Picture of the Day: Google Makes a Prank Call

I don't know that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) placed a gloating prank call to Apple yesterday evening. But given the point of iPhone market share that its Android phones just gained, I wouldn't put it past the folks from Mountain View to lord it over their Cupertino cousins a little. After all, the iPhone hawkers rarely chalk up a losing quarter like this one:

Who's Who in Smartphone Market Share

Data from comScore. Three-month average for smartphone operating system market shares.

According to comScore, U.S.-based smartphone users aged 13 and over still favor Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) by a pretty large margin. Apple remains No. 2, but its steady share gains got stopped in their tracks last quarter. Blame Google, Samsung (now No. 1 in U.S. manufacturing of smartphone handsets), and Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) (No. 3). The latter two are heavy users of the Android operating system.

Whether RIM or Apple, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) or Palm (now a part of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) ), everybody lost market share last quarter. Except for Google.

I am become Google, destroyer of market share
As a Google shareholder, I'm rejoicing … but only in moderation. Hearing that Google grabbed market share with Android is certainly preferable to seeing the company sink money into a project and fail. But when you think about it, how could Android fail?

I mean, they give the OS away for free. At that price point, I'd be stunned to see Android do anything but steal market share from companies who have the chutzpah to actually charge for their products. But like many Google shareholders, I'm still waiting for Google to come up with an idea (other than search), that it can charge for and profit from. Call me a skeptic, but I'm going to hold my applause until I see that press release.

Take the Foolish Rorschach test. Do you see something different in today's chart? Tell us about it below.

Nokia is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Google. Rich is not a licensed economist, but he plays one on the Web. Check out his latest stock recommendations on Motley Fool CAPS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2010, at 1:41 PM, daveshouston wrote:

    The USA is a special case because of AT&T's exclusivity contract with Apple. If the other carriers had the iPhone the chart would look quite different.

    I think you need to look at the worldwide sales figures for a more meaningful comparison.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2010, at 1:49 PM, bsimpsen wrote:

    @daves

    Agreed. Apple is currently competing with one big carrier tied behind its back.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2010, at 2:38 PM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    Since Google have been claiming for months that they've overtaken Apple, I'd expect them to be hiding, not crowing.

    Call me a cynic but I'm going to divide all future Android claims by three to cancel out the Android activation multiplication factor.

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