Smartphone's Operating Systems and market share

Bachelor thesis English OPEN
Ferreras Andreu, Javier (2011)
  • Publisher: Oulun Yliopisto (University of Oulu)
  • Subject: Smartphones -- Programming | Telèfons intel·ligents -- Programació | Cellular telephone systems | :Economia i organització d'empreses::Competitivitat i innovació [Àrees temàtiques de la UPC] | :Enginyeria de la telecomunicació::Radiocomunicació i exploració electromagnètica::Comunicacions mòbils [Àrees temàtiques de la UPC] | Telefonia mòbil | Mercat -- Anàlisi | Market surveys

During the last decades, mobile phone’s market has changed people’s communication ways. Several technological improvements have been reached mainly in the last fifteen years, making possible to add new features to mobile phones. As devices became more popular and included new services, a market grew around them. The following pages contain a market analysis from the different members of the mobile phone’s industry: manufacturers, operating system companies, operators, developers and customers. An historical evolution of mobile phones and smartphones, the technological network improvements and the present and future trends of the market are the first analysis and an interesting introduction to develop and focus the following research. An analysis of the operating systems’ market share and the three main OSs is one of the most important parts of the thesis. Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 have been selected because of their relevance in current devices and the forecasts of future growth. Main features and pros and cons according to user’s point of view are described to understand the keys of success. A consideration about the source of direct and indirect incomes for OSs developing companies is also included as a key to understand their motivation. Operators’ business has also changed since the appearance of smartphones. Mobile broadband data plans, rates and different applications have changed the traditional business models. Subsidies, MVNO’s competence, devices’ exclusivity and differentiation services have been also analysed to describe the new position of the competitors. The impressive growth of smartphones’ market it is certainly based on apps development. Third party apps created by independent developers are one of the most effective factors to measure an OS’s success. Their exponential growth, market’s volume forecasts, the reasons to explain developers’ choice for a particular OS and the risks of a saturated market focus the research on developers as new members of the mobile communication business. Finally, an analysis of the customer needs and preferences and a consideration about differences in developing countries, which currently are increasing their demand more than developed countries and represent a market of billions of potential users, has been also detailed to complete the investigation of one of the most economically important and changing markets.
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