Currently as of this post BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) commands 41.6% of the market, according to technology data tracker comScore. Apple’s iPhone OS is is second place with 25.3%, and phones that Iphone vs Android WarsAndroid Nexus Smartphonerun Google’s Android operating system are in 5th place with 5.2% of the market. The smart phone data market has been heating up for some time, however with the introduction of Google’s android, the market is about to heat up and perhaps change the dynamics as well. A year makes a huge difference. We just heard that Android is outselling iPhone outside of North America and Apple is very concerned. Rim is now a distant third and not likely to make it in the next 5 years.

What is really interesting is that Google and Apple are getting a lot of press with the introduction of the Android platform and the Ipad respectively, however they are not the largest smartphone makers by a long way. RIM is well ahead of the pack with over 41% of the market! RIM is probably quite happy for these two to fight it out while they continue to focus on building apps and selling their products.

Iphone vs Android Wars

However the real question is what is driving traffic on the network? Turns out that data from smartphones and specifically Apple and Droid phones is driving 86% of the data traffic to these smartphones.  Apple I-phones and Ipod touch devices already have over 100,000 applications developed with more being added every day. Android phones now have over 20,000 apps and there is a huge army of developers developing more. Unfortunately Rim has only just passed the 1000 mark for apps that work on the RIM smartphone products.

Revenue Streams

The future appears to be the development of applications and they drive several revenue streams for many companies. The developer makes money when his or her app is purchased. Even if they are just charging a dollar a download, there are thousands being downloaded every day driving revenue into the developers hands.

Compelling apps also drive hardware sales of the smart phones themselves for Apple and for any manufacturer of the smartphone using Android. In addition Apple is taking a cut of the revenue for each app, while google makes money through traffic and searches that are conducted via the smartphones.

Finally the telephone companies who run all of this data over their networks are seeing traffic sky rocket through the roof. Although they are spending millions to beef up their networks they are also collecting millions on increased data traffic and smartphone monthly fees as more and more customers  purchase monthly subscription plans from them.

In fact while voice stagnates in terms of revenue growth on cellular networks, and landlines are sliding, data growth represents one of the few bright spots for the telephone carriers.

The Contenders

There appears to be 4 main contenders for the OS systems driving smartphones.  Apple’s OS , Google’s Droid, Rim and Microsoft’s Windows phone 7 appear to be the main contenders. Rim is improving their browser and making it more internet friendly. Apple currently leads the pack with over 100,000 approved applications, Android is approaching 20,000 and Rim has just surpassed the 1000 mark.

Apple has the momentum and needs to bring out more functionality in their OS and support even more applications.  Google with its droid OS is new and has momentum as well simply because of its size and deep pockets as well as the popularity of existing applications that work very well on the computers of today. The question is can they morph this success onto the smartphone and catch the leader ?

What Are Their Strategies ?

Google has made their interface open attracting many developers of applications.  The data traffic runs on three carriers in the US and on 10 smartphones.

Apple on the other hand has a close standards approach to approving apps. It can take several months to approve an app which turns off many developers although it can be argued that you have better higher quality apps as a result. The OS runs on 3 devices, the sG S,  3G Iphone, and the Ipod touch.

5 ways iPhone and Android differ

Google is carrier agnostic while Apple runs on ATT’s network only.

Google is carrier agnostic while Apple lets carriers take a cut of the app revenues

Google is offering Android on more phones with varying price points, while Apples OS runs on 3 proprietary smartphones.

Google has an open standards approach while Apple is my way or the highway approach to smartphone apps.

Google’s strategy isn’t about keeping one carrier happy but about enabling mobility, hardware and software to a variety of different tiers, while Apple has focus on one carrier only.

Who Will Win the War

It is much too early to make a call on who will win the smart phone war.  Rest assured there will be lots of new smart applications  for consumers to play with and incorporate into their everyday lives. The main contenders are not going to sit back, they will do everything they can to grab their portion of the data market.s

If you are planning to purchase one of the new smart phones along with the monthly data plan, take the time to assess just how many apps you will be using and how much data you will send or receive. Data traffic with these smartphones will become the single largest expense on a monthly basis unless you have an appropriate plan from your carrier.

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