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Android Passes iPhone In US Market Share 550

Posted by Soulskill
from the droids-eating-blackberries dept.
Adrian writes "61.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in November 2010, up 10 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Apple's iPhone, but RIM's BlackBerry is still in first place, according to comScore. RIM fell from 37.6 percent to 33.5 percent market share of smartphones, Google captured second place among smartphone platforms by moving from 19.6 percent to 26.0 percent of US smartphone subscribers, and Apple slipped to third despite its growth from 24.2 percent to 25.0 percent of the market. Microsoft, in fourth place, fell into single digits from 10.8 percent to 9.0 percent while Palm was still last and further slipped from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent." This is not unexpected, since Android sales have been outpacing iPhone sales for some time, but it happened significantly earlier than Gartner's prediction: Q4 2012.
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Android Passes iPhone In US Market Share

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  • by jo_ham (604554) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .999mahoj.> on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:04PM (#34811298)

    It is telling to note, that both Android and iPhone are growing market share at the expense of Blackberry and others, rather than at the expense of each other.

    The more competition the better, I say.

    • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @04:15AM (#34813006)

      It is telling to note, that both Android and iPhone are growing market share at the expense of Blackberry and others, rather than at the expense of each other.

      It's also telling to note that Android is still growing whilst Iphone is stagnating.

      Android +6.4%
      Iphone +0.8%

      So the Iphone only just managed to grow beyond Palms 0.7% loss in share. RIM and Microsoft lost 4.1% and 1.8% respectively. This was in August, the Iphone4 rush was still ongoing but some reports suggested that 4 out of every 5 Iphone4's sold replaced an older model Iphone.

      What happens if these rates are maintained?

      • by jo_ham (604554) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .999mahoj.> on Sunday January 09, 2011 @05:29AM (#34813258)

        Then iPhone will continue to grow at +0.8% share? Clearly it can't do that indefinitely.

        I suspect there will be an upswing when it is released on Verizon. These are only US numbers after all.

        When the iPhone went from O2 exclusive to all carriers in the UK (a while ago now, since before or around the time the 3GS came out), there was a large upturn in new owners from people who wanted to stay on their original carrier.

        Those figures are also for Android as a whole (many handsets across multiple carriers) vs the iPhone (two handsets on a single carrier), so there's that to consider too.

        The smartphone market needs decent competition, just like the computer software market as a whole does, lest we fall into a sole supplier situation - that is when things stagnate.

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        iPhone is only sold on a single provider (AT&T) which has perhaps the most sucktastic customer service ever attributed to a company that still managed to stay in business. Expect iPhone sales to jump sharply when available on other platforms.

        My prediction: iPhone and Android might trade places a few times, but Android will take the long term.

  • Their prediction is for the whole world.

    America != The whole word.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:12PM (#34811342)

      android already surpassed iphone in global market share. This happened quite a while ago. Look up smartphone on wikipedia

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:22PM (#34811438) Homepage Journal
      In Capitalist rest of world you research cheapest sim to swap.
      In Soviet America telcos swap you.
      The USA can still ride the lock in profit on rust belt networks.
  • Oh yeah? (Score:3, Informative)

    by richdun (672214) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:10PM (#34811336)
    But this other firm says iPhone is still in the lead, by a lot.

    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/apple-leads-smartphone-race-while-android-attracts-most-recent-customers/ [nielsen.com]

    Obviously, someone is wrong on the Internet!

    • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nahdude812 (88157) * on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:37PM (#34811566) Homepage

      A 2 point market share lead according to Nielsen is "a lot"? Both reports are within 3 points of each other. But while Apple is growing less than 1 point per quarter, Google is growing around 6.5 points. According to either report, if the trends exhibited through November continued, Google would be ahead of Apple by today anyway.

      It'll be interesting to see what the Verizon iPhone does for iOS. I don't know if it was legal obligations or what, but Apple being kept off the largest carrier has hurt them a lot, and allowed Android to build up a lot of momentum I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have had otherwise.

      • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bonch (38532) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @12:47AM (#34812040)

        I don't know if it was legal obligations or what

        Apple probably wasn't willing to concede control of iOS to Verizon. Now that iOS is a hit, Apple has bargaining power to retain control of the platform.

        Android, however, is very much under the control of the carriers [techcrunch.com].

      • by Shag (3737)

        I don't know if it was legal obligations or what, but Apple being kept off the largest carrier has hurt them a lot

        Not legal obligations, but contractual, yeah.

        And even though AT&T keeps sending me ads to "add a line" to my plan, suggesting all kinds of phones that aren't iPhones, everyone pretty much knows that if you're going to be on AT&T, an iPhone is the phone to have.

        If Verizon gets the iPhone, I expect a lot of users will see it the same way over there.

      • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AmericanInKiev (453362) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @03:04AM (#34812716) Homepage

        I'm not one to gush about Apple; however, let's agree that whatever birthright apple sold to Singular, it sold in exchange for user's rights; specifically, the right of the user to shop for applications provided by other than the network carrier. For that I am a grateful Android customer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bm_luethke (253362)

      Only if you consider 3% market share "a lot". Indeed, the article quoted points out that Android is just slightly outside the margin of error to tie with Apple (rim at .3% higher market share is considered to be tied with either one due to margin of error). With respect to margin of errors both articles agree. However you may want to take a gander at the upper graph in the article linked, Android has 40.8% of new sales and iPhone at 26.9% - roughly a 14 point difference and that *is* major (indeed, at that

  • by jav1231 (539129)
    I thought Verizon was getting the iPhone because they were supposedly seeing slowing Android sales. Sounds like Android is doing fine.
    • They're getting the iPhone because the iPhone causes them to lose customers to AT&T, not because Android sales are bad.
  • It's funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:18PM (#34811392) Homepage

    I, too, bought an Android phone in November (Motorola Defy). I like it, it's going to work out fine for me. But I have to admit, compared to the iPhone and BlackBerry both, my phone's OS is buggy and clunky, the stock Android stuff is lacking features, and the attempts by the handset maker (Motorola) to make up for its deficiencies don't mesh well with the core OS. Unexplained things happen every so often, which don't really phase me as a seasoned computer user, but would drive my mom bats.

    The manual actually tells you to reboot the phone every so often. I don't disagree with this -- seems like sound advice for a device of this complexity -- but by comparison, my BlackBerry would actually reboot itself automatically every night if I wanted it to. And it turns out that if you don't reboot this phone, after a while it might do stuff like, oh, silently stop receiving your email. Reboot and ten messages show up. As a former BlackBerry user, that is not good. That is bad. And that's just one example -- it seems like random things will start to happen, which might frustrate you if you didn't feel OK with just rebooting the phone. (Though to be fair, any reluctance I have to reboot comes from me being a BlackBerry user, where rebooting is the last thing on Earth you want to do.)

    I switched from BlackBerry because I felt like my BlackBerry Pearl was getting long in the tooth, and none of the new models appealed to me. Plus, change is good every now and then. I didn't pick iPhone for various reasons, mostly relating to not wanting to do business with either Apple or AT&T (and certainly not Verizon, when that happens). But I gotta admit, iPhone is the better phone. So what is making all these other people choose Android phones instead of iPhones, assuming they don't share my unique background and prejudices? It's not price -- as far as I can tell, that's pretty comparable for both platforms these days.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For us, iPhone wasn't available on Verizon, so we bought the Droid and the Droid Eris. At first they were good phones, but every successful upgrade has added irritating bugs. As soon as the iPhone launches on Verizon, these Androids go up for sale on eBay.

    • I, too, bought an Android phone in November (Motorola Defy). I like it, it's going to work out fine for me. But I have to admit, compared to the iPhone and BlackBerry both, my phone's OS is buggy and clunky, the stock Android stuff is lacking features, and the attempts by the handset maker (Motorola) to make up for its deficiencies don't mesh well with the core OS. Unexplained things happen every so often, which don't really phase me as a seasoned computer user, but would drive my mom bats.

