Millennial: Windows Phones a Rowboat on the Android Sea

The iPhone vs. Android meme is getting very tired yet it persists. That's the thrust of the coverage surrounding Millennial Media's "Mobile Mix" report for July 2011. Among other data, it ranks handsets and market share on the Millennial network by device type and operating system. Here are the "quick facts":

  • iOS and RIM impressions were relatively flat month-over-month
  • Android impressions grew 31% month-over-month
  • Symbian impressions grew 11% month-over-month
  • Windows Phone 7 impressions grew 71% month-over-month

The Windows Phone growth is noteworthy for the fact that that there is growth/life. By contrast comScore shows Windows/Microsoft losing share month over month. However high percentage growth from a very small base is, in actual handset numbers, not particularly meaningful. Several months of such growth would be significant however. We'll need to wait for the first Nokisoft phones to appear to see whether Windows will "make it" as an OS.

Unfortunately Millennial doesn't put much historical context into its individual reports. So I always like to take a look at the data from several months or a year ago to compare the figures. Accordingly here are several charts from this month's report and July 2010:

Top handsets on the network (7/10 then 7/11):

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The iPhone has maintained its top position and RIM is holding on with three handsets in the top 20 vs. four a year ago. But otherwise it's all Android.

Operating system share (7/10 then 7/11):

 Screen shot 2011-08-24 at 8.10.24 AMScreen shot 2011-08-24 at 8.09.51 AM

As you can see smartphones have grown from 49% to 68% on the network. In the US market smartphones are about 40% of all handsets now according to Nielsen. As you can also see, the relationship between iOS and Android has flipped in a year with Android handsets now representing 61% of all impressions. 

In terms of monetization and revenue, however, Android continues to underperform its share while Apple devices outperform their relative share. 

Screen shot 2011-08-24 at 8.11.14 AM

Finally, as PaidContent has pointed out, one of the more interesting pieces of data surrounds "carrier" usage. Over the past year WiFi access has grown from 26% to 33%. This is probably a direct result of the use of "connected devices" (e.g., the iPad) more than any other variable. 

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However as carriers eliminate unlimited data and throttle speeds on their networks, on the go users will increasingly seek alternatives that offer cheaper and/or faster access to their applications and the mobile Internet.