Interest in BlackBerry Rises, iPhone Levels, G1 Wanes

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Compete offers some interesting mobile device analysis on their blog today; they offer web analytics services akin to Alexa, Quantcast, and Google’s Analytics products. Today, Compete is looking at the web traffic to mobile handset landing sites. That makes sense, because a sizable portion of consumer handset purchase decisions are driven by factors outside of a carrier’s brick-and-mortar store. Information on the different handsets, features and services are readily available on mobile device product pages and that’s what Compete is zooming in on.

The above graph represents traffic (as measured by Compete) to U.S. phone-specific portions of handset manufacturer’s web sites on a monthly basis from July 2008 to February 2009. A few interesting tidbits:

  • Interest in the iPhone dropped off sharply after Apple’s launch of the iPhone 3G. That’s not terribly surprising, as folks aren’t expecting any new info on a handset after launch. However, I wouldn’t have expected it to drop off that much right after the launch, considering the hype and buzz it generated.
  • RIM has managed to keep folks coming to their handset product pages, even after the launch of the Storm. The company continues to evolve from an enterprise device provider by making a generally successful transition to the consumer space. It probably didn’t hurt to have some App World rumors zipping around earlier this year.
  • The T-Mobile G1 with Google Android lost much, if not all, of its momentum. It’s as if T-Mobile, Google and HTC have already received all of the major buzz they’re going to get with this first effort out the door. I don’t see nearly as much marketing for the G1 as I do for iPhones and BlackBerrys, which is likely part of the issue. But the general “unfinished” feel of the current Android OS environment is another part; I heard that term used at least a dozen times at CTIA. Android is still facing a “chicken-and-egg” situation as well from what I can see: Folks don’t a vast number of solid applications to choose from yet, and developers aren’t likely to embrace a platform that has limited consumer demand.

Now this data is specific to what Compete monitors and extrapolates, so it’s not the whole picture. Even with a limited set of data points though, there are useful trends being formed. Do you think the data is completely off-base? I don’t think so: RIM is doing a good job, as mentioned before ,and interest in Apple builds and peaks when new hardware or software is announced. In fact, we should see interest build there come June and July, as folks are expecting news out of the Apple WWDC 2009. As far as Android goes, more handsets on more carriers and more applications are likely to fight the waning interest there. A software update or two wouldn’t hurt, but my money is on handset and carrier choice combined with great application offerings.

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