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Android Phone Demand Up 250%, iPhone Down 445

Posted by kdawson
from the so-last-century dept.
CWmike writes "A 'monstrous' jump in demand for Android-equipped smartphones has turned the market upside down, according to a retail pollster. Of the people who told ChangeWave Research in a mid-December survey that they planned to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 21% said they expected to purchase an Android phone. That number represented a 250% increase over the 6% that pegged Android as their mobile OS of choice when ChangeWave last queried consumers' plans in September. 'That change rivals anything that we've seen in the last three years of the smartphone market,' said Paul Carton, ChangeWave's director of research, adding that the sudden surge in consumer interest in Android had 'roiled' the market. 'This is an indication that Android has finally caught consumer interest,' added Carton, who cited the recent advertising campaign for the Motorola Droid smartphone as the reason why interest in Android has skyrocketed. Android's leap translated into good news for Motorola and HTC, the most prominent makers of Google-powered handsets, with the former reaping most of the benefit. Motorola's share of smartphone purchases in the next 90 days shot up from 1% in September to 13% in December. Carton tagged the company's Droid as the reason. '[It's] the first increase for Motorola we've seen in three years,' Carton said." Here is the ChangeWave report.
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Android Phone Demand Up 250%, iPhone Down

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  • That must mean Android sales skyrocketed from 2 to 7 users! :D

    On a more serious note: I love Google products, if only they'd market them better they'd be at the top with the iPhone easily.
    • by brianosaurus (48471) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:11PM (#30649510) Homepage

      I'll preface this by saying I haven't used a Droid, or other 2nd-gen Android Phone. I did use a G1 for a little while, and from my experience no amount of marketing would have put it up with the iPhone. The interface was clunky and inconsistent. In particular there were 2 separate email apps built-in, one for Gmail and one for everything else, and they behaved differently. Battery life was abysmal at best. While the G1 has some advantages over the iPhone, it was not a usable smart phone unless you were tethered to a power supply. It reminded me very much of the Sidekick (which was developed by many of the same people as Android, and I owned 3 different versions of the sidekick), which notoriously over-promised and under-delivered every step of the way.

      The first few releases of Android followed similar patterns. When I bought my iPhone 3G it did (almost) everything they advertised, and there wasn't hype about the next version until 6 months later. My brand new iPhone was the best iPhone one could get. When I got my G1, I was disappointed that it didn't have all of the cool features I had already been reading about in Android press releases and articles. Android marketing seems more about the "next" version, which makes the actual product seem dated before its even for sale.

      I hope the new versions of Android devices are better, but those experiences have left me skeptical. I'll give them a look when my iPhone contract is up (next summer), but I'm not falling for the hype this time. If the product for sale doesn't have the features I want, I won't get it. I can't buy it hoping that they'll eventually deliver. I've been burned by that too many times.

      I've been really happy with my iPhone 3G. When I got it, I knew I was giving up important features that I had on Windows Mobile, like the ability to shoot crappy video and an open development platform, but the iPhone mostly worked as promised (with a notable exception of Push Notifications, which did not show up until a year or so later with the 3rd generation of the OS). With the limitations of the iPhone (one app at a time is the most troubling), I'm certainly going to shop around before my next purchase, rather than automatically buy next summer's iPhone, but it will take more than slick marketing for Android to win my business (but I am pulling for them!).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        When I bought my iPhone 3G

        So, you're comparing a third-generation iPhone with a first generation Android phone?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Currently Android platform is a balkanized mess and it's going to get much worse as every Asian device manufacturer gets onboard (wait for CES to see the Android flood). But try writing an app for the platform. Which OS do you target? 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.soon? Which handset do you target? Should it have both capacitive and resistive soft buttons? How many handsets will use multi-touch? What kind of artwork should I use to display a crisp image? Do I start off with a WVGA resolution and scale it down for e

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_arrow (171557)

          So, basically not different than coding for the normal computer... Different display sizes, different hardware, different everything.

          Also, it's not just the Android platform, it's the same for every programmable handset. Coding for Windows Mobile? Just the same. Coding for Symbian? Just the same. Coding Java midlets? Just the same.

          • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:13AM (#30655018)

            Hell even for iPhone it's the same. Plenty of apps require a specific version of the iPhone OS. I've had to update the OS on my iPod Touch once to run an app, and the update completely hosed the thing. I was able to boot back to default settings and resync, but all access point settings and user preferences and such had to be reconfigured. Wasn't fun. I'm on 3.1.1 now (3.2 is out but I'm timid about the upgrade), but if I see anything that requires anything newer than that I'm just holding off.

