Ready, AIM, Miss

Granted, the whole “instant communications” sector is going through a major upheaval as there are so so many options for people to use these days – Pinger, FaceTime, Facebook IM, Text Messaging, Skype, ooVoo, and on and on – but wow, AOL Instant Messenger’s usage has fallen 64% over the past year.

Whoever is to blame, the truth is that there has been no bigger missed opportunity in the technology business than AOL Instant Messenger. There’s an investor we (ed: SAI) know in New York who swears AOL blew it when it didn’t turn AIM into a full-on Skype competitor.

When I briefly worked at AOL and on the IM product, it was sometimes referred to as AOL’s “800 pound gorilla” because it had so so many registered users that AOL had no idea what to do with. I guess they never figured out what to do with them and now their once dominant market position has eroded in a major way.

Via SAI

Eating Android’s Dust

Some new numbers have been released showing that Android has picked up a staggering 7% absolute points (26% market share in November 2010 and 33% share in February 2011) of market share in the past 3 months. That’s a whopping 27% increase. If I was a brand manager, I would take a 27% share growth any day, thank you very much.

As I’ve mentioned before, Apple and its iPhone get all the hype from the fan boys, however Apple once again is fighting and losing the exact same battle as it did in the 1980’s and 1990’s

Apple is fighting a very similar war to the one it fought–and lost–in the 1990s. It is trying to build the best integrated products, hardware and software, and maintain complete control over the ecosystem around them. This end-to-end control makes it easier for Apple to build products that are “better,” but it makes it much harder for the company to compete against a software platform that is standard across many hardware manufacturers Windows in the 1990s, Android now. 

As the SAI article I’ve quoted notes, I would have to agree that Apple and the others in the mobile space (RIM, Windows) need to really consider the implications here.

My mobile contract on Verizon is up in July and while Verizon now has the iPhone, and I have recently acquired other Apple products like iPad and iPad 2, I have to say that I am pretty reticent to switch over to iPhone for my mobile device. The flexibility of the Android phone is something that I’m not ready to give up yet, and I get the sense from these numbers that others are feeling the same way.

via SAI.

Android Share Rises

In the continued battle for mobile dominance, it appears that Android is taking the route of Windows when there was the OS battle between Apple and Windows back in the day:

About 26 percent of U.S. smartphone users said an Android device was their primary phone in the three months ending in November, compared with 25 percent using Apple Inc.’s iPhones, comScore said. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. still held the first-place spot, but its share of users declined to 33.5 percent from 37.6% in August.

It will be interesting to see if this will now influence developers to release Android apps at the same time as iOS/Apple apps, or shift to release Android first and then iOS/Apple.

via All Things D.