What a difference just one year can make. In our Year in Tech post, I pointed out that 2011 was the year that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) won the smartphone wars. I put together the chart above from comScore U.S. mobile subscriber estimates to illustrate the dramatic shift in market share in the smartphone market. In less than 18 months, Apple’s and Google’s combined market share of U.S. mobile subscribers for iPhones and Android phones went from 43.8 percent to 75.6 percent between August, 2010 and November, 2011.
During the same period, RIM’s Blackberry tumbled from 37.6 percent to 19.7 percent (an almost 18-point drop). Microsoft’s mobile share was also nearly cut in half from 10.8 percent to 5.7 percent. And Palm, which had almost 5 percent share 18 months ago, basically disappeared (comScore stopped reporting its share).
In the space of little more than a year, Android and Apple gobbled up three quarters of the smartphone market in the U.S. Combined, they gained 31.8 points in market share over this period. When you drill down further, almost all of these gains went to Android, which added 27.3 points of market share versus a more modest 4.5 points for Apple. There is some evidence that Android growth is slowing in the U.S. (nothing can keep growing this fast forever). But the fact that market dominance can shift so rapidly (a year ago, Blackberry was still the single largest smartphone platform in the U.S.) is quite startling.
Shift happens, and it is happening faster than ever. I’d be surprised if there was ever a year when PC market share changed so dramatically.