August data released yesterday from The Nielsen Company, confirms what research firms and observers have been asserting for months: that Android is now the most popular smartphone operating system.
Nielsen reports that Android was the top choice among people who bought a smartphone in the past six months, while Blackberry RIM and Apple iOS are in a statistical dead heat for second place among recent buyers. Among all smartphone owners, Blackberry still clings to its lead with 31 percent of the market, the firm says, though its edge over Apple, with 28 percent, is slipping while Google's Android is gaining rapidly, now with 19 percent of smartphone users.
The primary goal of Hewlett-Packard's pending acquisition of smartphone maker Palm is to gain its mobile operating system, which HP plans to built into everything from tablet PCs to printers.
HP CEO Mark Hurd gave the first detailed look at the company's plans for Palm, once the $1.2 billion acquisition is complete, during the conference call with analysts to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings. Hurd said webOS will go well beyond smartphones, and into connected devices such as tablet PCs and Web printers, complete with an app store. The company also plans to grow Palm's smartphone business, but the acquisition is a broader play to gain a mobile OS.
"It isn't precisely a smartphone play, as I've seen some people write," Hurd said. “It is, for us, strategically broader.”
The acquisition of Palm by Hewlett-Packard has legitimized HP as a mobile-computing force. In the absence of a Windows Mobile update, HP has taken matters into its own hands (see my previous post: Microsoft Hears the HP-Smartphone Door Slam ), but enough with the limb jokes...or is it lame-jokes?
The acquisition of Palm by Hewlett-Packard, amusingly, has less to say about Hewlett-Packard, and more to say about Microsoft's mobile strategy. I am intensely positive on HP's acquisition strategy, an agreement I will address in a follow-up post shortly (now available). However, on the back of Microsoft's April 12th Kin announcement, I want to address Windows Mobile first.
ComScore this week released its latest report on smartphone marketshare showing the acceleration of growth for Google’s Android operating system at the expensive of Microsoft, Palm and even Apple, as its iPhone started to slip.
About 45.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in an average month during the December to February period, up 21 percent from the three months ending November 2009, ComScore said.
Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein says he's optimistic about his company's future, but with its smartphone sales sagging and the mobile competition heating up, Rubinstein may be the only person who feels that way.
In its fiscal third quarter, Palm shipped 960,000 smartphones -- a 23 percent increase from the previous quarter -- but managed to sell only 408,000, which is 29 percent fewer than it moved in its second quarter. Its $150 million in quarterly revenues were well short of what analysts had anticipated.