GERMANY: In two years Apple’s market share dropped by 24 percent points to 57 percent (2.HY/2010). With new app stores coming up and Android becoming very strong competition Apple’s app platform lost some of its dominant market position.
But the first quarter of 2011 showed a kind of stabilization, as Apple’s market share stopped its down turn and even increased by 2 percent points to 59 percent (Q1/2011). This is due to download support from iPad users who are “heavy app users”. The iPad support will remain as long as the other app store operators fail to come up with a competitive app store offering which addresses the tablet app users, and non-IOS based tablet shipment numbers are low.
If Apple manages to slow down its market share loss over the next two years it will be difficult for other players to overtake Apple for a long time. Two factors are narrowing down the time for competitors to catch up.
Mass-market effect: Smartphone penetration will reach 50 percent in most of the developed countries by 2014/2015. The more smartphones become a mass-market phenomena the less app downloads a new user will add.
Lock-in effect of downloaded apps: The more apps are downloaded and the more money is spent on apps, the less likely is the switch to another platform and, in the case of Apple, to put aside iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Despite the market share drop over the last two years Apple defended its position very well against software giants like Google and Microsoft, and all those global MNOs with their existing millions of subscribers and billing relations.
Even though Apple’s competitors might be able to push Apple market share down to less than 40 percent by 2015 (assuming same market share drop as within the last two years), Apple will still keep the “heavy-downloaders” from the early days for a long time.Source: research2guidance, Germany.