StatCounter released a report Wednesday suggesting that the rise of Google’s Android operating system and the resilience of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS are having an impact on Apple’s grip on the U.S. smartphone market. RIM overtook Apple to claim the top smartphone OS slot in November with a 34.3 percent market share, beating Apple’s iOS for the first time, the Dublin-based web-metrics firm said.
StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen noted that BlackBerry and Android combined are on course to become twice the size of Apple’s iOS in mobile Internet usage next year. “These figures suggest that developers should not be developing solely for the iPhone to the exclusion of BlackBerry and Android,” Cullen said.
Still, it’s difficult to gauge how accurately the StatCounter data reflects reality since all such surveys are based on the web-site sample skews of the particular survey company, noted Al Hilwa, director of applications development software at IDC. “But it is likely the data reflects greater use of browsing in BlackBerry phones, thanks to improved browser capabilities in OS version 6,” Hilwa said.
Developers Eye Other Platforms
According to StatCounter, Android has been rapidly gaining market share over the past 12 months, during which the usage of Google’s platform almost tripled to 23.8 percent. By contrast, Apple’s iOS market share declined from 51.9 percent to 33 percent over the same period, Cullen said.
From a developer perspective, there is no doubt that the era of the iPhone as the sole smartphone developer platform is over, Hilwa observed. “Most developers are already beginning to think about the space in terms of a range of platforms,” He said.
The recent launch of BlackBerry OS 6 and Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform mean that software developers can target between three and six platforms, “depending on the geography or type of…