The smartphone market is heating up worldwide. We’re now seeing smartphones saturate developing markets and the number of people switching from basic cell phones to smartphones is slowly but surely rising. Basic cell phones are still a bigger part of the market, but the number of new smartphone owners is rising. ComScore has now released the official numbers.
In April of last year, 60 percent of basic phone owners decided that the successor to their phone would not be a smartphone. This year in April there were only about 50 percent who would not upgrade to a smartphone. Nearly two out of three people who planned to switch from basic phone to smartphone said they opted for Android. 61.5 percent of new smartphone owners chose Android in comparison with the 25.2 who decided on getting an. With 7.1 percent for Microsoft and 4.8 percent for RIM, it’s clear that these two companies play a minor role.
ComScore also offered an explanation for why only one in every four device is an iPhone. Many people who buy a smartphone for the first time, do not need the high-end features that are characteristic of HTC, Samsung and Co, but also the iPhone. As long as they can download apps and surf the Net, these customers are completely satisfied with basic smartphones and Apple’s iPhone is seen as too high-end. These customers often choose, as part of a new contract, the best low end Android model from the provider.
It’s not surprising then that the gap between Android and the iPhone is ever widening. Apple’s smartphone costs more and appeals to a smaller market: the high end market. Android has a wider base and more of a range of offerings. Good news for Android, bad news for Apple.