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Android Blackberry Cellphones Google Handhelds Iphone Apple

Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share 250

Posted by timothy
from the king-for-a-day-but-that-damn-sword-above dept.
An anonymous reader writes "69.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011, up 13 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Research In Motion's BlackBerry, according to comScore. Having passed the iPhone in the preceding three-month period, this now means that Android has been crowned king in the US."
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Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share

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  • Surprised? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhigh (657789) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:13PM (#35695954)
    Android is an operating system available on devices from numerous manufacturers. It was only a matter of time, given the level of control that both RIM and Apple maintain over the hardware that their operating system is available on.

    I'm a Droid user and a huge fan, but it is almost an unfair comparison. You're comparing an (relatively) open operating system with proprietary devices running proprietary software.
    • by SomePgmr (2021234)
      True, and a model-to-model popularity study would have a very different lineup, but this is useful information on its own. I'd think particularly for anyone determining what platform to develop for. Though granted, it's not the only thing to consider.
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:42PM (#35696126)

        I think it might be better to consider that The Apple app market saw over 17x the sales of the Android Market last year.....
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20032012-37.html [cnet.com]

        • but not necessarily the consumer.
        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:33PM (#35696416)

          I saw it personally with a couple small apps I built and released for iPhone and Android. Despite more downloads of the free version on androids, over 85% of my sales were for iPhone. Given the time tweaking for the different versions of Android vs iOS, the apps I'm building this year are all for the iPhone.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I saw it personally with a couple small apps I built and released for iPhone and Android. Despite more downloads of the free version on androids, over 85% of my sales were for iPhone. Given the time tweaking for the different versions of Android vs iOS, the apps I'm building this year are all for the iPhone.

            The issue is, most developers follow that thought path. However, what I found is that the apps I want to pay for are better on iPhone. I don't want to pay the same price for fewer features, or pay more for the same features, just because I'm on Android. So, my options become paying them for an inferior product and reinforcing the practice.. or not buying the app.

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

          by johnlcallaway (165670) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:47PM (#35696478)
          Better to consider .. what??? The story is pretty straight forward, more Android phones are being used than Apple phones. Which infers that more people are using them than are using Apple phones. Which infers that people prefer the Android phones (didn't say it was better, I said prefer) than Apple phones. I have all the apps I need on my Android, and no one has yet to show me an iPhone app that makes it worthwhile to switch. So the 'fact' the Apple app market sells more than the Android market doesn't mean anything to me. Except that iDrones have lots of excess cash to waste on apps that might even be free somewhere else.

          Android means choice, Apple is still the control-freak run company it always has been. Apple products have always appealed to those who just have to have the newest tech no matter what. Which means Apple products probably appeal to people with cash which means those people are probably willing to drop lots of bucks in the Apple store.

          It has always seemed like iDrones like having very little choice and doing what Apple says. I think doing any real thinking for themselves hurts too much.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BasilBrush (643681)

            Which infers that people prefer the Android phones (didn't say it was better, I said prefer) than Apple phones.

            People don't necessarily buy the product they prefer. Price is a consideration. And the vast number of cheap Android phones from many manufacturers explains the market share.

            So the 'fact' the Apple app market sells more than the Android market doesn't mean anything to me.

            Well maybe not. But it means everything to the developers. Which means most develop first for the iPhone, and then possibly port to Android.

            Android means choice

            Not of Apps it doesn't. iPhone has more and better choice of apps than Android for the reason stated above.

            It has always seemed like iDrones like having very little choice and doing what Apple says. I think doing any real thinking for themselves hurts too much.

            Hey whatever it takes to make you happy that you bought a cheap copy.

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

              by radio4fan (304271) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @04:46AM (#35698202)

              Hey whatever it takes to make you happy that you bought a cheap copy.

              Funny, as I've got an iPhone (3GS) and an Android phone (HTC Desire). I need both for testing mobile websites.

              The iPhone now gets used *solely* for testing websites.

              The Android phone is just better in most respects; gmaps/navigation, ability to play *any* video format, better reception (GSM and wifi), faster to navigate the UI (it's got a 'back' button!), vastly superior home screens and widgets, better battery life (and the option of a spare battery), better camera, bluetooth that's not intentionally crippled, SDcard support, hotspot that works out-of-the-box... Just better.

              All that goes to make me 'happy that I bought a cheap copy'.

              The iPhone wins hands-down on style and sound quality (holy shit the sound on the HTC is crap) but nothing else I can think of.

