in non-phones and feature-phones as well, means that they are going to stay in the fight. That means that next Xmas there will be four strong competitors for your business; Apple, RIM, Android, and Microsoft (Jason, why did you forget about RIM in your last paragraph - you do know that they are still the #1 smartphone maker, right?)

As long as no company gets more than half of the marketshare they will all continue to innovate - which is good for everyone. Sorry Palm. The Pre was cool, but that Sprint exclusive turned out to be fatal. You can't build-up much needed marketshare on the #3 US provider that markets almost exclusively on price.




RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By retrospooty on 3/12/2010 10:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
Sprint exclusive wasn't fatal to Palm, quality issues and being slow to innovate for the past 7 years was fatal to Palm. The Pre exists becasue they finally gave up on thier loser engineering staff and outsourced design completely ( Pre and Pixi are the first of those completely outsourced designs, previous HTC and other makers designed Treos were still based on Palm designs and had Palm's week assed input). Beleive me , I know, I worked there from 2002 to 2007.

The reason they couldn't start with Verizon is Verizon wouldn't take it first due to poor quality track record. Verizon is happy to come along 6 months later when all the worst ROM bugs are worked out, failure rates are known and product is stable.


By mcnabney on 3/13/2010 4:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon didn't take the exclusive because Palm wanted a big check for the 12 month exclusive period. Apple wanted even more (big check + large chunk of all data revenues) which is why Apple went to their #2 choice AT&T.

And all mobile devices have quality issues now. It is almost a shock when a device launches and a quarter of them don't come back within 30 days with issues. That is just how they manufacture electonics now. Remember the old StarTac? The damn things was indestructible and as reliable as a 1970 rotary dial Ma'Bell phone. Now, they deliberately make them to last at most a couple years since that is all people seem to want to use them for anymore.


RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By adiposity on 3/12/2010 12:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are all lucky that Android is there is pick-up the slack as Palm kerplodes


I've seen the Pre, and believe it is a viable competitor to Android/iPhone/RIM. Yes, they have tanked market share but it's a good phone, and should help them recover.


RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By DEredita on 3/12/2010 1:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
I've played extensively with the original Pre and the Pre Plus. While I wasn't overly sold on the original Pre (slider feel, and (lack-of) quality feel), the new Pre Plus feels far more solid, better keyboard, double memory (ram and storage), and overall better quality and tweaks across the board.

I spent a long while using the Palm Pre Plus and going back to my iPhone 3G, I was quite disappointed. The UI on the WebOS platform has a much better flow to it, the multitasking is great, and it feels far more responsive than my iPhone.


By Pirks on 3/12/2010 1:38:41 PM , Rating: 1
wonder if 3GS changes the picture


RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By rtrski on 3/12/2010 3:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you factor in the 18% increase in the total smartphone users in the field, the Palm share loss is just over 1% in actual user-base, and another article more correctly pointed out (typical lack of DailyTech journalistic skill) that the survey says "Palm", not "webOS", so some of that decline could even be old Treo's being retired.

But the point remains that Palm isn't growing market share (if that 1% is entirely Treos being retired, the users didn't exactly opt for a new Palm device, else they'd have had at least 6.6% in the survey), which is indeed sad as the new OS is quite nice, and still growing with the PDK, Epic engine port, etc. (Disclosure: I do own a Pre on Sprint and am quite happy with it...and it is my first 'smartphone'.) But they have had some hardware quality issues: I'm still on my first Pre, but my wife's managed to churn through four in around eight months. <eyeroll>

I'm hoping they stay around because I like what they're doing, but let's face it, unless you're one of the Apple Annointed, a phone, even a smartphone and associated OS and apps, is really just a 2 year commitment, not a religious affiliation. When I'm up for renewal in Summer 2011 if Palm doesn't have anything interesting (and for that matter, if Sprint doesn't have hardware and services that still thrill me by comparison to another carrier in general), I could see myself going elsewhere for my mobile needs just fine. The few bucks I've paid for the occasional app aren't any incentive to stick around.

