Flurry, a company that tracks smart phone/MID usage via an API, is beginning to provide some unique real-time information on the health of various mobile platforms. The company tracks 45 million consumers on 4 platforms — Apple (iPhone and iPod touch), Blackberry, JavaME, and Google Android — via 3000 applications that have integrated the company’s API.
The latest data shows some intriguing trends. Droid, the Verizon/Google/Motorola competitor to the Apple/AT&T iPhone showed a great deal of traction. However, according to the report, “While the Android platform is the most legitimate challenger to iPhone smartphone dominance, it’s important to remember that the iPhone’s flank is protected by an often overlooked, powerful fighting brand: iPod touch.”
The report estimates that 24 million of the 58 million iPhone OS devices sold as of September 2009 were iPod touches. While the iPhone’s sessions marketshare dropped from 57 percent to 50 percent between June and November, and Android’s share grew from 10 to 14 percent, according to Flurry, there’s more to the story, as the iPod touch grew from 31 to 35 percent of the sessions marketshare.
This could bode well for Apple. Explains Flurry:
As all industry eyes look to the iPhone, the iPod touch is quietly building a loyal base among the next generation of iPhone users, positioning Apple to corner the smartphone market not only today, but also tomorrow. In terms of Life Stage Marketing, the practice of appealing to different age-based segments, Apple is using the iPod touch to build loyalty with pre-teens and teens, even before they have their own phones (think: McDonalds’ Happy Meal marketing strategy).
Flurry goes on to explain that iPod touch users will become sucked into the Apple ecosystem (iTunes, app purchasing, etc.) which will breed familiarity with more expensive products like iPhone later in life.
Other promising signs for Apple are its dominance — both with the iPod touch and iPhone — of social networking and gaming. Google’s Android has shown little traction in these arenas. Another growing field is manga releases for the iPhone.
Flurry notes that the number of manga books available for the iPhone has been soaring. It describes, “We can expect this kind of content, well suited for the iPhone to continue to expand faster than Godzilla stormed Tokyo.”