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Social Media Points to Android’s Growing Dominance Against Smartphone Operating Systems in India

3 minute read | August 2011


Online conversations in India around Smartphone Operating Systems (OS) show the Android OS is leading consumer discussions pertaining to mobile handset operating systems.  In an online review spread across a broad spectrum of consumer generated media sources including blogs, boards, social media networks, groups, videos and images monitored by NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey Company, over the first six months of 2011, 45 percent of all conversations related to Smartphone Operating Systems focused on the Android OS, up from 32 percent during the same period last year.  All other operating systems, including Blackberry, show a decline in share of buzz between the second half of 2010 and the first half of this year. Apple’s iOS occupies the second spot, dropping from 31 percent in the second half of 2010 to 27 percent in the first half of 2011.

“Google’s Android is dominating conversations on social media sites discussing Operating Systems for Smartphones in India. Our Online review shows a shift towards Android based phones in India over the last year.  Also, consumer sentiment/discussion indicates that the trend of Android OS leading the conversation is likely to continue into the first half of 2012,” said Farshad Family, Managing Director, Nielsen Media.

All About Apps

The NM Incite online review of Smartphone OS buzz also uncovered that applications or ‘apps’ for use on a particular OS are the biggest drivers of conversation for mobile handset Operating Systems. When looked at by individual operating systems, for Android users, the OS version appears to be the main driver of social media conversation, while in the case of the iPhone and Blackberry, hardware features are key drivers.

“Apps are undoubtedly the most important discussion point for Smartphone users. Our study shows that amongst Android users 40 percent of discussions are centered on the apps and 33 percent of conversations on the iPhone are focused around its apps. It is these conversations that drive interest in the OS. For example, only 30 percent of discussions around the Symbian OS are related to apps, which explains the reduced interest in the Symbian OS on social networking sites,” says Family.

Predicting Changing Preferences

The NM Incite online review on Social Media Buzz for Smartphones also indicates that conversations around Android phones showed a growing shift in preference when it came to handset manufacturer brands. For the latter half of 2010 and first half of 2011, Samsung is the most discussed brand, followed by HTC. Interestingly, the buzz around brands like Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson has increased recently.  At a handset model level, Samsung leads the list with five of ten most discussed Android handsets coming from its stable.

“The increasing fragmentation of the Android conversation as it relates to the handset manufacturers suggests it will become harder for the handset manufacturers that rely on Android to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. Gaining consumer acceptance and awareness of individual options within their repertoire of handset variants will be key.” observed Family.

About NM Incite

NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey Company, builds upon the industry-leading social media and online brand metrics, consumer insights and real-time market intelligence of Nielsen BuzzMetrics and the capability building, proprietary knowledge and expertise in areas of marketing & sales, organization and service operations of McKinsey to help businesses harness the full potential of social media intelligence. NM Incite currently operates in 24 countries with headquarters in New York. For more information, please visit or Twitter: @nmincite