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Android Sales Surpass iPhone Sales 668

Posted by Soulskill
from the battle-for-second-place dept.
gollum123 writes with this excerpt from VentureBeat: "Smartphones based on Google's Android mobile operating system outsold Apple's iPhone in the US during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report by research firm The NPD Group. The data places Android, with 28 percent of the smartphone market [last quarter], in second place behind RIM's Blackberry smartphone market share of 36 percent. Apple now sits in third place with 21 percent. NPD points to a Verizon buy-one-get-one-free promotion for all of its smartphones as a major factor in the first-quarter numbers. Verizon saw strong sales for the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris Android phones, as well as the Blackberry Curve, thanks to its promotional offer. Verizon launched a $100 million marketing campaign for the Droid when it hit the market in November 2009, which likely contributed to strong sales in the first quarter as well." Preston Gralla notes that it's not all bad news for Apple; this report could help their case in upcoming antitrust discussions.
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Android Sales Surpass iPhone Sales

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  • surprising? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307)

    I, for one, am shocked, that many products from several sources on various carriers have collectively outsold a single product available on a single carrier that doesn't even have the most market share. Utterly amazing, isn't it? /sarcasm

    • Mindshare and pressshare are magical things.

      • Re:surprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:04PM (#32160872)

        yeah, but I'm not switching to AT&T just to get an iPhone. No one I know but the two people with iPhones has AT&T, the coverage sucks most of the places I am most of the time, etc. Is the iPhone cool? Sure. Is it switch to AT&T cool? Hell no.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by steelfood (895457)

          To be fair, AT&T has incredible 2G coverage. You might have trouble making calls in population centers, but they do cover as much of the remote and rural as Verizon.

          It's their 3G that's sorely lacking, which for smartphones is a problem, but not for phones under ordinary data-less plans.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Hadlock (143607)

            The problem, however, is that the vast majority of the population lives in urban centers. Also, the percentage of the population that can afford smartphones is larger in urban population centers than in rural areas. Which is a GREAT deal if you're of the tiny, tiny fraction of the population that both lives in remote rural areas, have good reception, and can afford an iPhone.
             
            My technophobe mother just bought a jailbroken iPhone off ebay to use with her tmobile account

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by w3woody (44457)

              Y'all know a jailbroken iPhone on T-Mobile will only run EDGE, not 3G, right? So debates about how bad AT&T's 3G service is, so I'm going to use my iPhone on T-Mobile are a bit silly, right?

              (Not saying that Hadlock is saying this; just making the observation.)

          • Re:surprising? (Score:4, Informative)

            by EXrider (756168) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:10PM (#32162760) Homepage

            but they do cover as much of the remote and rural as Verizon.

            I don't know what rural areas you're basing your observations on. But I've personally observed Verzon > AT&T in rural OH, IN, KY, WV, and TN in every instance.

        • Re:surprising? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by bkaul01 (619795) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:18PM (#32161090)
          I dunno ... I have AT&T and I generally still have 1-2 bars of signal in places where my friends with iPhones drop coverage. I think it's more a sucky antenna issue than a bad coverage issue, at least around here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        Mindshare and pressshare are magical things.

        They pale into insignificance compared to assshare.

        Three Ss in sucesssion? is that permisssible?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by svtdragon (917476)
          I believe so, as the alternative, "asshare," is read by my internal monologue as "ass-hare" which, while it sounds like "ass hair," is spelled like a cousin of "ass rabbit" and that just seems to me like a couple steps up from a gerbil, and neither of those is something I want to contemplate in the context of smartphones.

          Am I the only one imagining 3G gerbils now?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by tomhudson (43916)

            I believe so, as the alternative, "asshare," is read by my internal monologue as "ass-hare" which, while it sounds like "ass hair," is spelled like a cousin of "ass rabbit" and that just seems to me like a couple steps up from a gerbil, and neither of those is something I want to contemplate in the context of smartphones.

            Come on, you mean to say that you've never been tempted to tell someone to shove their iPhone up their iAss?

            And for extra goodness, then say "Can you hear me now?"

    • Re:surprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ogm (1233626) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:07PM (#32160918)
      When a company makes a business decision to be sole manufacturer of a product, and not to license it to anybody, it is not a surprise that a relatively open product out-sells it. Even when that single product happens to have at least 10 similar yet different versions.
    • by rainmouse (1784278) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:10PM (#32160962)
      Apple sales reps will be boycotting mobile phone shops dressed in grey hoodies advising people "These are not the droids you are looking for."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by C_Kode (102755)

      Why sarcasm? Apple put themselves in this position. Just like Google put themselves in the same position with the Nexus One. Of course, Google didn' lock themselves out of other Smartphone markets the way Apple did. Greed can make you a lot of money, but it can also hamper you in the worst possible way.