              I'm not an Apple-hater; I'm typing this on my MacBook and I've owned Macs for 20 years (SE/30 FTW!)

          • by Karlt1 (231423)

            If I were choosing to develop for a platform, why would I choose one with only 5% of the sales?

            People don't necessarily "prefer" Android. They prefer to stay with their own carrier. On AT&T where people had a choice between Android and iPhone, they chose the iPhone 14 to 1.

            Have you notice that Verizon completely dropped their Droid Does campaign as soon as they got the iPhone? Now if you go to Verizon's website, you see three categories of phones - iPhones, smart phones, and feature phones. They've rel

            • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by VortexCortex (1117377) <(VortexCortex) ( ... -retrograde.com)> on Saturday April 02, 2011 @11:12PM (#35697400)

              If I were choosing to develop for a platform, why would I choose one with only 5% of the sales?

              Actually... I was presented with the choice of developing our apps for Apple's Application Store, or Google's Android Marketplace. Not really liking the choice much we opted for the 3rd choice: Distribute the application ourselves and in one of the proprietary marketplaces. So, naturally the application will be an Android application.

              Granted, our applications are more specialized for use by noise abatement engineers, mapping problematic sources of noise via triangulation, overlaying 3D sound models in real-time (altered reality), etc.

              Our apps will be supplemental to our other products. We didn't want to spend time making the apps, then not be able to sell them for whatever reason. Our only real choice is Android OS.

              They've relegate Android to the bargain bin.

              Yes, that means our mobile applications will be available to more people. Also, why would a developer take so much pride in a platform brand? We don't make more money based on who sells the best phones -- We make more money based on how many people can access and purchase our apps...

              However, you must be able to see that sales alone is not the sole deciding factor when a developer decides which mobile platform to support... There are many factors, one of which is "Are we sure that we'll even be able to sell the app at all?" Android is the only smart-phone platform where the answer to this question is Yes.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Averaging the year as phone days, Apple had more. The growth rate is immense for Android, so the real install base didn't even show up until the middle of Q3. These numbers for 2011 will be very different.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:34PM (#35696082)

      This is all just a rehash of the PC industry during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Back then, Apple had their proprietary hardware and software stack, and it did achieve a relatively high level of popularity, at least initially. There were other smaller players, like Amiga, Commodore and Tandy back then, and RIM and Nokia today, who offered their own platforms.

      Android is best compared to MS-DOS, oddly enough. It was about being a flexible OS that ran on a wide range of hardware from a wide range of vendors, and in many ways it maximized the freedom of developers and users alike. It did very little to dictate how programs could be implemented, who may use them, and how they may be distributed.

      We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity. Most went completely out of business. Apple, by far the strongest of them, only barely managed to survive the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s.

      I suspect that the same thing might be happening today. Although not the first, Apple took a commanding lead within the market. But facing competition from more open hardware and software, they don't have a hope in hell of surviving in the long run. It remains to be seen what will happen with Jobs in the near future, but if he departs from Apple for whatever reason, it's likely that they'll face yet another dark period like that between 1987 and 1999.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:54PM (#35696196) Homepage Journal

        We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed

        This is true among home computers. But whether the smartphone market shapes up to be like the home computer market (where open won) or the set-top video gaming market (where closed won) hasn't entirely been decided. Android is in the lead now, but I'm not sure how much of that comes from people avoiding the iPhone to avoid AT&T. This can change as more Verizon Wireless contracts hit their 24th month, and it can also change come iPhone 5 and Sony NGP. But on the other hand, Apple doesn't have a low-end phone for use with prepaid service, unlike Sprint's Virgin Mobile USA which has a few Android phones now, and Apple has historically chosen not to compete in the extreme low-end.

        • by cynyr (703126) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:11PM (#35696298)

          My bet is sadly on the closed one winning. Most people view phones* as appliances and as such they should just work.

          *I keep thinking of mine as a mini-laptop, but that still makes me a bit grumpy as i'd like to be able to script it, and tinker with it even more than CyanogenMOD will let me.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by by (1706743) (1706744)

            My bet is sadly on the closed one winning. Most people view phones* as appliances and as such they should just work.

