With continuous rise in popularity of Android, Google has a good chance of turning Motorola around.
The latest report from market research firm NPD indicates that Google's Android mobile operating system has further solidified its dominance of the US Smartphone market. The report says, Android OS accounted for 52 percent of the units sold in second quarter (Q2) of 2011. Like Android, Apple's iPhone OS (iOS) experienced slight quarterly gain rising to 29 percent in Q2; however, BlackBerry OS share fell to 11 percent, as Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and webOS held steady at less than five percent of the market each.
The report from NPD is similar to the report that Gartner had presented earlier this month. However, the position is entirely different from how it was in Q2 of 2010. In the NPDs report for Q2 2010 Android had accounted for 33 percent of handsets sold, RIM accounted for 28 percent and the iPhone had 22 percent of the market share. Since then Android seems to have made the most significant progress.
Recently Google has declared its intention of acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, said, Googles acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors. Android's momentum has made for a large pie that is attractive to Motorola's Android rivals, even if they must compete with their operating system developer.
However, Motorolas handset business does not seem to be doing too well. The NPD report shows that Motorola's overall mobile phone market share declined 3 percentage points, from 12 percent in Q2 2010 to 9 percent in Q2 2011. The company's share of the smartphone market also declined from 15 percent to 12 percent. Motorola's year-over-year unit share of Android OS sales halved from 44 percent in Q2 of last year to 22 percent in Q2 of 2011, as Samsung and LG both experienced substantial gains.
NPDs Ross Rubin said, Much as it did in the feature phone market in the RAZR era, Motorola is experiencing increased competition from Samsung and LG in the smartphone market. Closer ties to the heart of Android can help inspire new paths to differentiation. However, other analysts are divided over the issue of how far Google plans to go in helping Motorola establish its handset business. It is being believed that Googles $12.5 billion acquisition might have more to do with patents than anything else.