Undecided Buyers Play Key Role in Smartphone Fight

The smartphone war is as heated as ever at the moment, and it shows no real signs of slowing down. As Android, Apple, RIM BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 all aim to be the top dog, various surveys and statistics are being released to document who is in the lead and who has the best chance of coming out on top. Nielsen is just one of the many participants in the smartphone madness, and it recently released its latest Mobile Insights report that gives an overview of the current market, as well as what it could look like in the future.

According to the Nielsen survey, smartphones now make up 40 percent of all the mobile phones in the United States.  While standard feature phones still hold the majority at 60 percent, smartphones are making steady penetration into the market, which means that manufacturers have plenty of incentive to compete for their attention.  Breaking down smartphone ownership reveals that Google’s Android OS is currently king, with a 40 percent market share.  Apple’s iPhone iOS comes in second with 28 percent, and RIM BlackBerry falls into third with 19 percent.  Windows Mobile/Phone 7 lags behind with an 8 percent share. 

Although those current market share statistics are fairly solid and paint an accurate picture of the current smartphone war, it’s the future purchases that have smartphone manufacturers really interested.  Nielsen broke down smartphone shoppers into five different groups according to their willingness to adopt new technologies: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and late adopters.  Of the shoppers looking to purchase a new smartphone within the next year, most list Android and the iPhone as their platforms of choice, with each receiving approximately one-third of the votes.  Innovators, which are consumers who have owned smartphones from the very beginning, list a 40 percent favoring towards Android and 32 percent said they would choose the iPhone.  Early adopters, early majority, and late majority consumers are all about even in terms of their Android or iPhone desires. 

Where the survey really gets interesting is when you look at the unsure buyers.  Nearly 30 percent of late adopters say they are unsure of their next platform, while 22 percent of the late majority and 17 percent of the early majority feel the same way.  In other words, there is a substantial piece of the market share pie that is currently up for grabs and undecided.  Smartphone competitors may have a hard time swaying consumers who have made up their minds, but the remaining open-minded consumers are a whole other story, and they will likely determine who reigns as smartphone king in the end.

For more on this topic, visit http://www.pcworld.com/article/239312/smartphone_wars_hinge_on_undecided_buyers.html

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