On Monday, The NPD Group reported its latest findings, which show that Apple leaped past Samsung and LG to become the best-selling U.S. handset brand in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“Attracted by a faster processor, improved camera and the Siri speech-driven agent, most iPhone buyers paid a premium for the iPhone 4S, making it the top-selling handset in Q4,” said Ross Rubin, executive director, Connected Intelligence for The NPD Group. “The iPhone 4S outsold the iPhone 4 by 75 percent, and outsold the iPhone 3GS, available for free on AT&T, five to one.”
But in a strange turn of events that seems to contradict no shortage of previous reports and projections, first-time smartphone buyers are choosing Android over iOS.
Android devices, says NPD, performed better among first-time smartphone buyers. Based on NPD’s monthly Smartphone Track service, among the first-time smartphone buyers in Q4, 57 percent purchased Android phones compared to just 34 percent who purchased iPhones.
“Android has been criticized for offering a more complex user experience than its competitors, but the company’s wide carrier support and large app selection is appealing to new smartphone customers,” Rubin said. “Android’s support of LTE at Verizon has also made it the exclusive choice for customers who want to take advantage of that carrier’s fastest network.”