Monday, December 5, 2011

Angry Smartphones

I was joking last week, when I saw a poster of an Angry Bird in the window of Barnes and Noble, that read "Birds and Noble", that maybe 2011 was the year that Angry Birds jumped the Cabbage Patch and over-saturated.  Probably not likely, but you can't swing a dead cat without seeing a bird or pig flip flop, tee shirt, stuffed animal or coffee mug this holiday season.  More importantly, however, is the vehicle that drove the birds and pigs to this swank party, the smartphone, and its impressive growth here in the United States and abroad.

Android Biggest OS, Apple Biggest Manufacturer
The Nielsen Company recently noted that Android and iPhones make up 71% of smartphone owners in the U.S. but 83% of the app downloads.  Of the embedded market, 44% own smartphones now, while 56% of new purchases are smartphones.  People want their Angry Birds.

Recently, in the United Kingdom, Kantar Worldwide ComTech found that the pent-up demand for the iPhone 4S accelerated new iOS phone sales shares to 42.8% of all smartphone sales in October.  Smartphones made up 69.1% of all new mobile sales!  It will be interesting to see 4Q numbers to see if the iPhone trend is local or global.  I normally would also not expect it to be sustainable, but the only wrinkle in that opinion is the massive amounts of litigation going on between Apple and Android licensees.  Tomorrow, there is a ruling which could result in an import ban for HTC, for example, and if it happened, that could boost other Android sales, like Motorola's new, stylish DROID RAZR, or maybe give Apple a bump.

Stay tuned.

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