Apple Insider reported today that Apple and Samsung are likely to extend their combined market share to more than 50% of smartphone sales next year. The numbers originate from Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley’s investor note today. His analysis shows that combined Apple – Samsung market share will grow from 47.6% today to 49.7% by the end of the year followed by 52.3% by the end of 2013.
I have written recently about the problem Android fragmentation creates for the enterprise. Market forces may be sorting out this issue already. Is smartphone market concentration good for the enterprise? Yes, as long as it’s not controlled by a single vendor. The enterprise adoption of the PC benefited greatly from the standardization on the Windows platform. While there may be some concern about market concentration stifling innovation and creating supplier pricing power, at this point the feature arms race between Samsung and Apple should keep that concern at bay. And their focus on delivering devices that consumers love and can afford is keeping them in a reasonable price-performance range.
Implication for Enterprise BYOD
BYOD programs are about balancing employee choice with enterprise needs for standardization, performance and security. Android-based smartphones are differentiating far more on variety and innovation than on standardization and security. This is creating challenges when IT departments want to enable apps on Android and realize that manufacturer customizations don’t allow for a write-once to Android, operate everywhere scenario. This increases development and testing time and directly impacts cost. It also increases security risk. Gone are the days when the IT shop could manage all mobile devices in the same way with a common set of tools provided with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
The other good news in this analysis by Walkley is the confirmation that Apple has a legitimate competitor in the smartphone market. At a projected 300 million smartphone sales in 2013, Samsung will continue to drive the Android ecosystem and may be able to leverage smartphone scale into some meaningful competition for the iPad. Apple reigns supreme in tablets and is dictating the market. ChangeWave Research commented in a research note today that:
The only other manufacturer that is showing some signs of momentum is Samsung.
ChangeWave’s Tablet Plan Purchasing forecast – Next 90 Days shows 73% intend to buy an iPad and 6% a Samsung Galaxy Tab. That 6% compares with only 3% last quarter. The spectacular pre-sales for Galaxy S III launch has shown us that Samsung has the capability to compete on an Apple scale. To maintain momentum, Samsung will need to get its customer reviewed very satisfied rating up from 46% today to better compete with the new iPad’s impressive 81% showing.
What do you think? Is the emergence of Apple and Samsung as smartphone market leaders a good thing for the enterprise?