Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Apple's iPhone bound to lead the smartphone market? It might be a matter of price.

Nielsen published on Monday (8/2/2010) its latest numbers on Smartphone’s market shares (Android Soars, but iPhone Still Most Desired as Smartphones Grab 25% of U.S. Mobile Market, leading to many editorial comments on Android’s takeover and RIM’s need for a home run for its next generation expected to be revealed today (see A new BlackBerry: RIM's last shot, SAI CHART OF THE DAY: RIM Needs A Home Run With Its Next Phone and Android smart phone shipments grow 886% year-on-year in Q2 2010).

The 2 charts bellow illustrate the current market share for smartphones in the U.S. based on total units and units shipped during Q2 2010.

As everyone has now mentioned, Android sales are soaring and the Android OS is well on its way to catch up with Apple’s iPhone.

Not so fast… Nielsen also released the results of a survey showing what owners of the top 3 OS would choose for their next Smartphone.

Nielsen points that the iPhone remains the most desired device currently in the market place, regardless of what anyone is using. While Android has a high intended loyalty (71%), it’s nowhere near the iPhone’s (89%) and only 21% of the current Blackberry owners seemed attracted to an Android device while 29% claim a preference for the iPhone. Given the current position of Blackberry in the market, these 8 percentage points represent a large chunk which could make a difference in defining the market share in the near future.

I ran a simplistic simulation for market share based on current owners switch given both the current market shares and the market share based on Q2 2010 shipments (chart below)

Obviously, the market does not comprise of switchers only, but it seems that the iPhone is bound to become the leader in the market and this even given the current Android shipments.
This is obviously assuming that those who desire an iPhone for their next Smartphone are ready to pay the premium price. Pricing will become a critical factor in the battle for market share between Android, iPhone and RIM’s new device.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tackle the basics first, the rest (social media) will then follow

There were great moments at this year’s e-pharma summit (from Paul Ivan’s “Social has changed the world, but mobile will change marketing” to @epatientdave’s inspiring presentation to mention a few).

One comment made by Ginger Vieira who gave a patient testimony about pharma’s support during the Wednesday session, caught my attention. Ginger is a very eloquent 24 years old diabetes patient who has dealt with her condition for 10 years. She frequently blogs about diabetes (click here to see some of her posts on Healthcentral). While speaking about seeking product support for a medical device, Ginger simply stated that she did not see any compelling reasons to try to reach a manufacturer 800 number for support given that most likely the call center would be outsourced and staffed with agents who does not speak English clearly, that it would take too long to get to the right person...(I am paraphrasing Ginger’s comment), while she could get the answer within 5 minutes from another patient on twitter.
Beyond pharma, this addresses the purpose we want to give to our social media engagement, and how it ads value to our customers. The example of Comcast comes to mind. Allegedly, Comcast’s customer service can be perceived as very poor and stories of frustrating calls to Comcast’s customer service are easy to find on the internet (I’ve got few to share….). However, Comcast has been very diligent in resolving issues posted by frustrated customers on Twitter which has been presented as a customer support success for Comcast (click here or here for some Comcast / Twitter study cases). The question that comes to mind is whether or not the success scored by Comcast with the disgruntled tweets can actually positively overcome the potential vast majority of frustrated consumers who rely on phone and email for support.

When thinking of Ginger, it seems to make sense for any company to ensure that the support it can provide to the majority of its customers (beyond those on Twitter or Facebook) is delivering what it intends (which clearly is not the case in Ginger’s opinion). Fixing what we already have to provide any support should be our first step. Social Media will then follow naturally when happy customers tweet about it. Can we compare the value of any company’s tweet to that of a consumer twitting the following: “Ginger, call XYZ Pharmaceuticals, they have an awesome customer service”?