- June 15, 2010

Americans Get “Smart”: iPhone, Android and the Accelerating Adoption of Smartphones

Last week was a big week in the ever-evolving world of mobile as Apple introduced the iPhone 4, its highly anticipated next generation of the popular mobile device. In the fiercely competitive and fast-growing smartphone market, the successful launch of a new product represents the opportunity to capture market share. Apple, like other manufacturers and platforms within the smartphone market, must rely heavily on brand awareness and positive word-of-mouth to sustain upward momentum in its quest for market share.

Just how popular have smartphones become? According to data from Comscore MobiLens, smartphone penetration in the U.S. has grown from 11 percent of mobile subscribers in April 2009 to more than 20 percent in April 2010 -- nearly double in just one year. The total number of smartphone subscribers now totals more than 48 million.

The biggest player in the smartphone market remains RIM with its popular Blackberry devices, currently owning more than 40 percent share of smartphone subscribers. Apple holds a firm grip on the #2 position with 25 percent share of mobile subscribers, up from 20 percent in April 2009. Despite gaining share over the long term, however, Apple’s market share has stabilized at 25 percent in recent months – perhaps the result of consumers waiting in anticipation of the new model. With the iPhone 4 announcement, we should expect to see Apple’s market share increase as it did with the introduction of previous models.

While iPhone was the talk of the week, however, Google’s Android platform has been the pace-setter in the smartphone market over the past several months. In April, Android captured 12 percent market share, up from just 3 percent 6 months ago. Android continues to propel itself closer to the #3 spot (currently held by Microsoft at 15 percent), and if it continues to grow at this rate it could seize that position within the next few months.

It will be particularly interesting to watch how the next few months play out in the smartphone market with Android continuing its fast ascent while the iPhone 4 makes a big push. Stay tuned for more on the smartphone market as it develops…