Strategy Analytics released a bunch of fresh data regarding the mobile hardware market last night, and there are a few interesting story angles: Android claimed an impressive 41 percent share of the worldwide tablet shipments in the third quarter as Apple’s share slipped to 57 percent, and Nokia dropped out of the top five smartphone manufacturers.
The big story, though, is Samsung’s increasing dominance in the smartphone industry. The company shipped 57 million smartphones in the third quarter — twice as many as second-place Apple — on its way to a quarterly profit of $7.4 billion.
Like Apple — and unlike most other manufacturers in the space — Samsung has done a fantastic job of generating solid margins on its smartphones. But while Samsung’s ascension in the hardware world has been impressive, I still think it could build on that success by pursuing a platform play more aggressively. The company has seen modest (but steady) progress with its bada platform, particularly in emerging markets. And Samsung recently said it will merge its home-grown platform with Tizen, an operating system it is developing with Intel.
I don’t claim to know all the details of Samsung’s platform strategy — the company is notoriously tight-lipped — but it clearly has the distribution and carrier ties to step up its game against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. That would be a big gamble, to be sure, but the company certainly has a lot of chips to play with.