            I think that's a very accurate assessment (though I don't even have a smart phone). I'm all for toys and openness; I cut my teeth on Slackware (using Debian currently), don't take my car to the mechanic for trivial stuff, fix my audio gear myself (picked up a Dyna ST-70 for free a while back...score!) etc. But I can see a day when I'll want a system -- be it an entertainment system, a car or a smartphone -- that "just works." And sadly, this is more easily achieved when a single manufacturer controls the ha

            • by jon3k (691256)
              Eh, it's kind of a strawman argument. You're implying that android phones don't "just work" which is not the case at all. Some Android phones are fantastic.
        • by unity100 (970058)

          But whether the smartphone market shapes up to be like the home computer market (where open won) or the set-top video gaming market (where closed won) hasn't entirely been decided

          'hasnt been decided' ?

          man. it is the way human social dynamics work - the easiest, most accommodating, most open gets adopted eventually. EVERYthing after this mobile thing will unfold in the exact same way.

          • by tepples (727027)

            the easiest, most accommodating, most open gets adopted eventually.

            Then why hasn't this happened in set-top video gaming? More specifically, what distinguishes phones from game consoles and from dedicated gaming handhelds in this respect? Or are we still waiting for "eventually"?

            • by unity100 (970058)
              but it did ? the pc gaming market, is the market that everything revolves around -> from wow to crysis.

              yes, there is a closed ecosystem of consoles, but, these had been pretty much built over the ancient gaming consoles of late 70s. the companies so far kept quite a hold on their own turf -> but that's because no 'open initiative' like google did with android came forward : there was no need to - anyone needing open, customizable or more powerful, went pc gaming already.

              that aside, if you count
              • by DinDaddy (1168147)

                So it is your contention that the majority of gamers, and the majority of gaming dollars spent, are in the PC gaming arena, not the consoles?

              • but it did ? the pc gaming market, is the market that everything revolves around

                This may be true for single-player and online multiplayer. But there aren't nearly enough set-top PCs (or home theater PCs or media center PCs) to make a viable market for games with a mode designed for set-top PCs. (Or so other Slashdot users tell me.) And some genres, such as fighting games and party games, don't work well on desktop or laptop PCs due to the smaller monitor not fitting two to four people around it.

          • by schnell (163007)

            it is the way human social dynamics work - the easiest, most accommodating, most open gets adopted eventually.

            Exactly, that's why 10+ years into the MP3 player market, the vast majority of devices sold are Archos, SanDisk or iRiver devices. Just like the PC OS market is dominated by the "easiest ... most open" product, Microsoft Windows DOES NOT COMPUTE DOES NOT COMPUTE NOMAD WILL SELF DESTRUCT

        • by ianare (1132971)

          In Europe there is no carrier lock, you can get the iPhone from several companies, in some countries this has been the case for several years. And yet, Android is exploding in popularity. Biggest losers in Europe are Apple and Nokia, where Nokia is more or less equivalent to RIM in the US in terms of previous market share and demography of its users.

          http://www.greatereader.org/?p=19211 [greatereader.org]

        • the set-top video gaming market (where closed won)

          Was there even an "open" option there?

          Android is in the lead now, but I'm not sure how much of that comes from people avoiding the iPhone to avoid AT&T.

          That's a very US-centric view - keep in mind that Android grows worldwide.

          • the set-top video gaming market (where closed won)

            Was there even an "open" option there?

            Before 1986, many 8-bit home computers supported TV out. Then IBM compatible PCs took off, most of which were incompatible with TV monitors. For the next two decades, a few PCs supported TV out. I can see why that failed, as not all video cards had composite or S-Video out, and the "scan converter" box to turn VGA into SDTV was incredibly obscure and fairly expensive. But starting around 2006, most new TVs have had VGA and HDMI inputs, suitable to display a PC's respective VGA and DVI-D outputs. The only th

      • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:08PM (#35696272) Journal

        Android is best compared to MS-DOS, oddly enough. It was about being a flexible OS that ran on a wide range of hardware from a wide range of vendors, and in many ways it maximized the freedom of developers and users alike. It did very little to dictate how programs could be implemented, who may use them, and how they may be distributed.

        Sort of, but MS-DOS was proprietary and ran on relatively open hardware, while Android is the other way around.

        The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity....I suspect that the same thing might be happening today.

        Not likely. Unfortunately, devices without locked bootloaders are the exception, not the rule. Most Android devices are not really any more open than the Blackberry in practice.

      • by Angostura (703910) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:27PM (#35696384)

        We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and...

        .... that's why this is the year of Linux on the desktop.

