Jul 06 AT 5:14 PM Alberto Vildosola 38 Comments

While Microsoft chases Android OEMs, Google is about to own 40% of the US smartphone market

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.

Source: comScore

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com/ Max

    instead of threatening oems try to make a good operating systems

    • http://Website ari-free

      WM 6.5 failed. Kin failed. Zune failed. WP7 failed. What can they do?

      If they want my advice, they should make their own phone based on tegra 3 and call it the xbox phone. Drop the silvelight and Metro crap and make it awesome. People are actually excited by the XBox / kinect brand. People only use Windows because they have to.

      • WickedToby741

        Heck, Android is open source, why doesn’t Microsoft just go out and take the Android source code and go crazy making a Microsoft-themed build of Android. It can have their app market, Windows Live, Bing, Xbox Live, Zune, Office, Skype, and any other things they want to throw at it. There doesn’t have to be a single trace of Google left in it. As sad as it may be, its just about as good of a strategy as Windows Phone 7 right now, possibly even better.

        • thel0nerang3r

          When people thingk of Android, or thanks to VZW “droid”, they are expecting google apps at the very least and all the apps that Android enjoys. If MS would go the route you say, the would probably not get market access or the Google applications
          Have you tried Windows7 phone? it’s actualy pretty nice. Look for FedeMusic… it’s a music player skinned to look like MetroUI from W7phone. Quite nice.

          • WickedToby741

            While I haven’t gotten t actually try it, I will give it credit for being a pretty nice and polished mobile OS. However, it just seems like too little too late for Mirosoft. Also, my point was being that Microsoft wouldn’t need or want Google apps and the Market, they’d have their own. The point here is that there’s already thousands of Android apps and by now just about everyone knows how to make an Android phone. If Microsoft wanted to, they really could leverage the power of Android against Google.

          • http://Website Paul

            I’ll agree there, Windows Phone 7 is decent looking, has a decent interface. Most reviews of actual people who’ve used it come to the same 2 word conclusion “It’s different”. They don’t say it’s better or worst or anything, it’s just different. But not in a bad way. If WM7 had come out before Android, it may have been a true contender, hell if HP/Palm had pushed WebOS a lot harder with more devices before Android it could have been a contender, but the sad fact is consumers don’t need 5 or 6 different choices. We tend to think in ‘this or that’, Windows or Mac OSX, Dell or Apple, iPhone or Android, Plasma or LCD, Cable or Satellite, etc. there’s all sorts of other options but consumers don’t want to weight 5 or 6 different alternatives, they want to make a simple 50/50 decision. So, WM7 may be decent, but they waited way too long. There’s a lot of great technology, ideas, concepts, etc. that could have been great but they waited to long, the timing was off.

  • http://Website Tito!

    Dear Facebook, & Microsoft:
    Quit Hating. be more like Apple, be an actual competitor. :)
    they have lawsuits against Android OEMs, but at least they’re still competing on the front.

    Google wins, always.
    I never saw Microsoft at the Open Alliance table,
    so how ’bout we charge you instead of vice versa,
    since you are the one that wants a part of Android.

    it makes sense,
    you’re only making your company’s look bad &
    destined for future failure.


  • http://Website Mitchell

    Go Apple! Beat the meandroid & fragmentation scum!!!

    Cant wait for the new star phone iPhone 5!!!!!
    Get out of the way, Android bums!

    • http://Website Nicki M

      Seriously?! The iPhone 5 isn’t compatible with any 4G network.. There isn’t really a big leap when comparing the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 (4S) … Apple is just trying the milk the apple fanboys as much as possible.

      PS.. You’re a douche bag

      • http://Website Tony

        Don’t feed the troll ;-)

      • WickedToby741

        Correction. The iPhone 5 isn’t out and nothing about it is set in stone yet, so it very well could be 4G capable, although is doubtful. Not that it really matters though, because Steve Jobs will stand on stage and christen it the greatest thing since the last iPhone (which was, of course, the greatest thing since sliced bread) and people will go crazy and lineup all around the country no matter what the specs. Then, they’ll come on forums like this and brag about how “amazing” and “magical” it is and talk down things like fragmentation and the ability to get apps outside the Android Market as if user choice was a bad thing all the while being stuck two or three generations behind Android in specs. Don’t try and understand it, you’ll fail. All rationale people that try and understand it do.

        • thel0nerang3r

          sadly, for most people… marketing trumps engineering… it’s a sad story.

    • http://Website ari-free

      yeah we’re so mean for wanting to let you do whatever you want with your own phone.

