This should be three blog posts; but you’ve read this news elsewhere. Still, I can’t resist a brief comment on three recent trends.
The first is that usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has levelled off after a long period of decline. Microsoft says it is increasing but the numbers are too small to say that with confidence. StatCounter global stats for May to July show slight decline for IE (52.83% –> 52.37%) and FireFox (31.54%->30.88%), with Google Chrome the main beneficiary (8.81%->10.32%).
On this blog Chrome has grown from 4.2% to 12.4% in the last year. IE is still declining: 44.9% in July 09, 39.6% in June 10, and 38.2% in July 10.
My guess is that the success of Windows 7 might have brought back a few FireFox users. The interesting story though is where Chrome will be when it stops growing its share. My second guess is that it will be ahead of FireFox, though that is speculative. It is WebKit though, and I think that will be bigger than Mozilla’s Gecko thanks to adoption by Google, Apple, Adobe and others.
Next, Google Android. Nielsen reports that it has pulled ahead of Apple iPhone in the US SmartPhone market; both are behind RIM’s Blackberry though that is in steady decline. RIM is announcing Blackberry 9800, the first on OS 6, later today; but I doubt it will disrupt Android’s growth. The developer angle is that Android is now equal to Apple’s iPad/iPhone in strategic importance, which will be a relief to Adobe – Flash runs on Android but not iPhone.
Android owners lack the satisfaction of Apple iPhone owners. 21% of them are eyeing the iPhone for their next upgrade, whereas only 6% of iPhone owners want Android next. Only 42% of Blackberry owners intend to remain loyal. It is all tending to confirm my speculation back in April that Android is the new Windows.
So in two years time, what will be the market share for RIM, Nokia Symbian/MeeGo, Windows Phone, HP Palm WebOS? It will not be easy for any of them.
Finally, eBooks. The Kindle vs iPad vs Nook vs Sony is one story; but the bigger one is that the eBook is happening at last. David Carnoy’s recent articles on Amazon give the background. One is an interview with Amazon’s Ian Freed in which the retailer says eBook sales have tripled in the first quarter of 2010 vs that in 2009, and claims 70-80% of the market. Another looks at what Amazon didn’t say. However the market shares work out though, what matters is that screen, battery and wireless technology are now good enough, and publishers and authors willing enough, for eBooks to become mainstream, with huge implications for the media industry.