BlackBerry had Carl Howe, Vice President of Yankee Group’s Consumer Research group, in to write a guest post on the “Realities of Smartphone Market Share” this weekend. Howe makes some great points in article on the realities of the current market share. You hear numbers thrown around like Android having 80% market share with Apple, BlackBerry, and Microsoft fighting over the remainder which does not jive with reality. Howe highlights some of the other myths that have been debunked recently including:
- The Guardian debunking some of the myths of unit market share
- Analyst Daniel Eran Dilger have similarly taken issue with how Android devices that don’t use branded Android software or Google services distort analyst market share results.
- Data from Yankee Group’s 2013 U.S. Consumer Survey analyzed earlier this year showed that when we look at U.S. smartphone ownership, Android ownership is hardly growing at all (Yankee Group clients can reference my April 2013 Yankee Group report, “Consumers will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak” for details)
In the graph above the Yankee Group visualized the data from over 2,000+ respondents in its 2013 US Enterprise Mobility: IT Decision-Maker Survey, September results on a graph. They found the following results:
- Eleven percent of businesses still cite BlackBerry as their preferred smartphone platform.Despite shiny new Android phones seemingly being launched daily, most businesses are reluctant to toss out mobile solutions that they have already installed, working, and supported. BlackBerry smartphones and Enterprise Server have already proven themselves with businesses, so IT keeps provisioning the platform they know and trust instead of new ones they don’t.
- Businesses that prefer BlackBerry tend to be large. Most of the businesses that preferred BlackBerry were either large, with more than 2,500 employees, or very large, with more than 10,000 employees. In fact, when we look at only the respondents who work at very large companies with more than 10,000 employees, 33 percent of those firms cite BlackBerry as their preferred smartphone platform, second only to Android at 42 percent.
- Large cities are the locus of BlackBerry users. The large green BlackBerry dots in the exhibit outline many of the largest cities in the U.S. by population. This data suggests that BlackBerrys are more frequently used in the major commerce centers as well, where IT organizations are concerned about secure communications.
This has led Howe to believe that two primary causes lead to the disconnect between press claims and actual BlackBerry use:
- Silicon Valley isn’t a big BlackBerry hub. Not many respondents who prefer BlackBerrys were from this high technology region between San Jose and San Francisco, California. Given that a disproportionate amount of technology news comes from Silicon Valley, employees just doing their jobs with a BlackBerry in the rest of the country get overlooked in the quest to discover whether Apple’s next iPhone will have a curved screen.
- Market share does not equal ownership and use. Much of the smartphone narrative reported in the news references quarterly shipment data, which only tracks new devices sold, not devices owned and used. As such, companies in a product transition such as BlackBerry get short shrift in market share reports, despite having a loyal customer base who regularly use company-issued BlackBerrys. Further, employees of heavily regulated and security conscious industries often are required to continue using older devices, simply because IT has proven the security and manageability of those devices over years and doesn’t yet have a similar track record with alternative solutions. Those BlackBerry-using employees will not be counted in market share reports, yet something that will take years for regulators to be comfortable with on other platforms.
Check out the full guest writeup here and let us know what you think!
PS: I love how he uses some of my favorite quotes to open and close. This may be an analyst I can relate to though I still think that all analysts fall in the “lies, damn lies, and statistics” category…