      • WickedToby741

        The only control crazy Apple fanatics like this guy understand is being under the control of Steve Jobs. Life is just simpler, or I guess the saying is more “magical”, when you live it Steve’s way. Some people have a hard time processing the deeper stuff, you know, like homescreen customization and which of the hundreds of devices to choose from. I suppose life is easier when you don’t have to make your own decisions since they’re already made for you, but oh well. I enjoy my freedom and choice way to much to live that way.

    • http://Website Osanda

      All the way Mitchell yoo hoo

  • http://Website Drew

    The best part is that most readers on engadget are stupid enough to think that WP7 is better than Android.

    • http://Website Kristian

      I’m sure these people actually work for Microsoft. They do the same thing on twitter. “oh geez, Stephen Elop is so smart” – Random Microsoft employee

  • http://Website Kristian

    The Nokia patent portfolio should become pretty cheap soon. Heck, Google could buy the entire company today, split it into smaller divisions, and sell them off to the highest bidder.

    Since the individual parts of Nokia is worth more than the company as a whole, they would make a massive profit AND get an insane patent portfolio.

  • WickedToby741

    I’m kind of surprised that Microsoft didn’t go to Nokia with a deal instead saying “We want you to make Android phones, but preload them with Bing Search and Maps that can’t be removed and we’ll charge you $10 for IP rights.” I mean, they make way more money off of Android anyways, and Windows Phone 7 just seems like a bad way to waste whats left of Nokia.

  • http://Website Trisjen1983

    Android tell apple to suck balls, your coming for their market!

    • nexus15

      Coming? Android took their market a long time ago. Problem is we have yet to see apps like infinity blade or rage for the higher end devices. That actually bothers me because there is way more android devices to target, thus meaning bigger payouts for developers to target android over iOS.

  • http://Website SteveJisGod

    I wonder how many regret buying their POS Fragmented phone(s)?

    I’m sorry, but WP7 is better than Android. That thing is smooth like our iPhone. IDK what people think when they buy their crappy phone, and they see that it’s slow, lags, freezes, and can’t dl certain Apps. LULZ.

    When the iPhone 5 comes out…. Goodbye Sadroid.

    iPhone 5 will be on every carrier. :)

    Typing this from my smooth iPad 2 while I play HD games that don’t lag on my iPhone 4. :)

    • http://Website Longdingdong

      LOL, MS is their Pimp!

      HTC is paying their daddy, Samsung will be next.

    • WickedToby741

      Might I ask with what basis do you state it will be on ll carriers? By all means it would be the smart move, but that doesn’t mean its going to happen. And, you’re right, the iPhone 5 will likely beat all current Android phones out there. But here’s the deal, by the time the iPhone 5 comes out, there’s a strong likelihood that Android will have moved onto to quad core processors, even better screens, and features unimaginable on any iPhone. Trash Android all you want, but numbers don’t lie, people are buying Android phones like crazy. Your guys’ default argument has become that it will be on all carriers. Remember when your default argument was that Android’s demise would be when the iPhone hit Verizon. Yeah, that caused a minor hiccup in the rise of Android, not its demise.

  • http://Website ok

    Lol at your patent and strategy analysis. Please don’t just make shit up that you’re clueless about. This isn’t the wall street journal.

    • http://Website mesasr

      LOL indeed
      hilarious analyses and very ignorant towards Microsoft
      ” By the time Microsoft realizes that, its own mobile platform will be ready to be buried and forgotten.” – hey, ever heard of WINDOWS 8 that will also run on ARM, have numerous UI similarities with WP and fully complete the MS ecosystem? remind you that its Windows we are talking about, the biggest software and OS

      • http://Website themanwithsauce

        So you agree then that their mobile efforts will be halted by their desktop efforts? If Windows 8 runs smooth on mobile processors like the tegra platform then why bother with windows mobile? For the phones that don’t sell?

        • http://Website mesasr

          Zune didnt beat iPod and died but gave birth to WP7
          WP7 cant really take off (though I guess there is a little chance left with Nokia and Mango update) but no matter what happens, it already had a huge impact on Microsoft’s biggest asset – Windows – a platform which is established and has an almost guaranteed success because of enormous developer and user base
          of course MS wants WP7 to succeed, but it already did a great job by giving the original Windows a new look and feel right in time – when the mobile,touch based hardware is almost capable of handling a desktop OS
          they realize its impossible to win in every market, but maintaining Windows’ market share will forever be MS’s main goal
          assuming the author is somehow right about Google’s intentions of buying lots of patents in the future, the last sentence is still incorrect and must be – by the time Google buys those to defend Samsung & Co, MS will bury iPads and Honeycombs with Win8