      Apple wants complete and utter vendor lock-in. If it wants that, it will remain forever only a small niche market. Even if it produces great products.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'm not entirely sure that Apple wants ubiquity in the marketplace. They sell a premium product. Could Porsche lower their prices so that more people could afford them? Of course they could, but they sell style along with a premium automobile. It's the same with Apple. Personally I choose functionality over style every time which is why I own a G1 and will upgrade to another Android phone soon.
  • Unpossible! (Score:5, Funny)

    by denzacar (181829) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:01PM (#32160822) Journal

    Or should that be iMpossible?

  • by CyberBill (526285) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:03PM (#32160854)
    Apple is getting ready to release a new iPhone in the next few months. I'm sure this kind of regular product cycle makes consumers not want to upgrade for the quarter before a new release. I know I'm going to skip the 3GS and wait for the "4" or whatever the new one is called.
    • The leaked iPhone 4G looks like Apple is just trying to catch up with the Nexus One, and not even succeeding at that. People who already have iPhones will go for it, for others, it won't make a big difference.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The leaked iPhone 4G looks like Apple is just trying to catch up with the Nexus One, and not even succeeding at that.

        Wishful thinking? Or do you have a 4G now?

        The big question is when "multitasking" is no longer the major difference between platforms what will be the next Android marketing slogan?

        I have an Android phone, and I can't wait for Google to catch up with Apple. I don't call bringing out a much larger phone with a faster CPU to make up for the poor performance of Google's bastardized Java langua

        • by Mr2001 (90979) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:14PM (#32164786) Homepage Journal

          The big question is when "multitasking" is no longer the major difference between platforms

          Well, that won't happen any time soon.

          You do realize that the upcoming iPhone OS update doesn't add multitasking, right? What it adds is a limited set of background services that apps can ask the OS to perform. It will take some wind out of Android proponents' sails, because those background services are tailored to a handful of popular applications for multitasking -- playing internet radio, finishing downloads, etc. -- but while Android developers will be able to keep developing new uses for background code, iPhone developers will be stuck with the limited set of background operations that Apple has pre-approved.

          what will be the next Android marketing slogan?

          The ongoing circus that is the App Store approval process should provide plenty of slogans to come. How about "Android: the phone that doesn't block Pulitzer-winning cartoonists"? (OK, it needs a little polishing...)

        • by jipn4 (1367823) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:42AM (#32166918)

          Wishful thinking? Or do you have a 4G now?

          You don't have to guess at all; Apple has told us what the 4G has:

          http://www.apple.com/iphone/preview-iphone-os/ [apple.com]

          And the hardware specs on the 4G are pretty clear from Apple's device. It's premium hardware, but likely at a premium price.

          What matters is Android approaching the performance levels of Apple iPhone OS on similar hardware.

          The reason iPhone OS is fast is because it is limited and old technology: C-based programming language, 20 year old kernel, little application integration, little componentization, limited multitasking. Android is a better, more powerful software architecture with many more features, and that naturally requires a more powerful CPU. Android is never going to be as efficient as iPhone OS because you need to make a tradeoff between features and efficiency. But the iPhone speed advantage is diminishing over time. Android today is about the same speed as a first and second generation iPhone. One more generation of hardware, and it's going to be so fast that it doesn't make a difference anymore even to picky users.

          I have an Android phone, and I can't wait for Google to catch up with Apple

          Apple needs to catch up with Google, not the other way around. Apple focused on efficiency and simplicity early on, but that matters less and less as hardware is getting more powerful. But software architecture and ease of development are going to matter more and more.

          It's the same thing that happened with the original Mac: Apple squeezed every drop of efficiency out of the original hardware in their rush to bring an affordable GUI-based machine to market, they made it look good, but they botched the software architecture in the process. It's what Jobs does.

          Believe it or not, some people don't buy a smartphone to compensate for some shortcomings

          Seems to me that's exactly what iPhone buyers do.

  • Waiting for the next iPhone coming in a month which everyone knows about due to the leak.
  • Anti-trust (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fallen Kell (165468) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:08PM (#32160928)

    this report could help their case in upcoming antitrust discussions.

    Or just as easily hurt it. As the report shows a big part of the sales was on Verizon network, which is a market Apple does not exist on. A large portion of those sales "might" have been for Apple's product had it be available on the Verizon network.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:04PM (#32161782)

      Or just as easily hurt it. As the report shows a big part of the sales was on Verizon network, which is a market Apple does not exist on.