            In regards to the GP's "open doesn't pay the bills" statement though, I'm counting on the opposite. Whether it's going to be fun or easy to code for remains to be seen, but it's already obvious that the demand is there for Android phones, which will pretty much mean that there's going to be demand for Android apps. Which do you think is going to be a more lucrative market? The already over-saturated platform that's so easy to code for that a monkey can do it, or the slightly harder platform with fewer apps?

            I wrote a few iPhone apps just to play around with the coding. Never published anything to the app store though. Android however, is a different story. I've got 4-5 apps already planned out.

    • by e2d2 (115622)

      On a more serious note: I love Google products, if only they'd market them better they'd be at the top with the iPhone easily.

      Me thinks someone has been under a rock for the past year. Are you in the US? I ask that seriously because Android is everywhere here. Pick a network, they have an Android phone. Even AT&T is supposedly getting one based on the Moto Cliq.

    • by symbolic (11752) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:36PM (#30650780)

      Do you realize that the iPhone only has 4% of the market? Even so, I think the presence of the Android is great, because maybe it will cause Steve J. and his flock of ass-ki...er, fans, to stand back and realize that the iPhone, while quite cool conceptually, suffers from some very lame design issues. Now all Google needs is a phone-less device that can subscribe to a carrier's broadband-only plan.

  • by Suki I (1546431) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:28PM (#30648960) Homepage Journal

    Motorola's share of smartphone purchases in the next 90 days shot up from 1% in September to 13% in December. Carton tagged the company's Droid as the reason. '[It's] the first increase for Motorola we've seen in three years,' Carton said."

    The survey could mean lots of things without this bit of confirmation data. Sales are going in the same direction as the survey.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:30PM (#30648984)
    Notice that this wasn't a report of 250% sales growth... it was a report of 250% increase in a poll asking "What cell phone do you PLAN to buy?"... not quite the same thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RedWizzard (192002)

      Notice that this wasn't a report of 250% sales growth... it was a report of 250% increase in a poll asking "What cell phone do you PLAN to buy?"... not quite the same thing.

      Also worth noting is the complete lack of any mention of the margin of error. And the report also doesn't really explain what is losing out to Android. The summary implies it's the iPhone, but TFA says that iPhone demand went from 32% to 28% - only a small fraction of the 15 points that Android picked up. From the original story [changewaveresearch.com] the numbers are:
      iPhone from 32 (Sept 09) fell to 28 (Dec 09)
      Android from 6 rose to 21
      Blackberry from 17 stayed basically stable at 18
      Windows Mobile dropped from 9 to 6
      Palm OS/W

  • Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Auckerman (223266) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:34PM (#30649048)

    Googles market model is better. Multiple phone designs on any carrier that will have them. It's really that simple. The design of the OS is better than iPhones competitors. Though, I do think the application openness is going to bite them in butt over the long term. Allowing background applications from any provider looks good on paper, but in practice is going to create a bot network.

    If Apple went with all carriers who wanted them and released a handful of branded designs, it's sales would soar.

    • Re:Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:20PM (#30649592) Homepage

      Googles actual market model is to drive openness as that allows them easier access and prevents them from being locked out by proprietary control. The Android business strategy is about the disruption of proprietary controls be it Apple or M$. Oddly enough it is Apples iPhone success (break up of manufacturers proprietary operating systems or M$ dominance) that will drive Androids success, not really Google's, being open, once it is out there, it is out there.

      Google is just endeavouring to shift the market to an position where it has had success competing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by unix1 (1667411)

      If Apple went with all carriers who wanted them and released a handful of branded designs, it's sales would soar.

      Maybe, but that's no the core difference between Google's and Apple's strategies. Apple's model is similar to RIM and Palm where they want to be the producers and the vendors of hardware and software. On the other hand, Google's strategy is similar to Microsoft's where they provide software to any hardware manufacturer.

      So, Apple still wants to be Apple; and Google wants to be the new Microsoft.

  • by dfsmith (960400) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:41PM (#30649128) Homepage Journal
    "Desire for half-decent non-AT&T smartphone is less saturated than desire for AT&T iPhone by those who haven't already got one."

    I think this finding is more related to that fact that the only half-decent smartphone is currently limited to iPhone on AT&T. (Sorry Blackberry/Palm/HTC---no lightsaber app means that you're less than half decent B-)
  • Competition works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:45PM (#30649174)

    Imagine that! Competition works! If regulators would only get that through their heads...with enough time, consumers will win in the end as a result of competition.

