Verizon Wireless' iPhone will ding Google's Android platform a bit this year. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster sees Android and iPhone as the dominant platforms going forward.
Now that Verizon Wireless is selling Apple's iPhone 4, pundits are
pontificating on just what the launch will mean for Google's Android operating
system, which overtook iOS in smartphone market share in 2010.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the Verizon iPhone will score a
palpable hit on Android, stealing 1 million units from the platform through
Munster sees Android's share falling from the 32 percent plot (IDC
numbers) it acquired through December to 28 percent or even as low as 26
percent in March.
Conversely, Apple's iPhone share should grow from 16 percent to 20 percent
as a result of the new wireless carrier channel. Munster
had previously said
Verizon could ship 9 million to 15 million iPhone units.
The Verizon iPhone 4 launch comes one day before another potential shift in
the evolving smartphone market. Nokia is hosting its Capital Markets Day Feb.
11 in London, where Nokia CEO
Stephen Elop is expected
to announce a pact that will put Microsoft's new
Windows Phone 7 platform on Nokia handsets.
Elop has designs on stopping the hemorrhaging
of Symbian market share. Though Nokia remains
the leading smartphone OEM by units, Symbian
has gotten a bit dusty in a market ruled by touch-screen
devices such as the iPhone and several Android gadgets.
Munster is more concerned with
the impact of the Verizon iPhone on Android for the near future. The analyst
predicts cannibalization from within the carrier channel.
Verizon is Android's strongest carrier, accounting for almost half of all
Android subscribers in the United States
and 20 percent of total Android users worldwide.
Yet Munster expects the
Verizon iPhone will sell 1.5 million units through November, nabbing 1 million
in unit sales from an expected 4 million to 5 million Android shipment total
for the partial first quarter.
However, Munster hardly sees
the iPhone on Verizon and AT&T knocking Android off of its track.
Despite Research In Motion's BlackBerry brand, the emergence of Microsoft
Windows Phone 7 and whatever Nokia has in store for that platform, Android and
iPhone will emerge as the mobile platforms "that matter in mobile,"
Specifically, he believes that by 2015 Android will command 40 percent
market share, with iPhone bagging 25 percent share.