      Looks like the smartphone OS market is shaping up to be very similar to the desktop OS market, its Android vs. iOS instead of Windows vs. MacOS.... with one important difference... No Microsoft. Something that has Redmond very worried.

    • by protektor (63514)

      There are many iPhone apps that tell you to do the same exact thing. If they won't run properly then reboot your phone and try again. I don't know what the percentage of the marketplace is like that but I have seen a few dozen or so that say that. These are apps that passed Apple's Q&A/review and got in their marketplace. So honestly I don't see much of a difference. If I don't reboot the iPhone 4 every so often it will get strange too. It's not surprising since most smart-phones are just computers that

    • Re:It's funny (Score:4, Informative)

      by LodCrappo (705968) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @10:50AM (#34814688) Homepage

      "So what is making all these other people choose Android phones instead of iPhones, assuming they don't share my unique background and prejudices? "

      The answer to your question is quite obvious. People are choosing Android because they are not having the same experience you claim to have had, instead they are quite enjoying Android even when switching from iPhone like myself.

      I don't know what god forsaken Android device you purchased, but I haven't rebooted my htc incredible in weeks, and even then it only rebooted because i forgot to charge it two days in a row and it ran out of juice. I've never had any issue with stability. Nothing random or strange has ever, ever happened on my phone. In fact, it's much more stable than my iPhone ever was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:27PM (#34811488)

    So Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG, Meizu, and more have created well over 20 handsets on four networks which all together sell more in America than two models of 1 handset from Apple only on AT&T. These guys should be patting themselves on the back for a job well done.

    • I believe they are too busy sweating the massive and perhaps incalculable revenue fail Android is facing outside the cell phone market... in, say, the media sales/media player/gaming device/tablet computer markets. How is Android still in business?
  • by Octorian (14086) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:47PM (#34811658) Homepage

    Seriously, I've come to the conclusion that all of these cellphone/smartphone marketshare/sales statistics are full of crap. Why do I say that? It seems like every single one of them shows a different contender in the lead, and usually whichever contender the presenter of said statistics is favoring at the moment. There are probably a hundred different ways these statistics can be compiled, and each one takes a slightly different approach. Sometimes they're comparing a particular quarter, alighted to a particular fiscal calendar. Sometimes they're limited the class of devices. Sometimes its US-only, and sometimes its Global. Whichever platform you like best, you'll find someone showing a survey/pie-chart/analysis showing how they're ahead of the competition.

    Regardless, here's how I see the three mentioned players handling their game:

    • iPhone - Single device (multiple revisions), OS and hardware by same company, limited cherry-picked markets
    • Android - Device-independent OS, plenty of fragmentation, available in as many markets as handset-makers/carriers want
    • BlackBerry - Device and OS by same company, tons of models, available in most markets globally
  • Not a Surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BondGamer (724662)
    When you have 100+ handsets sold by every carrier under the sun, of course you will sell more. Microsoft just dropped the ball and Google swooped in to take advantage of Apple's contract with AT&T. If it ended a couple years ago who knows if Android would even exist today. When it expires and Apple is allowed to sell the iPhone with whoever they want, Google is going to be hurting. The only complaint about the iPhone is you can only use it on AT&T. Compare that to all the criticisms of Android phone
    • by Microlith (54737)

      If it ended a couple years ago who knows if Android would even exist today.

      Because suddenly everyone would have Apple phones? Not everyone likes Apple.

      The only complaint about the iPhone is you can only use it on AT&T.

      Because it's otherwise flawless, right? Oh right, anyone with actual complaints against Apple is irrelevant and shouldn't be using smartphones anyway.

