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Apple Forecast to Gain Share as Smartphones Surge

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Despite Android's firm grip on the smartphone market, Apple's iOS is expected to reap the benefits of increasing consumer demand in smartphones over the next six months, according to a new report by Yankee Group

The smartphone market is still expanding: US adoption is expected to surge from 97 million devices in 2011, to 175 million by 2015, according to Yankee's forecast.

Below, key findings from Yankee Group's report titled "The Runaway Smartphone Landscape," based on a survey of 15,000 US consumers in December 2011 and Yankee Group research.

Nearly one-half (47%) of surveyed US consumers now own at least one smartphone, and 58% of consumers plan to buy a smartphone as their next mobile device.

Apple's iOS, however, is the only platform set to gain share in the expanding market over the next six months.

The chart (below) illustrates the smartphone market over the next six month, divided into two regions based on OS ownership and intent to buy: 
  • The green region contains OSs now forecast to gain share. Brands for which consumer intent to buy is high in proportion to their installed base are likely to gain market share over the next six months, as that buying intent translates into growth in their installed base.
  • The tan region contains OSs that are losing share. Similarly, OSs for which consumer intent to buy is low relative to their installed base are likely to lose share.
  •  

    Below, key findings related to the smartphone landscape:  
    • Android is today's most popular smartphone OS: 39% of smartphone owners use an Android-based device. Meanwhile, an equal proportion (39%) of consumers who intend to buy a smartphone in the next six months say they will buy an Android-based smartphone. Therefore, any OS intending to gain market share must grow at a rate higher than Android's 1:1 ratio.
    • Apple iOS set to give Android a run for its money: 25% of surveyed smartphone owners own an iPhone (14 percentage points behind Android's installed base). However, 35% of consumers who plan to buy a smartphone in the next six months say they will buy an iPhone. As a result, iOS is set to win a greater stake in the expanding smartphone market over the period. 
    Meanwhile, four out of six mobile OSs are expected to lose share (any OS with less than 20% share of today's installed base can expect to do so, according to the study). Overall, only 22% of consumers who plan to buy a smartphone over the next six months plan to purchase a BlackBerry, Palm, Nokia, or Windows Mobile-based smartphone.

    Among key findings related to the four platforms:  

    • RIM: 20% of smarphone owners now own a BlackBerry, but only 12% of those planning to buy a smartphone in the next six months plan to purchase a BlackBerry device. As such, BlackBerry will likely lose additional market share in the coming months.
    • Windows Mobile: 14% of smartphone owners own a Windows Mobile-based device, but only 9% of those intending to buy a smartphone in the next six months say they will go with Windows Mobile.
    • Symbian and HP WebOS: Fewer than 2% of those planning to buy a smartphone in the next six months want a Nokia or Palm. 
    About the research: Findings are based on a survey of 15,020 US consumers age 13+, conducted in December 2011, and Yankee Group research. 


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