The bet was that Android-run smartphones would have a greater market share than Windows OS phones by the 10/1/10 date. Easy win right? Well, we started the bet back on 7/31/2009 – 14 months earlier. It was in response to this article in the Boston Globe.
At the time, Android looked like it might be the latest in a line of “iPhone killers” to die on the vine. My colleague and benefactor-to-be was a Windows phone guy. I’m an iPhone guy, but I thought the Windows mobile OS was horrible for versions 5 and 6, despite the easy integration with other Windows products. I didn’t know how popular Android would be, but a comparison to the Windows interface gave me $50 worth of confidence that smart phone users would vote with their wallets for easy, fun and intuitive interfaces.
Turns out I was right. Android is growing faster than any other mobile OS, but as with most bets luck played a part. The lucky part is that the 10/1/10 date was ahead of the Windows Phone 7 launch. Microsoft couldn’t possibly catch up. As we’ve already discussed, Windows’ latest mobile effort is a sea change from where they were in mid-2009 and could be a contender in this fight in a few months’ time. I still can’t say that they’ll catch Android or iPhone, but I’m glad the end date wasn’t 10/1/2011.
If you’re trying to put together a friendly wager on mobile device market share (who isn’t?), check out Nielsen’s October report that shows a dead heat between Android and iPhone for the most desired smartphone platform. Differences are seen between age groups, genders and current smartphone vs. current feature phone users, but it’s a two horse race. Perhaps Windows Phone 7 will be the proverbial dark horse. Place your bets.