Analyst claims Apple and Google will control 98% of the smartphone market this year

Apple Google Mobile Market Share 2012

An analyst from financial research firm Global Equities Research has some bad news for Microsoft (MSFT) and Research in Motion (RIMM). In an interview with eWeek, Trip Chowdhry predicted that Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) will control 98% of the mobile market by the end of 2012. “There will not be any third spot left,” he said. “Nokia, Microsoft and RIM will struggle in the remaining 2 percent of the market.” Research firm IDC in August found that Google and Apple controlled 85% of the global market, however Chowdhry defended his bold prediction.

“It is not the quantity of people you talk to,” the analyst explained. “In a random sampling of people, when three people in a row say the same thing, you know you have it right.” For his prediction, Chowdhry interviewed only 15 iOS and Android developers at different mobile technology conferences. The percentage was then based on the developers’ insights on the mobile marketplace.

“Developers will go to the platform where you have devices and you have monetization,” he said. “If you look at Apple, they have 400 million devices in the market, with more than 400 million user credit card numbers in their system,” where developers can make potential sales of their apps. “What that means for a developer is that they have 400 million people waiting to buy. That is a critical asset that Apple has. If you go to the Windows market, they don’t have 400 million devices or credit card numbers.”

At least one analyst disagrees, however. “I think that the 98 percent prediction is pretty aggressive. Certainly, it’s going to come down to people and their loyalties,” said Dan Maycock of Slalom Consulting, noting that Microsoft also makes money on every Android device sold.

“Microsoft has too much money, too much entrenchment in the enterprise market and too much to lose to let [a possible 2 percent market share] happen to them,” Maycock concluded. “If they have to give away enough devices to get more than 2 percent of the market, they could do it.”

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