    Maybe Apple will finally get it through their heads and open up the iPhone for real development; doubt it though...

    • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:15PM (#30649544)

      Maybe Apple will finally get it through their heads and open up the iPhone for real development...

      Oh gawd, when are people going to get it. Just because it's important to you does not mean it's important to 99.99% of the other people out there. Hell, I'm a geek and it isn't important to me. Most people don't give a rat's ass about the iPhone not being an open platform. Hell, a vast, significant majority of people don't even know what an open platform is...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Liquidrage (640463)
        Actually, if you're a geek it should be important to you. The open issue isn't a Free as in Beer, or Free as in Speech issue. At least not to me. It's that the open platform lets you do things with the Android phone that the Apple won't let you do with the iPhone. Yeah, there's an app for that. Except for the things that Apple doesn't want you to do. Then they don't allow an app for that in their store. Google isn't doing the same with Android phones and their marketplace.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by chicago_scott (458445)

          Actually, it's a Free as in Consumer and Business issue. People should be free to buy products that suit their needs without government interference and businesses should be free to implement a business model without government interference.

          Apple has a piece of hardware and software that people want to buy, but people like you want to interfere.

          I should be free to buy what I want.

          • Re:Competition works (Score:4, Informative)

            by Liquidrage (640463) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:55PM (#30650938)
            Actually, it's in "you didn't read the fucking post". Apple's control over their development and market restricts apps and it's noticeable. Good example? Apple pulled Google voice from the store because the phone already made calls and had voicemail. That many like Google voice better didn't matter. And it's not just google stuff. SMS, virtual keyboards, etc... The Android market is open and full of stuff that competes with default pieces of the Android OS.

            That Apple is free to do what they want, and that you and your grandma love it, isn't an issue. But as a geek it should be important to you that you have options. I don't care if the options are closed sourced pay apps or not. Notice the OP here said "real development".
    • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@gnu. o r g> on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:16PM (#30649564) Homepage

      Imagine that! Competition works!

      I hear that's why the US has such fast internet and cheap, reliable telephony service, both with excellent customer service of course, especially compared to the EU and Japan.

      </sarcasm>

      Sorry if I'm pushing it here. It's just striking to hear about the abuse US ISP and telecomms customers (apparently) have to put up with, compared to what I experience in Denmark.

      On the other hand, your government isn't doing much better than failing markets. For instance, take a listen to a recent EconTalk episode about market failures and government failures at http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2009/12/winston_on_mark.html [econtalk.org]

      In summary: it's the lobbyists.

      If I recall correctly, the guest, Winston, only looked at government failure in the US. Extrapolating from there to government failure in general might be a wee bit hasty.

      The really provocative statement would be that right-wingers don't get that government intervention is the right solution in theory, what left-wingers don't get is that it rarely works in practice, and the elephant in the room nobody is doing anything about is that the lobbyists screw up The Right Thing, making it Not The Right Thing, and so nothing works (as well as it could).

      • by vvaduva (859950) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:49PM (#30649854)

        Your examples are fallacious. Internet and telephone are heavily regulated in the U.S. worse yet, they are also monopolies (that's the exact opposite of a free market, where competition -- my original point -- exists). I lived in Europe too...for most of my life. Stuff is cheap there because landlines/telecom are often heavily subsidized by governments through high taxation.

        I am not willing to pay $5 a month for a 100 meg line to the Internet and have 50% of my paycheck taken away. I will happily pay $100 a month for my fast connection...you pay for your own internet, wireless, etc.

        Oh, and as far as "markets fail" - every market that failed in the US in the past 2 years or so was heavily subsidized and had marked government involvement. Throw in some examples if you have any, I am curious so see what un-regulated, un-subsidized private market failed?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dwandy (907337)

          Stuff is cheap there because landlines/telecom are often heavily subsidized by governments...

          AFAIK all landlines/telcom the world over are heavily subsidized by governments including (AFAIK) the USofA --even if only in startup capital and/or right-of-ways. The only remaining question is whether you or a CEO is keeping/reaping the benefits of said subsidy?

          and have 50% of my paycheck taken away

          Please tell me of this land where there is a 50% tax rate where 100% (hell, a measurable/relevant percentage!) of

        • by Algan (20532) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:59PM (#30650976)

          Mobile telephony in the US: expensive, poor phone choices, consumer lock-in. Mostly an unregulated market. Pretty much the only major regulation imposed on mobile carriers here in the past decade was number portability, and that was a boon for consumers. Compare that to Europe: cheaper plans and can take your phone to any carrier. Not to mention much better coverage. That's what a smartly regulated market looks like.

