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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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  • Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Auckerman (223266) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:34PM (#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.

  • Competition works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:45PM (#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 plazman30 (531348) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:48PM (#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 @07:50PM (#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.

  • I'm not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ken Hall (40554) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:56PM (#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.

  • Re:Newton's AAPL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Microlith (54737) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:08PM (#30649478)

    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.

  • by brianosaurus (48471) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:11PM (#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:Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:20PM (#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.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:24PM (#30649620) Homepage

    I'll bet the numbers reflect the "What it's not on the crappy AT&T network? sign me up!" more than what OS it's running.

    Honestly, even non 3G service for just regular phone calls on AT&T lately has went from the normal crappy to utterly dismal even in good coverage places like Chicago.

  • by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:34PM (#30649726)
    The phone part of the iPhone is it's least appealing part. What makes the iPhone amazing is that it is a fully featured small computer with a ton of low-cost apps. I recently went to a trip to Budapest, Hungary. I downloaded apps which included an offline map of the city (so no data use), maps of the metro system, and an audio tourist guide. It was like having my own personal tourist guide. When back at the hotel I used Skype over wifi to call home cheap. Sure beat having a big clunky book + large foldout map that screamed "tourist please rob me". When the android has the apps the iPhone does, I will consider it.
  • Re:250%??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Microlith (54737) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:44PM (#30649794)

    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.

  • by PA23 (1708056) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:16PM (#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.
  • Re:Of course (Score:2, Interesting)

    by unix1 (1667411) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:16PM (#30650120)

    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.

  • I would have answered YES to an android in December. Now, the answer would be NO. Not unless I can replace all the Google apps with something else.

    What changed my mind? Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. [trolltalk.com].

    "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

    This is the same guy who had Google blackball CNET after they published some of his personal info [cnn.com].

    The guy's a hypocrite who simply can't be trusted any more. I don't need my phone spying on me for some guy who thinks his personal info is privileged, and yours and mine isn't.

  • by RedWizzard (192002) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:58PM (#30650504)

    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/Web OS dropped from 6 to 3.
    That leaves 30% unaccounted for in the September numbers and 24% unaccounted for in the December numbers.

  • by symbolic (11752) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:36PM (#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 Ilgaz (86384) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:59PM (#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 Dog-Cow (21281) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:14PM (#30651076)

    Umm, technically, if you buy the phone from Sprint or Verizon, they are the only sources legally bound to give you the source. HTC only needs to give the source to those they distribute to.

    Obviously, if you buy an unlocked phone from a 3rd party, HTC would be required to provide the source.

  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:53PM (#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 mikael_j (106439) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @03:41AM (#30652566)

    It must be nice for the Europeans to reap the benefits and investment that Americans put into emerging technologies...

    Oh, you must mean like the first partly automatic car phone systems, oh wait, those were Swedish...

    Perhaps you meant the first fully automatic analog cell phone network? But that was in Japan so that couldn't be it...

    How about digital 2G cell phones then? No, unfortunately that would only be true if Finland was part of the US (GSM network in Finland 1991).

    But at least you can be proud of how you're still at the forefront of basic science research. Oh, sorry, I forgot you guys focusing increasingly on "immediately marketable areas" (as Alcatel-Lucent put it when they decided to cease basic research at Bell Labs last year).

    Also, nice troll but a bit too transparent.

    /Mikael

  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:14AM (#30654302) Homepage

    And do you know the actual context in which he made that statement?

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