        • by jon3k (691256)
          No, it's the year of the "cloud" the web based application running in datacenters on commodity hardware running linux. Post-PC, remember? The desktop isn't relevant anymore.
      • We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity. Most went completely out of business. Apple, by far the strongest of them, only barely managed to survive the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s.

        I suspect that the same thing might be happening today. Although not the first, Apple took a commanding lead within the market. But facing competition from more open hardware and software, they don't have a hope in hell of surviving in the long run. It remains to be seen what will happen with Jobs in the near future, but if he departs from Apple for whatever reason, it's likely that they'll face yet another dark period like that between 1987 and 1999.

        i don't think anyone's going out of business, for several reasons. but the most important is what's the so-called "killer app". see, the "killer app" back at those days were what i call "the holy trinity" lotus 1-2-3, d-base and wordstar. later it wordperfect took the crown as editor, later it became all MS office. other plataforms had a snowball chanve in hell of being adopted by business without office applications that were interoperable with PC. and in those days, real money was in the office market. ho

      • oh geez.. you're argument sounds exactly like an elderly dude wishing for the yesteryear. No matter how much you wish you knew NOW what you knew THEN... it's not going to help. The future is not written, my friend (to whom I wish longevity!)
      • by King_TJ (85913)

        While I like the idea of drawing an analogy between the computer scenario of the 80's and the smartphone scenario of today? I don't agree with the original poster's conclusions, or even some of the comparisons.

        MS-DOS really isn't a great comparison to Android, IMO. MS-DOS was flexible and seen running on a wide range of hardware - but it was also copyrighted and licensed out to interested parties. This led to fragmentation of DOS, in fact. IBM had their own "PC-DOS" for a while, and there was the Digita

    • by fermion (181285)
      As we are seeing, the openness has an upside and downside. The ability customize locally means ha i will run on various hardware, which means a phone can be made to meet a price point.OTOH,as google is discovering, this leads to products that the platform look low end.

      The success will have to be looked at long term. Will OEM stick with Android if they are not allowed to equally compete. WIll they tolerate Google choosing one favorite a season. WIll they risk getting sued by Google for misbehaving. The

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      Your comment makes no sense at all, and is a sidetrack to the issue.

      If we add up all the iphones and all the android phones, the answer is simple and straightforward: android is selling more, and the market has spoken. It doesn't matter if iphone creates 7 models or 100. It's still a "who sells the most of the major brand", and that has been answered. It's not MS, it's not apple, it's google.

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        You just made his point for him, unless you're claiming your own post makes no sense.

        Multiple manufacturers selling Android-based phones, vs one manufacturer selling the iPhone, in a market that has Blackberry's OS, iOS, Android and WP7 as the major operating systems.

        If Android was even half decent (ie, better than Blackberry and WP&, which it is), then it will overtake iPhone marketshare by eating into other smartphone maker's shares (and with new users coming on board).

        Both Android and iOS [in iPhone

    • I like how we've gone from "well sure, proprietary products have an advantage in market share because there's so much money behind them" to "well sure, open products have an advantage because they're portable."

      Oh, those poor widdle proprietary products. Is the big nasty-wasty Slashdot editor being mean to you again, making unfair comparisons?
    • Isnt Droid a heavily tweaked version of Android specifically for the HTC models commissioned by VZW?
      • ... No.

        Droid is just a brand name, essentially, which Verizon licensed from LucasFilms to name some of their flagship Android phones (the Thunderbolt, for example, does not use the Droid name at all). And actually, there's more "Droid" Motorola phones than there are HTC. The Droid Incredible, Droid Eris, and the Droid Incredible 2 on its way are the only ones from HTC with the Droid name, where as Motorola has had Droid, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid X, and Droid Pro, with the Droid 3, Droid X 2, and Droid

    • Back during the days of PC vs others, situation was the same. there were those who had tight control, there were those who were more relaxed. and today, 'computer' is basically 'pc', and even everyone forgot that it was 'pc'. it passes as 'desktop computer' universally.

      rim and apple lost, because of precisely why competitors to ibm pc lost.
    • by Dutchmaan (442553)

      Android is an operating system available on devices from numerous manufacturers. It was only a matter of time, given the level of control that both RIM and Apple maintain over the hardware that their operating system is available on.

      Not trying to start a flame war but it never stopped comparisons between Apple and MS operating systems. Granted Windows wasn't "open" but it's the same general comparison.

