Once a niche market device, smartphones now make up the majority of new mobile phone purchases. Monitoring popular devices is and will continue to be critical to relevant companies.

The value of smartphones in mobile strategy keeps increasing

Brands, marketers and developers have been looking to the developing smartphone market for indications of what the mobile category will become in the immediate future. Now the majority of mobile subscribers are choosing to purchase within this robustly growing device group. Nielsen has shown that in the second quarter of this year, two-thirds of new mobile phone purchases have been smartphones instead of feature phones. In their Mobile Insights report, Nielsen quantified this further - 54.9 percent of US mobile customers currently own smartphones as of June 2012, and this will continue to grow quickly if this trend continues.

Study confirms the importance of supporting Android and iOS…

Mobile strategies will still do well to concentrate support on Android and iOS devices, since this continues to make up 86.1 percent of market share. The operating system breakdown confirms that Android is still the most robust performer, with 51.8 percent of all smartphones owning one of the many devices that runs Google’s mobile OS, and acquisitions within the last 3 months favor it even slightly more at 54.6 percent. Apple’s iOS runs 34.3 percent of all currently owned smartphones, and 36.3 percent of recent purchases. Since both Android and iOS have improved performance in respect to new device owners, RIM Blackberry usage has fallen precipitously from 8.2 percent to 4.0 percent.

And the value of iPhones as targets for mobile strategies

But as developers and marketers know well, supporting mobile OS is only part of an ideal user experience. Apps and advertisements are subject to different rules and can appear very different depending on the manufacturer of the smartphone. When considering market share by the manufacturer, Apple remains on top with its 34 percent, and Android fragments considerably within its 51 percent. Three companies have substantial presence within that OS: Samsung has a 17 percent presence, HTC has 14 percent, Motorola has 11 percent, and 9 percent is shared with the several other brands.

By Ivory King