THE SMARTPHONE MARKET IN AUSTRALIA IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE. ACCORDING TO THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY (ACMA), AUSTRALIA’S MOBILE INDUSTRY HAS ALREADY REACHED SATURATION POINT. IN FACT, AUSTRALIA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST SMARTPHONE PENETRATION RATES IN THE WORLD. ACCORDING TO DATA PROVIDED BY FLURRY, AUSTRALIA IS PLACED FOURTH HIGHEST AT 79% AHEAD OF THE US AND UK.
In Australia, the two major mobile platforms are Google Android and Apple iOS. New statistics by Telstye demonstrate the strong competition between the two with Android owning 44% of the market and Apple close at its heels at 43%.
The iPhone was once Australia’s most popular smartphone, but popularity for iPhone devices waned in 2012. However, there are a few factors that need to be taken into account. Firstly, Apple only releases one phone a year so compared to the many devices that currently utilise Android, Google are winning just on the sheer number of phones. Secondly, devices with the Android platform have a broader price range with inexpensive devices widely available.
However, different phones target different markets. Inexpensive phones that utilise the Android platform are now accessible to those who previously could not afford a smartphone. In some countries, according to Forbes, these cheaper models have allowed people access to the internet on a mobile device for the first time.
The dip in popularity for iPhone devices, exhibited globally, not just in Australia, does not mean that Apple is no longer a force to be reckoned with. Rather, the competition between iOS and Android is stronger than ever. In such a fierce market, will Microsoft Windows Phone stand a chance at penetrating this highly saturated and competitive mobile market?
According to Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software, the answer is “Yes.”
“Windows Phone is not yet a major player in the mobile market but I believe that it has the advantage in the ability to use the phone as a mass storage device that a techie like myself wants,” commented Tawansi.
“Although the ability to use a phone as a mass storage device is not something particularly new, Windows Phone offer the added benefit of a clean UI. Furthermore, Windows Phone 8 will appeal to organisations that are heavily invested in Microsoft technologies,” continued Tawansi.
Are these advantages enough for Microsoft to win over some of the market? “Only time will tell,” said Tawansi.
For businesses that have yet to build a mobile application, it is important to keep in mind that in order to reach a significant portion of your target audience, the two leading platforms are just as important as each other. Furthermore, the Windows Phone platform offers a fresh and viable alternative to iOS and Android and may prove to be popular in the coming year as more devices with Windows Phone 8 are released.
A cost-effective means to benefit from a mobile application on all three platforms is through cross platform development. HTML5 technology has enabled the development of one application to be compatible across multiple platforms with minimal native development required. This proven development method can also offer reduced time-to-market and maintenance costs as organisations are not required to build a separate mobile application for each platform. If Windows Phone 8 takes off, organisations who have invested in a cross platform compatible mobile application will be able to continue to reach a large audience.