    • by Malc (1751)

      The question is: is Apple still taking more than 50% of the revenues of the smartphone market with less than 5% marketshare, as they were a few months ago [economist.com]? This story becomes interesting when Android starts taking significant revenue, although I doubt any individual manufacturer will be as profitable as Apple is at the moment.

  • Yawn. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188)
    Wake me up in six months, when the implications of Google's recent policy changes have been realized.
    • Re:Yawn. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrDoh! (71235) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:26PM (#35696028) Homepage Journal

      I'm wondering if this will only help actually.
      Where else are the phone makers going to get an OS/that many apps quick enough to compete with Apple?
      And if they don't like to be told the interface, they going to go to Microsoft that's even more restrictive?

      Don't know. Still too early to tell, but I don't think it'll be as doom and gloom as some are saying.

    • by bogaboga (793279)

      Wake me up in six months...

      So you're sleeping or hibernating? Anyway, it's just a joke. Here's what I wanted to say.
      Remember that the majority of Android phone buyers do not care what OS it runs. All they want is a phone of great value or from a particular OEM.

      I personally, will avoid Motorola no matter what phone they develop, and will seek out HTC or Samsung whenever I can. What OS will come with the phone I choose will be a question I ask just before I pay.

      That's me and I an not a lone.

      • Remember that the majority of Android phone buyers do not care what OS it runs.

        They care what applications it runs, and if their favorite apps are exclusive to one operating system, they'll choose that OS. For example, if HTC makes a Windows phone and an Android phone, but your favorite apps are for Android, you'll probably choose the Android phone.

    • Re:Yawn. (Score:4, Informative)

      by eparker05 (1738842) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:35PM (#35696090)

      I assume you are referring to the continued feet dragging with the Honeycomb source.

      I would like to start by saying that many of the people complaining about this are people with little knowledge of the Android development cycle. For starters, the newest version of Android is always released closed source so that Open Handset Alliance partners get premium access. Eventually the versions are all released under the Apache license. The only difference between Honeycomb and previous versions is that Google is slowing down the release a bit. They have not reversed their commitment to open source it, they just delayed it.

      One of the most common complaints about Android is the fragmentation. This is one way that Google can slowly rein this in. If they are completely closed the source and locked the platform they will be much more like Apple. If they are completely open it will be more like Linux (Android distributions anybody?). It is in the middle ground where they can be both a little open, yet still control the platform and keep quality and homogeneity high.

      • by cynyr (703126)

        Also hasn't google been saying that Honeycomb will be a tablet only(officially) version? If I am remembering that correctly, i'm not sure how the 3.0 stuff has much to do with with this discussion.

        We already have a community distribution of android, CyanogenMOD. As for fragmentation it's more that there hasn't really been much in the way of a "screen shall be X by Y resolution, and the CPU shall be xxx speed ARM or equivalent." Thats about all they are doing now, is setting the hardware minimum higher than

      • by alvinrod (889928)
        Sorry, but you can't be completely open and completely without fragmentation. Look at Linux. There's fragmentation, or if you want to look at it another way, diversity and choice. Some people want to use Gentoo; others, Ubuntu. You can't have it both ways. Open is accepting that some people won't agree with your decisions and letting them take what you've done and build their own solution.

        If Google wants to be open they need to actually be open. Otherwise they'll end up being supplanted by something like
  • The fact that people so quickly bounce from Blackberry to iPhone to Android in business suggests to me that they use their 'phones for very little real work. I wonder if one day we'll return to, say, 15 years ago, when people had a much better chance to get hard work done (and rest outside hours) without a million devices to interrupt them.

    • ....Or it could be that the vast majority of applications and features that people use to get work done are cross platform. You can get e-mail on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. You can make calls on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. You can access webpages on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. And really, those three things is all most people need to get work done. So of course people are going to have different preferences and change phone models.
    • by iserlohn (49556)

      You underestimate the amount of momentum in the smartphone market. As with MS software in the 90's and early 00's, you have platform lock-in due to third party apps. With i(phone/pad)OS and Android, you have the same in the AppStore/Market. This is significant and users will be unwilling to change platforms if most of their software investment is in a particular platform.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      It doesn't look as if people are bouncing from iPhone to Android but rather from Palm and Microsoft and Blackberry to Android. Apple's numbers flattened out a lot but they still had a slight climb whereas Android seems to be killing RIM, MS and Palm.

