Are you ready for your weekly dose of Android growth news? You better be, ’cause comScore is back with its smartphone market report. And guess what? Android’s still growing. Also in the “doing good” section, Apple’s iOS keeps widening the gap between itself and RIM’s Blackberry. That’s pretty much all the good news; everybody else kept losing market share through the month of May.
Let’s start with Android. The OS added 1.7% to their piece of the pie, going from 36.4% to 38.1%. At this rate, Google’s operating system could very well own 40% of the US market by the time the next comScore report comes out. In second place, iOS grew by 0.6% and now has 26.6% of the market. This is probably due to the release of the Verizon iPhone, which interestingly, has hurt Blackberry much more than Android.
Speaking of Blackberry, the platform is still on a downward spiral. RIM’s mobile OS lost a full 1% in the month of May, dropping from 25.7% to 24.7%. Even worse, RIM has no clear strategy to stop the Android war machine. If the company isn’t able to turn around its sinking ship soon, Blackberry could very well join WebOS and Windows Mobile/Phone on Android’s victims list.
Last month I predicted Windows Mobile/Phone’s market share would drop below 5% over the coming months. Well, I was wrong. That has probably already happened. Microsoft’s mobile platform lost 0.9% of its market share during the month of May, free-falling from 6.7% to 5.8%. comScore’s reports always come out a month late; therefore, Microsoft’s current market share is most likely already below 5%. In comparison, WebOS now has 2.4% of the market. Believe it or not, Windows Mobile/Phone is just a few percentage points away from losing to HP’s mobile experiment. That’s truly embarrassing.
Seeing how bad Windows Mobile/Phone is doing, it’s really no surprise that Microsoft has decided to go after Android OEMs. It’s probably the company’s last option. It’ll soon be a year since Microsoft announced the first WP7 devices, but the refreshed OS has done nothing to stop the bleeding. While the Windows Phone team will probably keep improving the OS for a long time, other people at Microsoft are perhaps wondering whether signing license deals with Android OEMs might be the best strategy for the company.
This could work out for Microsoft in the short term, but it’s certainly not a long-term strategy. Google won’t be patent-less forever, and it’ll surely do everything it can to keep Android free. While the company lost the Nortel auction, Google already has its eyes set on other companies it can acquire for the same goal. Once the company builds a respectable patent portfolio, Microsoft’s free ride will likely be over. By the time Microsoft realizes that, its own mobile platform will be ready to be buried and forgotten.