Have been intrigued by Android, but Google's propensity for everything being a 'beta' forever, and the general disjointed fragmentation of versions they're spinning thru right now on different hardware and carriers, kind of turns me off until it stabilizes. It'll also be interesting to see what comes out of Win 7 platform....


By Targon on 3/12/2010 4:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint isn't the most popular, Verizon isn't really pushing it, and AT&T doesn't have the Pre. This is why Palm is losing market share. I am still using my Treo 680 because I hate the feel of Blackberry devices, and I HATE touch screen based keyboards due to constantly needing to correct mistakes. At least with a real keyboard, you can FEEL the keys and errors will be less.


RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By thesafetyisoff on 3/12/2010 6:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
The Palm is a good phone but not a great one. None of the top touch-based smartphones (iPhone, HTC Hero, Droid, Storm, etc) is the complete package. Streaming video on the Pre looks great, and the interface is nearly as fluid and responsive as iPhone.

But Palm Pre has a few major issues for me:

1. Battery life. Isn't it reasonable to expect your phone to go a full day with moderate use? Palm apparently doesn't think so. I'm not a heavy mobile user, but the phone is DEAD by 8pm, even after the software update.

2. Slippery design. The thing feels like a greased egg in your hand with it polished surfaces and rounded corners. The phone is probably 3 times more likely to drop out of your hand than other smartphones.

3. Nagging problems synching up with some Yahoo Mail accounts that go all the way back to June of 2009, without a solution. Palm ignoring this problem is rdiculous.


By kmmatney on 3/12/2010 11:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
The slippery design feature (which I think can be an issue with all phones with slide-out keyboards) is one reason I went for the iPhone. It allows you to put a good non-slip silicone case on it. Its also built really well - have dropped it a few times without any issues.


Niice
By bug77 on 3/12/2010 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The study covered the 234 million Americans ages 13 and older who are mobile subscribers


So you can subscribe at 13 in the US?




RE: Niice
By smackababy on 3/12/2010 11:12:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would assume they are the "subscriber" if their parents pay for the plan, but the 13 year old is the primary user.


RE: Niice
By mcnabney on 3/14/2010 12:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that is very odd. Wireless carriers have no idea who is using the devices. They know who they sold the devices to (ran credit) and that is about it.


Makes sense...
By mikeyD95125 on 3/12/2010 2:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
I just got the droid yesterday and I'm really impressed. I used to think that smartphones were just a tedious waste of money for the average consumer, but navigating to a website and posting comments works very smoothly. This is like what I always imagined a smart phone should be like. Having good 3G coverage helps too.




By androticus on 3/13/2010 8:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's biggest problem has always been its propensity to just clone previous technology and UI paradigms for entirely new space, under the premise that "familiarity is better than innovation." They did that for Windows CE way back when, creating a ridiculously gargantuan and overly complex OS (for the hardware of the time), as well as simply cloning the fairly awful Win 95 UI which doesn't work well for small format devices.

At least they (mostly) didn't do this for XBox, although arguably, basing it on Direct X probably made sense.

Their original forays into hardware were great (ex Mouse), and it is a pity they didn't carry forward that spirit into their following hardware devices.

Isn't it amazing how hard it is to do good, usable industrial design? The nearly infinite quantity of overly-complex, poorly designed, buggy crap that gets released in all tech areas every year are testament to that. I thank the atheist God ;) every day for my iPhone -- a device so simple and easy to use that even I, an engineer and software developer, can use it. ;)




iPhone's dominance
By kalak on 3/15/2010 2:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
....despite the iPhone's dominance in the mobile gaming market.


Really ?




Andriod is Not a Smart Phone
By hiscross on 3/12/2010 2:53:05 PM , Rating: 1
It's a linux distribution Sold by Google. Sounds like Microsoft in the early days when all PCs had the IBM campatible sticker on them. Funny how this article tries to paint you a picture that Google is now in the lead, but reality, they are just getting into the game. When the iPhone got it's start started to sell the same people who now praise the android was saying just the opposit about the iPhone. I wih Microsoft and IBM would team up and put a full version of the Z/OS on a phone.




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