Yesterday Samsung added the iPhone 5 to its patent lawsuit against Apple and other manufacturers. This comes after Apple was awarded $1 billion for Samsung’s infringements. But sales of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III haven’t been hurt and appear to have been helped by the news. The powerhouse Android device saw average growth of 9% in new devices each week since August 1st, with huge spikes in Galaxy S III adoption occurring after the Apple lawsuit verdict and after the iPhone 5 announcement.
The first spike in weekly growth coincides with the same week that a jury awarded Apple $1 billion for Samsung infringing on Apple’s patents. The deluge of post-litigation press coverage both drove general attention to Samsung and suggested that Samsung devices were similar enough to iPhones to be an option for many consumers.
The second spike started the week of September 12, when Apple announced the new iPhone 5. Apple’s announcement was quickly followed by hundreds of stories comparing the two phones, most of which again suggested they were similarly capable. That combined with the slowdown in new Galaxy S3 growth seen leading up to Apple’s announcement (week-over-week new devices were the same as the previous week, resulting in 0% growth) suggest that many consumers were waiting to hear about the new iPhone before making a decision.
Note that the average week-over-week growth of 9% means that every week 9% more Galaxy S3 handsets were added than the week before. This also means that the growth effects are cumulative, so while the Samsung device’s weekly new device growth slowed some weeks, it is still adding handsets at a remarkable rate.
Beginning of Mobile OS Ambivalence?
A possible implication of this analysis is that a portion of smartphone users appear less tied to a particular operating system, instead comparing the full package of device, mobile network and available apps before choosing what to buy. This not only creates new opportunities for Android device manufacturers but also new Windows 8 devices.
For app developers, this underscores the importance of having a presence on the top two or three platforms for your market. Market research and your app analytics will help you identify the more valuable platforms for your business by comparing the lifetime value (LTV) of your user base. In-app messaging and app marketing automation then helps drive user engagement and in-app conversions.
Localytics provides app analytics and marketing products to the largest publishers of Apple iOS and Android apps, and now supports over 350 million iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows devices for its customers. For this research, Localytics studied the number of new Samsung Galaxy S III handsets seen by apps using Localytics from July 31 to October 1, and computed the week-over-week, global growth in total new devices.