The Android fights back

In the early1980s, you wouldn’t have released a video in a Betamax format and expected many sales. In which case it may be as well to keep a close eye on the iPhones and Android (by Google) driven phones.

The analogy isn’t perfect. Neither Apple not Google are about to fade away any time soon and certainly not for lack of software. But a recent report from This is Money, giving uSwitch.com’s take on recent moves in the phone market, shows Apple fading in terms of market share http://tinyurl.com/643pw3r. It may be worth taking note.

Apple’s flagship handset came in sixth – with uSwitch’s analyst blaming the other packages on offer i.e. many of the other handsets come free with a contract. The Blackberry Curve, having boosted its consumer appeal, came in at fourth above the iPhone’s sixth.

Of course, Apple is expected to hit back with another must-have version – the nano – in the next few months. We will see another glamorous launch to Apple loyalists and early adopters which will probably send Apple flying back up the sales charts. But while competitors may not be first out of the blocks, they may be catching up faster than before.

Even if they do, what, you may ask, has this to do with financial services? The answer is ‘quite a lot’. First with almost any bank, insurer or intermediary worth their salt making sure they have applications for mobiles and not just providing information but interaction and marketing, the phone not the computer may well become the technology format of choice. (See previous article).

We think this means backing the right horse not just in terms of technology but also making sure the design works from a CRM, marketing and sales point of view.

Now obviously this survey is about new sales. It is not a snapshot of the phones the population at large use. But we think it’s worth keeping an eye on developments. Android has a 50 per cent market share based on those sales figures.

Monitoring all this is a new and possibly unwanted hassle for firms. Then again you wouldn’t keep advertising with a newspaper where the circulation had plummeted. Looking at it from a positive point of view, this competition means that these phones are going to be able to do more, more affordably, which means there are more ways to reach and stay in touch with your customers.

To do so, means backing the right horse, or in this case and for the moment, we think backing iPhone and Android at least. But we’ll keep you posted on how they are doing and of course any new runners and riders.

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