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Android dominating US smartphone market

by Scott Bicheno on 27 September 2011, 17:27

Tags: Nielsen

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Duopoly

Market researcher Nielsen has released its latest data on trends in the US smartphone market, and they reveal undiminished momentum for Android.

While Google's mobile OS accounts for 43 percent of all smartphone subscriptions in the US, that number jumps to 56 percent if you just look at purchases made in the past three months. So the current trend is for the majority of new smartphone purchases to be Android.

Apple's figures, meanwhile, are pretty stable at 28 percent of all smartphones and the same proportion of recently-purchased ones. The big loser from Android's continued popularity in the US is BlackBerry, which accounts for 18 percent of the total, but only nine percent of recent ones. The decline of ‘others' which includes Windows, Symbian and webOS, comes as no great surprise.

 

 

The other chart published concerns overall smartphone penetration, as a proportion of all mobile subscriptions. The green line shows total penetration and the orange line shows the rolling three month figure. The trend is relentlessly upward, with it taking a year for the three month trend to manifest itself in the total. Maybe we'll see near total smartphone penetration by 2015.

 

 



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Well, when your OS ships on devices with 128 MB of RAM, ARM11 cores (and those are preceived lower mid range, who knows what else exists below) and so on, of course you are going to have an advantage in devices sold. However, for both the companies and developers, two figures are more important. The revenue you make off those phones, and of course the profit for the former, and the willingness of their users to buy apps for the latter. And in that area, the situation is not only reversed, but is even more extremely in iOS favor.
lukarak
The revenue you make off those phones, and of course the profit for the former, and the willingness of their users to buy apps for the latter. And in that area, the situation is not only reversed, but is even more extremely in iOS favor.

Please provide a source to back your statement?

This article states the opposite:
http://www.buzzingup.com/2011/03/android-market-more-profitable-than-apples-ios-app-store/

In my books the more phones you have on Android the more profit the app store will eventually make. There are more free apps on Android than on the Apple Store, because Apple like to charge you a premium. Angry Birds cost you 99 cents via the Apple Store, via Android its free.

People aren't stupid, paying more doesn't necessarily mean you are getting more, this is typical for apple products.
lukarak
Well, when your OS ships on devices with 128 MB of RAM, ARM11 cores (and those are preceived lower mid range, who knows what else exists below) and so on, of course you are going to have an advantage in devices sold. However, for both the companies and developers, two figures are more important. The revenue you make off those phones, and of course the profit for the former, and the willingness of their users to buy apps for the latter. And in that area, the situation is not only reversed, but is even more extremely in iOS favor.

:yawn: yes, let's just trot out the tired old cliché that “android owners don't buy apps”. That's about as valid as the similar old chestnut about Linux users not buying software either (IndyBundle figures kind of refute that). E.g. it's slightly disconcerting to see how many app store purchases appear when I reviewed my credit card bills for the last six months. Plus, it's a well known, but equally clichéd, fact that a lot of android revenue comes from in-app ads - in fact I'm sure I saw/heard something that Google themselves were promoting this route (not that surprising if it is true).

I'd also strongly argue that there's no evidence that the sales figures quoted in the article are made up of “bucket phones”. So to state/imply that the sales are made up of low end phones is without substance.

Lastly, as a developer myself (although not on phones), if I've got a limited amount of resource then I'm going to target on the largest potential customer base. Heck, if I'm going to put on my Android fanboy hat for a minute, I could even argue that the currently-larger iOS app store puts me at a disadvantage - with less content it's easier to be “seen” in the Google Market Place. But personally speaking, I wouldn't do that as it's just perverse. ;)

I listen to a lot of US based podcasts, and to be honest, it fascinates me that there doesn't seem to be this “high end” halo around the iPhone that there is in Europe - in fact the last one I was listening to refered to iP4 as a good “midrange” device. Not sure I'd agree with that assessment, but there you go…

Of course, what'll be interesting is to see what effect (and I'm very sure that there will be an effect) the iPhone5 launch/sales will have on the pace of Android uptake. If it's a svelte and desirable device then we'll obviously see a sizeable number of defections to it, on the other hand if it's another minger like the iPhone4 (sorry, I just think that the 3/3GS were nicer looking designs - and I've heard other people say the same) then Android will continue to grow.

Personally speaking, I'm not that happy with any OS occupying such a large slice of the market. (50%+), and consequentially I'm really hoping that Nokia come out with a real “gottahave” device for their first Win phone. From what little I've seen of Win7Phone it looks like a good OS that deserves some success, even if it inevitably ends up stealing sales from Android.
I wouldn't be surprised if the picture is a bit different in 6 months time - Android phones are getting released continuously due to the number of manufacturers and models, but we're about due another iPhone release, aren't we? When all the black polo-neck sweater and jeans brigade update to the new model the sales figures for iPhone will rocket again. It depends at what point in the Apple release cycle you are looking at.
Of course a new iPhone will make a difference, some sheeps will stand in line for hours for a new shiny toy. Word is though it's not a great update, more an iPhone 4S than a 5. Problem is that for every person who's an Apple fan, we seem to have 3 that are against their strict controls, and simply won't pay the price of an iPhone, which is why Android is marching ahead…more choice, more price points simply means that Apple will struggle from now on. Concentrating on the mid to upper price point is hurting them right now, as the growth is in lo to mid!