  • http://Website mesasr

    Alberto Vildosola – the 12 year old ultimate Microsoft troll
    its seems fanboyism is all over you and you cant understand google’s business – search and ads … and thats it!! have you ever asked yourself why Google – an internet company,needs an OS and huge rivals like Apple and MS? you think they rely on Android as much as MS does on Windows? no, they only rely on their search and ads,so must do anything to maintain the lead THERE, Android is one of the tools to do so, alongside Google+, Chrome OS, etc
    Google is aware of increasing importance of mobile devices connected to the internet, so it wants to conquer that area too, and that requires the OS to be the best(it actually is already) so more people will use them. In other words it needs Android to succeed and help Search but it doesnt directly care about the OS and its partners at all, and the app revenue is just a little bonus,nothing compared to ads and search data
    you think they will go on and spend billions alone just to help Samsung which isnt even paying for Android(because its free as you love to mention like a typical fanboy)? nope,eventually Samsung will take the HTC way and pay MS, while Android will continue selling devices – win-win for both – MS, unable to beat Android, at least makes money from it, while Google keeps more and more user data and the consumer gets a superb OS because Google HAS to keep it competitive in order to achieve its targets already mentioned above
    oh and one more thing, yes its awesome that Android is free but at the same time it actually proves that Google just needed an OS to strengthen its assets without any intention of building a whole new independent business around it

    • http://Website Messay

      So what you are saying is Google doesn’t “directly care” about Android but still managed to make a rock solid mobile OS that took the US market share by storm. They don’t “directly care” but they are now (arguably) the leading innovators in that sector. I think I’m okay with that :). Furthermore I think their patent pursuits show initiative towards defending their OS against patent trolling, which by extension would defend the OEMs that use it. Yes, their main game is search and ads, which by the way they don’t seem to be having trouble with (…Bing?Yahoo?). However don’t think that they do not recognize/utilize the potential of Android (or the mobile market) as its own business.

  • http://Website Martin

    It is great to see that 40% of the US market (& I assume a growing world market) is now Android, but this is not being reflected in quality apps for handsets or tablets.

    When will Google start delivering more high quality apps & get more of the iOS focused devs on board to complete the picture.

    I love my Galaxy S II & EeePad, but I beat my head against the Market door just about every day looking for apps that iOS users have had for ages.

  • http://Website Droidfan

    My feeling about WP7 chances of short term success were pretty low from the beginning. It wasn’t about the inadequacies of the OS or it being better or worse than iOS or Android. I felt then, and I feel now that it was about the ecosystem of WP7. It’s a walled garden startphone. Which means its competing with the iPhone. Enough said.

    Now if MS sticks with it long enough and changes it approach to be more Android like, WP7 could be a viable alternative.

    • WickedToby741

      Kinda. Windows Phone 7 is most certainly a controlled ecosystem, but not near as much as Apple’s. Microsoft’s strategy is to be more open than Apple, but less fragmented than Android. You see, they allow more that one hardware configuration and manufacturer, but they enforce restrictions on the hardware to use so that the experience is a smoother one for both users and developers. Consumers get more choice than just one phone but also more polish than most Android phones and developers get to enjoy simpler programming but still having a potentially larger audience.

      Microsoft’s problem isn’t really their strategy, its their timing. They’re too late. Most customers have already firmly entrenched themselves in either the Android or iPhone camps and have bought and downloaded hundreds of apps. Switching means losing all those and the strong likelihood of not getting a lot of them back because they aren’t available on Windows Phone 7. Had they arrived at the party earlier, they would have earned a larger user base and stood a whole lot better chance hanging out in the void left between Android and iOS. But its most likely too late now. Their best hope now is to bring Windows 8 down and merge it with Windows Phone because desktop Windows has the sort of strong following they can launch a successful strategy from.

  • https://plus.google.com/117702410245683101961/posts Lucian Armasu

    Alberto, WP7 doesn’t have 6% of the market. This is market share for “total smartphone users”. It *includes* Windows Mobile 6 phones. WP7 has a user base of 1-2%, so already smaller than WebOS phones.

  • http://Website Andrew

    While Android is about to own 40% of the US smartphone market, they already account for 50% of recent acquires compared to 25% for iOS. that’s 2 android phones for every 1 iphone sold in the US in recent months.

    (last chart)

  • http://Website MichaelMangini

    Is this Nielsen or Comscore again? “Some surveys say Apple’s growth has increased over the same period from last year while Android growth has slowed some what.”

    Why not just look actual sales numbers and ignore these retarded market surveys that drive the telecoms to make each and every decision in the first place?

  • http://Website Osanda

    Whatever……… Windows was is and will be the most used operating system in the world. Don’t forget there are people like us hate opensource crap, ios is great android sucks big time. and Linux no ordinary person can use it I tried to introduce it to my friends and they hated it they love windows I will tell you something so many years to come MS windows will always be no1 that is to say Microsoft win the game

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