      So to summarize what you are saying, is that because Apple is only only a single network instead of several, that makes it MORE LIKLEY they will be found to be violating antitrust because they are LESS ubiquitous than they might be?

  • Cool, but .. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Weezul (52464) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:08PM (#32160934)

    Android phones are not as open as Maemo/MeeGo phones. Andoird could have been way cooler if Google have picked up Maemo instead of starting from scratch using Java. That said, I don't mind that all the mobile games targeted for Android should eventually run on Maemo.

    (Random text inserted at the end of the message to allow mouse chicks on text in Shashdot's edit window on Safari)

    • Re:Cool, but .. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:19PM (#32161978)

      To be fair it wasn't until the N900 that Maemo was even on a phone... which was 2009? Their previous devices were wi-fi tablets only. Android pre-dates that quite a bit. Android Inc was around at least before 2006.

      Nokia really never has treated the platform with any respect - instead shipping crap phones with S60 on them. Even their latest phone - the N8 is Symbian^3.

      • Re:Cool, but .. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sznupi (719324) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:26PM (#32162950) Homepage

        Well, S60 allowed those "crap" phones to be smartphones in first place - cheapest S60(v3) smartphones aren't much more expensive than 100 bucks...without contract. Generally they seem to be doing something right if Symbian has half of the market.

        Plus Symbian^3 (and text ones) seems to be going in the good direction; with UI and development based on Qt there won't be that much of a difference from Maemo...

      • Re:Cool, but .. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mirix (1649853) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:36PM (#32163634)

        Because S60 sells. Nokia has something like 40% of the global phone market. That's huge. Apple can't even dream of having a tenth of that.

        Fast processors and lots of RAM in a phone (eg, N900) are always going to be niche. Most people, world wide, just don't have that sort of money.

        Symbian just got open sourced too.

    • Maemo/MeeGo seems awesome, but I think it's just a sad case of too little, too late.

      There's only one phone that runs Maemo, the Nokia N900, and none that run its successor MeeGo. Nokia's recently announced new flagship phones are all running Symbian.

      I really like the concept of a truly open OS on a smartphone, but I haven't even ever seen one in person.

      At this point I'd rather take and lend my support to something that is 80% as good (Android arguably) that actually has a shot at success in the marketplace

  • by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:10PM (#32160958)
    but companies could face anti-trust action even if they don't own a monopoly over a product or service. (Confirm/Deny?) I am also smirking over the reaction of Apple supporters over this news. Previously, it was "we are the champions, no time for losers" now it is "hey, told you we're not evil because we are the underdogs, support the underdogs!" Not trolling by the way.
  • by nilbog (732352) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:23PM (#32161174) Homepage Journal

    Apple is committed to making the same mistakes it made in the 80's. It amazes me how they think they can break the natural laws of the market and make their business model work. In five years the iPhone's market share will pale in comparison to Android and it will be for the sole reason that Apple cares more about its vision than its customers. Android is the Windows of the mobile world.

    • Android is the Windows of the mobile world.

      It's going to crash a lot and get a lot of viruses? /duck

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Actually, if Google goes ahead with implementing Flash in their browser, that's actually pretty likely...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e2d2 (115622)

      They have their work cut out for them. I understand the model they want, it's close to the model used by game console manufacturers to ensure quality on their consoles and also to reap the rewards of complete control. But what I've never heard of is a restriction on using a particular language that compiles to a native format using a published API. They're gonna have a hard time selling that one as something that offers value to the customer given they already have a fairly intense filtering process for the

    • That's one perspective. But I think you're misreading Apple. Apple doesn't care, and has never cared, about being the largest vendor in any particular space. They only care about being the "best" -- where they get to define what "best" means. Remember when they launched the iPhone and they claimed to want 1% of the smartphone space, which at the time represented perhaps 10% of the mobile phone market? They achieved that goal and then some. Other vendors had to respond to Apple and what Apple was doing

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248)

      This isn't an OS war. Microsoft got/gets paid for each and every computer that gets shipped out. I'm not sure Google is in such a position to demand/get such a royalty. OTOH, Apple gets $$$ for ever iPhone shipped.

      Also, desktop is upgradeable (generally) and you want to want multiple parts from multiple companies in multiple variations playing with each other nicely, perhaps with a driver install.

      A phone, otoh, is an appliance. No added ram, nothing. It gets upgraded every 2 years by most people. The

  • by DdJ (10790) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:24PM (#32161180) Homepage Journal

    There's been anecdotal evidence that there isn't as much money to be made writing Android apps as there is to be made writing iPhone apps.

