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RAIN 11/2: Mobile devices from Apple, Google dominate U.S. market

Posted on: 11/02/2010

28% OF MOBILE USERS NOW OWN A SMARTPHONE

Three new reports shed light on the staggering rise of the new mobile juggernauts: Apple and Google. Studies from Canalys and the NPD Group show that Android is now the most popular smartphone OS in the U.S. and the iPhone is the most popular smartphone device. Both titles were previously held by RIM with its BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry Curve 8500 device.

Google’s Android platform is up 1,309% worldwide from this time last year and controls 43.6% of the U.S. smartphone market, according to the Canalys report. When it comes to actual devices, Apple sold 16 million iPhones in the last quarter compared to the 12 million BlackBerry devices RIM shipped, according to NPD.

Though the Android platform is most popular, the operating system is spread across a wide range of moderately-popular devices. Apple’s iOS platform, on the other hand, is confined to one insanely-popular device: the iPhone. So the iPhone can outsell any single Android device, though Android devices aggregated surpass the iPhone.

Yet another study, this one from Nielsen, found that 28% of mobile users own a smartphone, up from 21% in Q1 2010. Unlike the other studies, Nielsen’s data shows RIM still slightly ahead of Apple and Google in terms of market penetration (find the study here). Still, the overall point remains: Apple and Google are challenging RIM as smartphone ownership rates climb ever higher.

This is all good news for webcasters. The benefits of smartphones in the hands of more consumers are obvious. Additionally, though RIM is aiming to create a universal app catalog, its devices are slightly fragmented with differing OS versions, hardware capabilities and other handicaps. It remains much simpler to develop a single iOS or Android app and have it safely reach users across a variety of devices.

Indeed, some analysts point to the wide variety of user-friendly applications as a big part of Google and Apple’s mobile success. Engadget has more on the Canlys study here, while The L.A. Times has coverage on the NPD Group’s findings here.

PANDORA PART OF LAST-MINUTE DNC WEB CAMPAIGN

Pandora is part of a last-minute, $2.5 million online ad campaign launched by the DNC today to reach voters before they cast their ballots. Politico reporter Ben Smith calls the campaign “the largest online ad buy” of this election cycle. Hulu, YouTube, Facebook and a few other sites were included in the campaign. The campaign includes geo-targeted ads focused on hotly-contested areas.

Analysts say the ads make sense, as today’s at-work voters are probably more likely to use Pandora or other web services than traditional media. The ads in highly-targeted areas are expected to reach 30 views per person. Fast Company has more coverage here.

OHIO SPORTS TALK WEBCAST LAUNCHES

Digital Sports Network, an Internet radio sports talk station, launched yesterday in conjunction with Cleveland.com. The station hosts many familiar names in Ohio radio, including Les Levine, Bud Shaw, Mike Cairns, Bill Boronkay, Matt Loede, Greg Kozarik and several others. You can find the new online station here.

LATEST ANDROID DEVICE LANDS ON T-MOBILE TOMORROW, PACKS FM AND MORE

The Motorola Defy, the latest smartphone to run on Google’s Android OS, lands tomorrow for T-Mobile customers and packs some radio-friendly features. The device of course supports all the streaming radio apps in the Android App Market, but also boasts an FM radio and “a better music player than the default Android version,” according to Gadling.com (here).



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