          On the other hand, poor regulation can lead to monopolies/duopolies, like the ones we enjoy for broadband net access in the US.

    • by Ilgaz (86384) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:59PM (#30650970) Homepage

      Symbian, J2ME, Windows Mobile are "open" because they have a very paranoid security model which some hate. iPhone has nothing of that sort, there is no "Apple signed" scheme and Apple loves the "app store" like stuff including the policies. See the hell they gave to basic OS X input manager developers just because some idiot trolls released proof of concepts.

      Apple has set up a monster themselves and there is no way to change it unless they implement "symbian signed" scheme. Things would be a lot easier if they didn't start a lawsuit fight with Nokia along with offensive arguments which are unheard in mobile scene until now.

      Symbian signed makes more sense than J2ME sandbox because both deal with native apps which have real deep access to OS/hardware. I can't really picture Apple allowing 2-3 resident apps I use on Symbian right now, e.g. iON Battery timer... Something replicates battery level functionality with estimated time remaining. Imagine the horror if you submitted something like that to app store :) Or the idea of a IM application always on and shamelessly added to startup. Or the themes...

      If you open the platform, people will ask for such things from developers and developers will sure ship them.

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @01:49AM (#30651660)

        Symbian, J2ME, Windows Mobile are "open" because they have a very paranoid security model which some hate.

        And so, too, does the iPhone.

        iPhone has nothing of that sort, there is no "Apple signed" scheme

        Just how do you think app store apps run anyway? All apps coming from the app store are signed by the developer, using an Apple generated certificate. Just try running an unsigned app on a non-jailbroken phone. Springboard (the app launcher) will not run it.

        All apps run in a sandbox (unless you jailbreak) and cannot get to the system. There's that "paranoid security model" you claim they do not have.

        I can't really picture Apple allowing 2-3 resident apps

        Well sure, because it eats into battery life. It's pretty ironic to take down the lifespan of your device by an hour just to have a battery measurement app wake up the processor every few seconds... I can understand why people want background apps but actually notifications are a decent compromise for users so they can have a somewhat predictable battery experience. For instance, there are already a number of IM apps that use notifications for this and are thus essentially "running all the time" as far as the user is concerned.

  • by plazman30 (531348) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:48PM (#30649210) Homepage
    I have a Macbook, Mac Mini and an iPod Touch, and I opted for a Droid. I think the #1 reason I went with the Droid was because it wasn't AT&T. But a close second was the fact that music was drag and drop and that it could run background apps. Overall, I am really please with the purchase. Ordered the multimedia dock today, so I can use it as an alarm clock.
  • Newton's AAPL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Living Fractal (162153) <`banantarr' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:50PM (#30649240) Homepage
    Most of the people I've talked to who don't have iPhones say it's because they don't like Apple or the iPhone. Their reasons vary, here are some I've heard:
    • iTunes (DRM, iTunes library draconian sync restrictions, and what it takes to get ringtones on the iPhone are all reasons I've heard (you can't just pick an mp3 from your phone and make it a ringtone...))
    • Apple has succeeded in making itself look like the "rich snob's alternative" to the PC... probably because of the snarky "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads, and partly because of the next one,
    • Apple products carry a price premium that nobody can reasonably explain... you just pay more because it's an Apple.
    • The iPhone touch screen keyboard is cumbersome for a change from a tactile keyboard
    • No stereo bluetooth music transmission from the iPhone (and WHY not?)
    • iPhone is carrier specific for now.

    I personally own an iPhone, and I like it.. despite the drawbacks. But I'm considering an Android phone next for some of the above reasons myself. I will weigh the pros and cons carefully and decide at the time -- if Polled, right now I might say that I'd get an Android phone next, if just because the idea is more appealing to me. This could be partly why interest in the iPhone is *potentially* waning... people see there are alternatives out there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Microlith (54737)

      Apple's price premium can easily be pointed to via their industrial design, which for Dell, HP, et. al. is mostly an afterthought. Combine this with OS X, Safari, iTunes, most of which is paid for by their hardware sales and an explanation for the premium is easily found. I even own a 2006 MacBook, and its easily paid for itself regardless of any premium.

