Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Androids Than iPhones

More Androids Than iPhones
Research in Motion's Blackberry is the number one smartphone operating system in the country and for a while, Apple's iPhone was number two, but the data is in and there's a new kid in town. Google's Android has now seen to it that iPhone drop to number three in the first quarter.

The data, reported by NPD Group, shows that Android made up 28% of all units sold in the United States during the first quarter. Blackberry made up over a third of the market, selling 36% and the iPhone came in at only 21%. Keep in mind that these numbers are estimated based on consumer surveys. Also, they do not includes sales made to businesses and through enterprise contracts. And while iPhone's operating system is only available, on, well, the iPhone, Android is available on several different phones manufactured by Samsung, HTC, and Motorola.

Even so, there's no doubt, Android is becoming increasingly popular. NPD analyst, Ross Rubin, said that for the first time, Android software is available in all major U.S. networks, which is helping to drive sales of the devices. Verizon has been the most outspoken carrier, as they launched a huge campaign that marketed the devices last year. As a matter of fact, Verizon has been offering buy-one-get-one free smartphones, which include the Androids. T-Mobile is also a major carrier of the Android smartphones, and AT&T has begun selling them as well.

And according to Rubin, while Verizon has been helping Android sales, Android has been helping Verizon's business as well. AT&T makes up about one third or 32% of the smartphone market, but Verizon is catching up with 30% of all smartphones sold in the United States going through the company. T-Mobile and Sprint are pretty far behind with 17% and 15% of sales respectively.

iPhone remains very popular in the United States. Apple reported new activation of 900,000 iPhones in the first quarter, alone, and sales of 1.8 million iPhones to people to people who were already with AT&T. As a matter of fact, NPD suggests that iPhones would be even more popular if they weren't tied to a single carrier (AT&T).

Rubin says that if the rumored Verizon iPhone was available today, Apple would certainly sell more phones. He added, "But it's harder to say what will happen in the long term. It's difficult to know what the feature-set will look like on phones in a year. But it's clear the iPhone still has enough cachet today to pick up market share."

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