    • This is anecdotal, but it seems to me that what happened is that the iPhone kicked the door open for non-Blackberry devices by getting the devices into enough people high enough into the company that they had to start supporting them. Then, once you're supporting iPhones, the jump to supporting androids is much smaller.
    • All the folks I knew that had Blackberries for work still have them. But I know a ton more people who bought Android/iPhone for personal use who never had a Blackberry/Palm/Windows phone in the past. That is why the market share is slipping; RIMs gross numbers are still increasing quarter after quarter, but not as quickly as the other phones.

  • by errandum (2014454) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @06:43PM (#35696138)

    What people miss is that most of those 30ish % are from low end devices. Those devices are mostly crap and give out a bad impression about the OS.

    I'm not too confident that android growth will be as big in the following years. Google should set up some minimum specs for Android phones!

    (I'm the proud owner of an HTC Desire, so I'm not bashing. Just stating something that has been on my mind lately..)

    • by bogaboga (793279)

      (I'm the proud owner of an HTC Desire, so I'm not bashing. Just stating something that has been on my mind lately..)

      Have you had chance to compare that phone to another Android phone? What are your impressions?

    • by pem (1013437)
      All growth curves eventually slow.

      Already 30% of cellphone users carry smartphones, so total smartphone growth will slow eventually.

      But Android has been out for awhile now, and is a known quantity. And yet, in the 3 months measured by the comscore report, the growth in Android users was 3.25 times the growth in iPhone users.

      Android growth could slow down a lot. Doesn't matter. They'll still be on top for a long time.

    • Quarter after quarter, the only Android phones I see being introduced have faster processors, bigger displays, worse battery life and higher price. Which phones do you consider to be low end?

  • by msauve (701917) on Saturday April 02, 2011 @07:37PM (#35696428)
    The summary makes the mistake of confusing market share (sales) with installed base ("user share"). Android has had leading market share for some time, which is why their share of the installed base is increasing. CRT televisions still have a very large installed base, but a very low market share - the vast majority of new TVs are LCD/plasma. Windows 2000 still has a significant installed base, but almost zero market share.
    • This is a very good point. I wonder how market share will be when Apple updates again. If market share isn't amortized annually then it's not really relevant. Most of Apple's market is waiting to buy or bought a 6-9 months ago when the iPhone 4 was released. So sure you've got a giant surge of Android "market share" between the total eclipse that happens the weeks following iPhone releases.

      Installed base is a better number anyways.

      • by msauve (701917)
        "Installed base is a better number anyways."

        Exactly how do you conclude that?

        Are you thinking Apple makes money from app sales, not hardware sales? Google makes money from use. Consider the other examples I gave. How much money is MS making from W2K (which still has a considerable installed base)? How many people are developing for W2K?

        Installed base looks to the past, market share is an indicator of the future.
      • by jon3k (691256)
        Why would there be a surge in Android sales between iPhone releases? Why wouldn't people buy the latest iPhone? Are you saying that Android phones released after the iPhone 4 are superior? I don't follow your logic there.
  • Seriously. All the tech-press yammering about Android's exploding market share makes my brain itch. It's overtaken vertical solutions (RIM, Apple) by running on a broad variety of hardware - it's gaining market share the same way Windows did back in the day, by running on COTS hardware instead of the more tightly-bound offerings from Commodore or Apple (or others). It would be more accurate to compare Android against, say... MeeGo, Symbian, etceteras. Marketshare comparisons are only really valid if the

    • Does it make you feel better to say "Android passes RIM OS" versus Blackberry?

      One thing I'd be interested in seeing is iOS versus Android, WP7, and RIM OS market share numbers. That would be an interesting piece of information for developers considering investing in another platform.
      • by solios (53048)

        Agreed. For handsets, it looks like it's cooking down to iOS, Android, RIM (ultimately strictly corporate, then fading away if they can't stay in front for value added... using the iOS email interface, all I can say about it is if mail were my bread and butter, anything would be an improvement, and this is allegedly RIM's strong point), and Microsoft's various half-assed attempts to buy Windows Whatever into the marketplace.

        For my money, I think the "now" will get More So over the next couple of years - bu

    • by ianare (1132971)

      I'm sure RIM and Apple aren't losing market share - these rapid gains are coming by handset vendors dropping an OEM OS for Android, or shipping the same handset with an Android option.

      Yes, they both are losing market share, since that metric takes the respective percentages of all sales. Apple may be selling more devices in absolute terms, but in proportion to Android, it is selling less. This is because the market itself is growing very rapidly.

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