In America and the UK, Android is the most popular smartphone operating system right now – on mobile. But a new report today illustrates just how much tablets really do matter: when you factor in tablets and portable media players (PMPs), Apple is still winning by a country mile.
The figures come courtesy of ComScore, which released its latest report today on the state of smartphone and tablet usage in Europe. Symbian is still dominant with 32 percent of the smartphone market share, but Android hot on its tail at 28 percent. Apple meanwhile enjoys a healthy 21 percent marketshare: not bad, considering it’s one manufacturer against many, and three devices (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) against a bazillion.
Here’s the thing though: for all the assumptions that tablets are still a luxury niche device, that chart changes drastically when you include tablets and non-phone devices into the mix. Here’s ComScore’s graph by operating system market share, as of October 2011:
Apple’s iOS still owns the lion’s share of the market, even against all the different Android phone and tablet manufacturers out there. That’s astonishing, and what’s even more so is that in Europe at least, the iPad now makes up about a third of the iOS devices out there, while the iPod touch’s insignificance is put into perspective.
By contrast, Android’s tablet percentage is much smaller – and this is what Google desperately needs to solve. If manufacturers can come up tablets as compelling as their phones, Google’s money spewing search skills can be in front of even more people.
That’s a tough challenge though: CES was surprisingly devoid of tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich, and other than Asus, which is selling as many Android tablets as it can pump out, we haven’t seen any real success stories – apart from the Kindle Fire, a device Google doesn’t even endorse.
You can read the whole report here (You have to register with your email to download the PDF). A few other interesting titbits from it: one in ten smartphone owners now uses a barcode scanner app when shopping, Microsoft’s market share for Windows Phone and Windows Mobile continues to hover at six percent, while usage of other OSs such as LiMo and Samsung’s Bada actually shot up 162 percent year on year.
What can Google do to change matters? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.