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Monday, April 08, 2013

Reasons for iOS outperformance in the US

Reasons for iOS outperformance in the US:
The comScore mobiLens survey for the US ending February 2013 shows continuing rapid expansion of smartphone usage in the US. Even though the 50% penetration threshold was passed seven months earlier, the rate of new smartphone users was second highest ever recorded with over 1 million new-to-smartphones users every week during February.
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Overall penetration increased to 57% with nearly 2% of the population switching in one month. Using the average growth rate for the last six periods, the US could see 80% penetration in another 19 months or by Q3/Q4 2014.
It remains to be seen if the consistency of growth which was preserved from 20% to 60% is maintained between 60% and 80%, but all indications so far are that it will be.
The growth in smartphones has been driven by the two dominant platforms: iPhone (iOS) and Android. Together they now make up 91% of the user base with about 40% for iPhone and 51% for Android.
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Android alone gained 17 million users in the last 12 months while iPhone gained 21 million users.
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iOS user gains have out-paced Android for the last four periods which resulted in a decrease in Android share of users. A reduction in Android share was also visible in the spring of last year but the current decline is not only longer but more pronounced.
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The reason iOS is growing more rapidly may be due to three factors:
  1. Broader distribution with three out of four major operators carrying the phone
  2. Availability of three product variants with $0 starting prices.
  3. Increasing awareness and use of apps and content ecosystems due to network effects.
As distribution is about to increase with T-Mobile being added to the carrier list the growth in iOS share is likely to continue even as the market expands.
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