released numbers today on the penetration of mobile platforms in the consumer market. The findings show that if you take in to account all iOS devices - iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - Apple is blowing away the rest of the mobile ecosystem.Analytics firm comScore
The combined install base of Apple's triumvirate is 37.9 million, according to comScore. That far outreaches the Android install base (which includes smartphones and tablets like the Galaxy Tab) by 59%, as the Google operating system's install base is approximately 23.8 million devices.
"These data clearly illustrate the Apple ecosystem extends far beyond the iPhone," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior VP of mobile in a comScore press release. "Though it's frequently assumed that the Apple user base is composed of dedicated Apple 'fanboys', there's not a tremendous amount of overlapping mobile device access among these users. This of course has significant implications for the developer community as they consider the market potential in developing applications for different mobile platforms."
The findings by comScore validate the war cry of some of those supposed "fanboys" who are quick to point out that, despite Android's wild growth, most analytics do not take into account all of Apple's devices, such as iPods and iPads.
As interesting as comScore's numbers are, they do not tell the whole picture. Really, it depends on what analyst firm or earnings call you are listening to on a particular day to tell you what the "news" is in the mobile OS wars. Market blog Asymco has some interesting numbers on growth rates that were posted on April 18 that clearly show Apple has the larger number of units sold in the lifespan of iOS and Android (Apple came about 15 months before), but that the rate of Android growth has been shooting straight up the chart while iOS has grown steadily but in fits and starts.
Horace Dediu of Asymco predicts that Android will overtake the iOS install base within a year if the current rate of growth stays the same. With the coming flood of Android tablets coming to market, and the slate market predicted to grow exponentially in the next several years, Android could very well take over iOS by spring 2012.