      No, even with its flaws Android would still have a market.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      There are a lot more complaints about iPhones than it being only on AT&T. Whether you prefer an iPhone or not, claiming that it's only flaw is the carrier is simply delusional.
    • Unless Apple suddenly decides that they are going to abandon their strategy of focusing exclusively on premium markets, Android isn't likely to go anywhere(though the ground is going to get a lot rougher for 'flagship' android devices that land at or above iPhone price-points and attempt to go toe-to-toe on hardware and features...)

      What all the bloviating about smartphones ignores is that there is a Gigantic pool of dumbphones and low end featurephones out there(and that a nontrivial slice of "smartphone
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      When it expires and Apple is allowed to sell the iPhone with whoever they want, Google is going to be hurting.

      Doubt it. Remember that the carrier exclusivity of the iPhone only exists in the US and maybe one or two other countries. In the vast majority of the world, it's a GSM phone like any other that you buy, pop your SIM card in (from any carrier) and off you go. And in all those countries, Android is doing quite well.

      So I don't think the carrier exclusivity is holding Apple's sales in the US back as much as you might think. I mean, sure, it has SOME effect. But Android is a quality platform and I don't think th

    • The only complaint about the iPhone is you can only use it on AT&T.

      The only complaint? Really? Do you read much? Does "walled garden", "antenna-gate" or "unusable 3G/3Gs with iOS 4 until 4.2" ring a bell? What about continuous problems with syncing, data restoration and lost contacts? Overall, iOS is much less buggy than Android I will agree, but claiming that the only complaint about the iPhone is AT&T is just bunk.

  • by mr100percent (57156) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @12:06AM (#34811784) Homepage Journal

    Once iPhone comes to Verizon (likely the announcement is Tuesday and release February), the iPhone will again rise to the top.

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @12:22AM (#34811868)

    With JUST AT&T as a carrier.

    When Verizon gets the iPhone, I say that the market share proposition shifts big towards iPhone.

  • I'm sure Apple is still making a lot more money from their hardware + software + cut of service fees + content sales + app sales + data harvesting.... ecosystem than all other players... combined, and creating nice lock-ins and network effects is the process.

  • by acomj (20611) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @12:45AM (#34812024) Homepage

    At the expense of the Canada/US/Europe (Blackberry/Apple/Nokia).

        Seriously all those companies (Samsung/LG/HTC.....) would never have agreed on a standard OS if it wasn't for being scared into it by Apple /Blackberry.
    Google really saved there hides by coming up with a very competent mobile OS.

    A free OS with expectation of pumping us full of ads.

    Seriously competition is frustrating when Apple/ Google start copying the worst parts of the OS (Google got rid of the return policy/ Apple buys an ad company)...
    Not to mention the new trend of providers "Capping" all you can use mobile bandwidth.

    Competition is good for consumers but I see a disturbing trend.
    Sigh..

    Hopefully because there are more players in this market "the web" remains a viable platform so the device matters less.

    I don't own a smartphone....

  • by protektor (63514) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @01:19AM (#34812230)

    If Microsoft doesn't explain what is going on or fix the problem people are having of random unexplained large data transfers, then WP7 will end up a has been. People are reporting 50MB transfers during calls, and 500MB transfers each night. I would never own a phone that randomly or without my knowledge started sending large amounts of data out.

    http://windowsphonemix.com/news/unusual-usage-of-data/ [windowsphonemix.com]

    Until this is addressed I would say Microsoft has a major issue. It is either a PR, such as it needs to be explained, or a software issue and it needs to be fixed. Either way the longer Microsoft doesn't address the issue the more it hurts them.

  • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Sunday January 09, 2011 @08:32AM (#34813926) Homepage Journal

    The global numbers are more amusing. Over the year, Nokia/Symbian has retained its majority market share, only dropping 7% in a market that has grown 64%; with Android and iOS more or less in equal competition for second place. (Source [asymco.com])

    For some reason the discussion on the completely distorted US marketplace is amusing. But I question the relevance.

    And finally, let me add that I vastly prefer my phone run an operating system that is designed to run phones, not an app or advertising channel primarily, no matter how shiny it looks.

    Mart

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