    One theory has gone "that's because the user base isn't there yet; when the users show up, the developers will come".

    Well. It looks like the users are showing up in numbers that are becoming difficult to ignore. So now it's time to keep a close eye on app developers, and see what happens! Is Android more like the XBox 360 (where a lot of third-party developers make a lot of money), or more like the Wii (where almost nobody but Nintendo ends up making much money)?

    It's all going to be very interesting to watch. Yay competition!

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:25PM (#32161200)

    It exceeded iPhone sales, not iPhone OS, as iPhone OS includes the iPod Touch and iPad. The sales of the iPod Touch are far from insubstantial.

    Meanwhile, iPhone sales are down because new ones are due in June, as they have been the last three years. People know this (and if they don't, they ask a geek friend who does), and sales drop. Just watch, they'll skyrocket in June/July, just as they have the last couple years.

  • by strangeattraction (1058568) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:36PM (#32161368)
    Verizon's droid does porn advertising campaign is what really hooked me into my purchase. If Jobs hadn't pointed it out to me I probably would have just bought an iPhone.
  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:41PM (#32162304)
    . . not in the article, press release, or NPD's site. At one time, it was the leader. Can anyone recall seeing anything else of Microsoft going from such a top position to nowhere (Bob doesn't count)?
    • ...in the mobile OS space anymore. They don't really have a dog in the fight right now. I've used WM6.5, and it is awful. I think it is actually worse for them having tried to ape some iPhone features.

      They are already basically relegated to the sliver of the mobile OS marketshare pie chart labeled "Other." By the time they get WM7 into devices and on store shelves, Apple will have iPhone OS 4 out and be working on improving it, and Google isn't standing still with Android, either. Microsoft is going to be playing an endless game of catch-up, and they can't use their old tactics anymore to chase their competitors out of the market. Windows Mobile now has to compete on merit alone.

      They laughed at the iPhone and basically ignored Android, let their own product languish, and now they're paying the price.

      ~Philly

  • by daggre (631200) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:05PM (#32162688)
    This is great news for both Apple and Android users. This is just the sort of news Apple needs to hear to make them tired of their single-carrier approach in the US. As with many AT&T users, their lack of supporting tethering on the iPhone and the inconsistent network coverage (although when it does work their 3G is MUCH faster than Verizon's) has made me long for another carrier to be available to iPhone users who don't want to jailbreak their iPhones. However we shouldn't forget that there are two MAJOR problems with Verizon on all their phones that make me not want to switch to Verizon even if they did have the iPhone: 1. Verizon's 3G network is NOT capable of voice and data at the same time. Once you're on the phone, all data connections are closed until you hang up. Not so great when you're trying to use maps and someone calls you, or while on the phone you try to find a nearby restaurant to meet the caller. As Verizon callers know, "I'll have to check that and call you back" is not an uncommon thing to say. In an age of Bluetooth headsets being the norm, we should be able to use our phone's data channel while we're on the phone. Verizon's 3G network is very 2G in this instance (and LTE, Verizon's 4G network will fix this but launch is not until mid-2011 at least) 2. Verizon only gives their 3G data users 5GB of use before they start levying HUGE overage charges (http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/04/30/family_provider_far_apart_over_nearly_18000_phone_bill/). I personally have no intention of going over 5GB but I also don't want to WORRY about a limit at all. Again, very backward thinking by Verizon here, reminiscent of Compuserve and AOL charging hourly for Internet access back in the 1980s. Charge a fair price for unlimited data (I think $30 is fair but let the market decide) and then you'll have a shot at my business. In short, I'd love to see Verizon get the iPhone but not in an exclusive deal, not with 5GB data caps, and not unless they can support data and voice at the same time on their 3G network (which has excellent coverage).
  • by GORby_ (101822) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:26AM (#32166844) Homepage
    I don't understand all the people that want one platform to be the other one's 'killer'. I dont want one platform to kill the other, no matter what the platform is... The market is probably large enough to support 3 or 4 (maybe even 5) large platforms.
    My (non-expert) opinion is that:
    - there's still some headroom for Apple (after the 5 year exclusive)
    - there's some headroom for Android.
    - HP's (supposed) commitment to WebOS can also make for some very interesting devices
    - Symbian will probably become less important, unless Nokia changes it considerably
    - I don't know what to think of Windows Phone 7, but it might be too little too late
    - Maemo and Co will remain a niche platform for some time, either to wither away or grow to 5 - 10%

    I would really like Apple, Android and WebOS to continue competing for market share in the coming years, since that will get us more features (or better implementations of current features), and more choice, which is rarely a bad thing...

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