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5/8/2011
10:53 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Android Dominates Now, Windows Mobile Will In 2015

For the foreseeable future, consumers' interest in smartphones will be very similar to recent trends. The long term though looks very different than it does today.

Trying to predict the smartphone market is about as difficult as a guy trying to not only pick out a dress his wife will like, but one that will be the right size. Analysts can, of course, cheat and just ask the consumer what they plan to buy. That is exactly what Nielsen did, and it is what you should do when buying a dress for your special lady. For now, there is more interest in Android and less in iOS and just about everything else.

In late April Nielsen released their summary of consumer sentiment on smartphone platforms. The report covers the period of January to March of this year compares it to July to September of last year.

In the third quarter of 2010, 26% of people were considering buying an Android phone. By the first quarter of 2010 that number had increased to 31%. The only other category that increased over the same period was the "not sure" group, rising from 18% to 20%.

Interest in Apple's iOS platform decreased from 33% to 30%. And the trend is clear, even though the lead is slight at 31% interest for Android vs. 30% for iOS. This reflects the recent news that Android is the leading smartphone platform.

Blackberry, Windows Phone, and webOS all lost a point or two over the same period.

Look further out though, and things get murky. You can ask someone what kind of phone he or she will buy in the next year and you'll likely get an accurate answer. You cannot ask them five years out though. This is where forecasting comes in. The latest projection for 2015 is by Pyramid Research and it says Windows Phone will be the leading platform in 2015.

IDC released a similar projection in late March that raised more than a few eyebrows. It had Windows Phone in second place, behind Android. Pyramid Research sees Android in the lead for a few years, but by 2015, it will fall to the Microsoft platform, likely aided by the Nokia partnership.

I think we can safely assume the near term forecast will come to pass. But 2015 is, however, too far out.

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