Lots of Non-Smartphones Still Out There

Below are comScore data -- extrapolated from consumer surveys -- showing the breakdown of mobile operating systems and handsets in the US. The headline that many people are running with this data is "iPhone overtakes Windows Mobile for the first time." But the other thing to focus on is how many non-smartphones there still are in the market -- almost 200 million. Also note that Symbian has more users (although I remain bearish on Nokia's US prospects).

In discussion after discussion I just hear companies writing off non-smartphone users. They make the facile assumption that smartphones will be 50% of the market in 2011. That may not happen because of the cost of dataplans and replacement cycles (read: the availability of carrier discounts) taking a bit longer to kick in. We see smartphone growth and adoption too but it may not happen quite as quickly as people think or are hoping. 

That said, smartphones will be where the growth and Internet action are; however non-smartphones (and SMS marketing by extension) will be around for a long time. SMS marketing extends to smartphones as well; that's the point: there's major reach in the segment.

I think there are untapped opportunities in this group (see MSFT OneApp, voice search) that someone will profit from or leverage. Certainly marketers should be looking at these numbers and thinking about a "diversified" approach to mobile advertising and marketing.

Consumers are going to want something that resembles an Internet experience (or at least access to Internet content), call it "Internet lite," on these handsets as well.

 Picture 1

Compilation/chart is FierceWireless