The Nielsen Company, the company whose ratings determine which television shows will continue being produced, gathers a wide range of data outside the entertainment industry. One of the growing markets where Nielsen statistics have become increasingly more relevant is the technology sector. Nielsen ratings for electronics, computer services and consumer trends in the technology sector help steer the technology markets. Just as television studios change the course of their programming based on the trends Nielsen television ratings indicate, manufacturers of consumer electronics put a lot of stock in Nielsen ratings for determining their corporate direction.
The Nielsen Company has released its 2011 Third Quarter analysis of operating systems for smartphones. As consumer spending rises in anticipation of the Christmas holiday, this information may be particularly valuable to shoppers.
The statistics collected by the Nielsen Company indicate that the third quarter was very good for smartphones running the Android Operating System. Android-driven smartphones account for 42.8% of the smartphone market share. The next most popular, by sales, operating system was Apple’s iPhone Operating System at 28.3% of the market share. The only other substantial (over 10% market share) smartphone OS was RIM Blackberry’s Operating System with 17.8% of the market share for the third quarter. Four different operating systems split the bottom 11.2% of the smartphone operating system market!
What does this mean for consumers? Consumers spending money on smartphones for the Christmas 2011 holiday may want to consider an option other than a phone driven by Windows Mobile, Palm/HP Web OS, Symbian OS or Windows Phone 7 OS. Those four operating systems may not have anything wrong with their functionality, design or support mechanisms. Because they occupy the bottom of the market share, though, those manufacturers are most likely to re-evaluate their operating systems. Smartphone consumers want stability and products that work. If the manufacturers decide to scrap their OS to reprioritize their focus on areas in which they may be more successful, consumers must change their OS. Failure to change an operating system on your smartphone may leave you with a smartphone that cannot access the network where you have a smartphone plan.
Conversely, Android, Apple and RIM have a lot to be grateful for going into the fourth quarter. Their platforms dominate the smartphone industry and Android especially has every reason to feel secure. With over 42% of the smartphone market using Android-based smartphones, consumers have added incentive to purchase smartphones that run on the Android OS. By dominating so much of the smartphone market, Android implicitly promises the stability consumers demand.
Smartphone technology changes almost every quarter, so selecting a phone with a stable and successful operating system ensures your smartphone will continue to change with the times. Keep that in mind when buying this season!
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