      That said, I got my first smartphone (if you can call it that) recently and went with the Nokia N900. Apple is good, but they can't cover -all- bases.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      iPhone has had stereo bluetooth since 3.0.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It's interesting most of the reasons people have given you wrong.

      • iTunes music doesn't have DRM.
      • It's easy to make your own ringtones from any random MP3. Apple even gives instructions on their support site. You use Garageband to do it.
      • iPhone price is comparable to other smart phones. Mac prices when a new model is introduced or revised are generally comparable to equivalent hardware from others. The difference is that Apple doesn't lower prices over the life of the model. Other manufacturers lower prices as
  • I'm not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ken Hall (40554) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:56PM (#30649324)

    My Verizon contract was up, and my family needed new phones. We ended up with 4 Android phones, 3 HTC Eris's, and a Droid. Verizon sold a LOAD of them over the holiday season, mostly due to rebates and discounts. The 4 phones, normally over $600 even with a contract, ended up costing me $200.

    The first reseller we went to (after they were very helpful during our selection process) had run out by the week before Christmas, and had to send us to a Verizon store. They had plenty, and they were going out the door fast.

  • 250% of what? 1? 10? 10,000?

    Let's not use hyperbole like "skyrocketed" without actual numbers shall we? Even skim read TFA, don't see the actual numbers there either.

    Smells like astroturf. Smells a LOT like astroturf.

    I've nothing against Android, but I've never ever seen anyone with a phone that uses it. Have, however, seen 100s with iphones.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Microlith (54737)

      Look more closely. I'm starting to see more Heros, myTouches, and DROIDs out there. The catch is that they don't stand out nor are they all the same shape like the iPhone is.

      What I don't see much of are Windows Mobile devices. For as popular as WinMo fans make them out to be, they either don't stand out at all, are heavily masked by HTC and the like, or really aren't that common. Maybe a combination of those.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DeadCatX2 (950953)

      I take it you didn't read the part about 6% of people polled wanting an Android smartphone to 21% of people polled wanting an Android smartphone.

      6 * 3.5 = 21.

      (remember, a 250% increase represents 3.5 times as much as the previous number)

  • If Google can license the Microsoft ActiveSync and make it work as well as Apple's iPhone... then I will be on board 100%

  • by PA23 (1708056) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:16PM (#30650116)
    The only downside is many of the manufactures now violate the GPLv2 copyright either by refusing to release the kernel sources or dragging their feet for months... For example HTC keeps violating the GPL with their phones... go ask HTC specifically for the Kernel (not the Android software) for their CDMA phones and they'll either point you to the GSM version of the kernel, claim that their kernel modifications fall under the Apache license, are proprietary or claim that Sprint and/or Verizon have to release it.
  • by sootman (158191) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:35PM (#30650272) Homepage Journal

    Wow, so demand for a phone that has sold tens of millions of units in the 2.5 years it's been out is leveling off, and demand for a newer phone that has sold far fewer units is growing? Stop the presses!

  • by echtertyp (1094605) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:38PM (#30650316)
    Windows Mobile is on history's exit ramp.
  • by introspekt.i (1233118) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:39PM (#30650320)
    Couldn't this be all of us poor saps who aren't on AT&T (in the US, of course) finally getting a shot at picking up a nice smartphone that's not a Blackberry? Think about all the people who want iPhone like functionality, but don't want to switch to AT&T. There's plenty of them, and this is probably them finally having their day. No other smartphone, has come close to the iPhone in terms of hype-crazed-madness for the phone like the revised android platform. That's not to say there aren't other good smartphone platforms out there (Palm, RIM, whatever the hell else people use these days), I think these are just skewed numbers from non AT&T customers finally pouncing on a cool set of phones.
  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:53AM (#30651322)

    In 2006, according to analysts 58% of iPod users were thinking about buying a Zune.

    http://www.abiresearch.com/products/research_brief/Consumer_Electronics_Market_Update/101 [abiresearch.com]

  • by Casandro (751346) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @03:30AM (#30652178)

    Both systems will probably die in the long run as they will be replaced by normal operating system. The iPhone already officially runs on MacOSX, but because of stupid marketing decisions it's not open. The Android is marketed as a Linux device, but instead is just running a proprietary flavour of Linux which is barely compatible with anything. It doesn't even use X11!

    So I predict that in the future, people who actually care about what their phones can do (which is a minority) will probably run some kind of stripped down normal OS. Early devices implementing this are the Maemo ones which is essentially a stripped down Debian. It's probably already possible to share repositories with Ubuntu ARM. (need to try that)

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